Singing in Church throughout the Centuries
on this episode Dan walks us through the big picture and brief history of singing in the Church, from Psalms to the New Testament to Sunday's at PCOM.
June 21, 2022
Praying the Psalms: Pastor Courtney on the power of speaking truth and words for when we run short
Psalm 42 & 43 Bible translations including the NIV (New International Version), NLT (New Living Translation), NRSV (New Revised Standard Version), and (MSG) The Message. Bible tools mentioned included BibleGateway.com, the PCOM Connect App, and the YouVersion app.
June 14, 2022
Jeff Given is joined by friend and poet Paul Willis to share poems of art, fire, loss and beauty
Paul reads a few poems from his recent collection Somewhere To Follow. Jeff reads a bit of John Steinbeck.
June 07, 2022
Pastor Daryl talks communion, sacraments, and ordinary grace. Plus: CAN you use salad dressing as anointing oil?
Pastors Courtney and Daryl chat about the Lord's supper and baptism, how God meets us with his grace, the role of repentance, and their hopes for the season ahead. Plus: a story about their time as hospital chaplains and how God makes ordinary things--bread, wine, juice, us!--holy.
May 31, 2022
Time for a snack and a nap! Pastor Courtney on Elijah, burnout, self-care, and you
After a difficult season of prophet-ing, what's Elijah to do? He's ready to throw in the towel, but God has a surprise in store. A word of encouragement from 1 Kings 19. Plus: Pastors Courtney and Daryl are going on sabbatical? What's that about?
May 24, 2022
Dan on memory, conversion, and the place of the arts in the Christian faith
Dan takes another dive into Church history and gives some recommendations (like the music of Larry Norman and Pedro the Lion!)
May 17, 2022
Pastor Courtney interviews author Alicia Akins on God's abundant kindness, feasting in the Word (and at the table!), and being a global citizen
Author of "Invitations to Abundance: how the feasts of the Bible nourish us today," Alicia Akins, describes the profound goodness of God and how learning to eat together can build relationships, deepen friendships, and remind us of God's love.
May 10, 2022
Jeff Given gets yelled at by a basketball dad
We're looking at Romans 8 today, and as far as we can tell, the apostle Paul never refereed a basketball game. But he could sense that even that type of event would not fall beyond the reach of God's goodness and grace.
May 03, 2022
Author series: Posting Peace with Pastor Courtney & Douglas Bursch
Social media can be polarizing, partisan, and downright panic-inducing! Should Christians log off, or is there a way to use it without letting it use us? Pastor Courtney interviews pastor & author Doug Bursch on his book Posting Peace: Why Social Media Divides Us and What We Can Do About It. Find Doug at fairlyspiritual.org.
April 26, 2022
Telling Time in Church
Dan talks about the history of the church calendar, Easter, and worshipping with Christians across space and time.
April 19, 2022
Keeping our college students connected: Kelly Kroger on the love of Jesus and an invitation to serve in a simple (and fun!) way
For a list of our current college students, email firstname.lastname@example.org Cards, letters, stickers, and other written encouragement may be dropped off at the church office.
April 12, 2022
Jeff Given Talks About Bruno, and Matthew's Genealogy
But we don't talk about Bruno! How might we move forward in truth and love by naming the reality of where we have been?
April 05, 2022
Fasting failures (because it isn't all goodness and glory!)
Pastor Courtney shares a story of a fasting meltdown. Plus: how our human frailty (even in its most embarrassing moments!) can be a reminder of the deep love of our Savior.
March 29, 2022
Fasting with tears - Pastor Courtney on exile, Nehemiah, and praying for the world
Lessons from Nehemiah 1 on God's nearness to us in our suffering. Plus: how fasting can help connect us to the depths of our emotions and God's heart.
March 22, 2022
Church History at the Movies and Fasting to Feast
Dan talks about a few of his favorite movies depicting events Church history- including one in particular about a feast
March 15, 2022
Fast as You Can: Pastor Courtney's beginner's guide to an ancient practice
An invitation to Lenten fasting and its Scriptural basis, from the Old Testament to the New with Pastor Courtney.
March 08, 2022
Jeff Given is afraid of birds??
Wrapping up our journey through surprising spiritual practices, how might Psalm 27 help us pray for ourselves and for others.
March 01, 2022
Surprising Spiritual Practices: It's a maze! It's a trick! It's... a prayer labyrinth?
Walking and praying, praying and walking. What prayer labyrinths can teach us about the long and winding journey of faith, suggestions on how to engage in this practice, Scriptures for meditation, and an exciting announcement about Lent at PCOM. Episode three in our surprising spiritual practices series.
February 22, 2022
Church History Story Time! Dan tells the story of unlikely roommates whose spiritual practices would change the world
On this episode Dan van Voorhis tells the story of Ignatius of Loyola and Francis Xavier- two unlikely college roommates whose spiritual practices would change the world
February 15, 2022
Surprising Spiritual Practices: How binoculars help Pastor Courtney connect with the Lord
Praying for a bird from the Lord as we ponder how surprising spiritual practices can draw our gazes heavenward and help us love our neighbors right here and now. The Holy Spirit as a wind, a fire, and a dove. Plus: Psalm 102 and an invitation to stillness. Episode one in our new Surprising Spiritual Practices series.
February 08, 2022
Jeff Given shares about debilitating back pain... and other blessings
Elizabeth Prentiss wrote the words to the hymn, "More Love to Thee, O Christ" in 1856. They're still ringing true: Let sorrow do its work come grief and pain; Sweet are thy messengers sweet their refrain When they can sing with me: More love, O Christ to Thee!
February 01, 2022
We Will Survive! Pastor Courtney on nurturing soft hearts amidst hard struggles.
Jonah is not a fan of the Ninevites. Yet God is a God of compassion. What's a grumpy prophet to do? Lessons on tenderness amidst turmoil from Jonah 4.
January 25, 2022
We Will Survive! Hockey, Elijah, and the restorative power of a snack and a nap
Pastor Courtney shares a hockey story of just surviving. Plus, 1 Kings 19 on the beauty of a God who ministers to us in our physical needs. How are you surviving these days?
January 18, 2022
We Will Survive! Pastor Courtney on celebrating the small stuff. Plus: Moses is OVER it.
A celebration of surviving - even if we're not always thriving. For more on Moses reading his end, and how God met him with compassion, check out Numbers 11:4-35.
January 11, 2022
Jeff Given brags/complains about his kids. And other parenting tips!
It's a New Year! What is something we can delight in this season?
January 04, 2022
Pastor Courtney's best reads of 2021
Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and theology. What was your favorite read of 2021? Books mentioned: The Road by Cormac McCarthy On Reading Well by Karen Swallow Prior This Day by Wendell Berry Abuelita Faith by Kat Armas Journal of a Novel by John Steinbeck Art & Faith by Makoto Fujimura Invitations to Abundance by Alicia Akins The Nature of Small Birds by Susie Finkbeiner Thou Shalt Not Be a Jerk by Eugene Cho There, There by Tommy Orange
December 28, 2021
An Advent Pause: stillness, silence, and an invitation to rest with Jesus
The Great Silence in a season of great busyness.
December 21, 2021
Singing at Christmas and the story behind two beloved Christmas Carols
Dr. Dan van Voorhis joins us again as guest host to chat Christmas carols, why we sing at Christmastime, and other historical Advent-y goodness.
December 14, 2021
Jeff Given shares stories of Habanero Peppers and Air Mattresses
Habanero peppers and air mattresses - what could go wrong? Just about everything. Can we discover laughter and joy even amidst embarrassment and shame?
December 07, 2021
Jenna Nolan, Clayton Simon, and Pastor Courtney give thanks.
Our final episode of our gratitude series! Pastor Courtney shares the story of how YOU helped buy her a house (really!), the gratitude of being on mission in a neighborhood, the joys of Thanksgiving, and a word from Paul in 1 Corinthians.
November 30, 2021
The power of AND. Gratitude part III.
Pastor Courtney on how holding two big emotions together can help deepen our thanksgiving.
November 23, 2021
Stories of gratitude from Pastor Jackson, Pastor Daryl, Matt Becerra, and Julie Erban. Gratitude part II.
Why's that turtle on the fencepost? Plus, a reminder that someone else planted the apple tree, and why that knowledge can deepen our gratitude. A warning against grumbling, Psalm 107, and a new sign off. Want to share your story of gratitude for the podcast? Pastor Courtney would love to hear from you! Call the church and leave her a voicemail, or email her at email@example.com
November 16, 2021
If it fits on a bumper sticker, it might be bad theology. Gratitude part I.
What's the difference between biblical gratitude and toxic positivity? What are the people of PCOM thankful for these days? Hear from David Schramm, Dianne Lam, Dwight Woodruff, and Carol Marleau on what they are grateful for today. Plus, pastor Courtney on the biblical basis for gratitude and why we're starting Advent ridiculously early this year.
November 09, 2021
Jeff Given IS Captain Jack Sparrow! And how Disneyland decided otherwise.
What do the gospel of Matthew and the Pirates of the Caribbean have in common? Well, not much. But maybe one can shine a light of truth and beauty on the other. Maybe.
November 02, 2021
All Saints Day, Halloween, and Being the 'Masks of God' with guest host Dr. Dan van Voorhis
Join professor and professional podcaster Dr. Dan van Voorhis in a witty and wonderful journey into the history of our late-October holidays within and outside of the church. Plus: his story of how God called him and his family to PCOM (it involved a hiking trail!). You won't want to miss this special episode of the PCOM Podcast.
October 26, 2021
Celebrating our saints of today.
All Saints part two, with Pastor Courtney, Isaiah 43, and a reminder to be extra kind.
October 19, 2021
Why celebrate All Saints Day? Plus: grief, lament, and a cloud of witnesses.
Pastor Courtney shares stories from her heart of three fellow ministers who died unexpectedly this year. Hebrews 12:1-3, the history and church tradition behind All Saints Day, and a reminder that grief is A-Okay, even (especially!) for the people of God. TW: Suicide.
October 12, 2021
Jeff Given talks Bed Wetting at Summer Camp and other Great Successes
Continuing in our series on Philippians, what might it mean to "do all things through Christ who strengthens us"?
October 05, 2021
Was Paul a hymn writer? Singing theology, learning faith, growing roots.
Pastor Courtney on Philippians 2, the humility of Jesus, and the Poseidon adventure. Plus: The New City Catechism and why you really should try Asian Box.
September 28, 2021
I need a thesaurus! Defining discernment, learning wisdom, reading Paul.
Pastor Courtney on Philippians 1 and an invitation to insight, understanding, knowledge, and love from Paul. Plus: Alfred Lansing's Endurance (yes, Pastor Courtney can't get enough) and recommendations on surfing documentaries, macabre novels, and a birding board game.
September 21, 2021
Is it okay to read other people's mail? Yes. Sort of.
Philippians, Paul's letters, church in context, and an embarrassing story about Pastor Courtney and dating at a Christian college. Plus: Why taking verses out of context is (almost) always a disaster, and how to soak in the richness of Scripture.
September 14, 2021
Jeff Given talks Salt, “Marmalade Hands,” Kitchen Tools and more
In Matthew's gospel, Jesus says to those who will hear "You are the salt of the earth." So let's explore salt together to see what all the fuss is about. Also, another kitchen catastrophe (Marmalade Hands), and some culinary wisdom picked up along the way. SEE JEFF'S FAVORITE KITCHEN TOOLS HERE: https://imgur.com/a/jkfNsa8
September 07, 2021
Alyona Koolhaas on God at work in Ukraine, coordinating our church nursery, and why every mom should try MOPS
Alyona Koolhaas, PCOM's MOPS and nursery coordinator, shares stories of God at work from her childhood in Kiev to the fall of the Soviet Union to falling in love with an American in Wisconsin. From her love of tiny tots to her deepening relationship with great big God, this is not a story to miss.
September 01, 2021
Imagination and innovation: it only takes a spark!
Pastor Courtney on how sitting in a different chair can change your life. (Seriously.) Also: words of wisdom from Clayton Simon, gentle invitations to innovation, recommendations, and news about what's coming next.
August 31, 2021
Should worship be playful? Plus: an invitation to imagining a new future together
Pastor Courtney reads an excerpt on whimsical worship from her new book - Happy Now - and asks the question: is it okay to play in church? She invites listeners to write in with stories of their own joyful worship experiences, and to offer feedback in how our church can imagine new ways of fellowship, mission, and worship after the unique season we've encountered. Happy Now by Courtney Ellis
August 24, 2021
Whose shoes are you wearing? Imagination as a tool for empathy
How can we love our neighbors as ourselves if we don't seek to know and understand our neighbors' points of view? Pastor Courtney unpacks the power of story to see things--and people--as complex, nuanced, and interesting rather than one-dimensional. We talk about how many years it took Courtney and Daryl to begin seeing one another well within their marriage (hint: it's still a journey!), and take a note out of Mark Twain's book for reading the world (and Scripture!) through the eyes of wonder rather than just utilitarianism. Two Ways of Seeing a River by Mark Twain
August 17, 2021
What's the greatest challenge facing the church today? Pastor Courtney's answer might surprise you.
What is the role of the imagination in a life of faith? Can a Christian imagination transform our lives, our churches, and our communities? Words of wisdom from a literature professor, a philosophy professor, and a Psalm. Plus: an invitation to explore our own imaginations for the sake of the Gospel. C.S. Lewis's essay on faith and imagination Karen Swallow Prior's book: On Reading Well The Holy Post Podcast interview with Karen Swallow Prior Psalm 57
August 10, 2021
Jeff Given Ruins Dinner (and other kitchen disasters)
Jeff shares stories about his cooking failures (see: nearly burning down the house) and a few tips along the way.
August 03, 2021
Can you eat a prayer? Pastor Courtney shares the story of a life-changing meal.
How can our food affect and influence our lives of prayer? Can cooking be an act of prayer? How about a beautifully set table? Do we always need to pray before our meals? What are some new prayer practices we might engage around the food that we eat? Whet your appetite for an episode on food, faith, and our good Creator God!
July 27, 2021
Does God want our anger? Pastor Courtney on raging against the machine (or anything else) in the presence of God
What do we do when our feelings feel too big, untidy, or unacceptable to bring to God? A story from Psalm 137 on bringing a difficult feeling before the Lord, lessons from speaking anger rather than letting it simmer, and a picture of the God who answers our prayers from a place of expansive goodness and light, no matter what we ask. Psalm 137
July 20, 2021
What do a rock, some beads, and a leaf have to do with prayer? So glad you asked!
How the objects we use to gently lead us into prayer can help us connect with the Object of our prayer. Prayer beads for Protestants, pocket stones, and visual reminders that God is with us. This episode is all about easy physical reminders that God is near.
July 13, 2021
Jeff Given says "You Be The Psalmist!" (no pressure - really)
How writing out our prayers (especially when we never have to show them to anyone else, including ourselves) can slow the spin of thoughts, worries, fears and doubts in our head... and can even lead to silliness and giggling.
July 06, 2021
Do you pray the write way? (Get it? WE MADE A PUN!) But seriously - how reading prayers can be a gentle gift.
Pastor Courtney describes ways written prayers can help guide us on our journeys, and invites us to read a prayer this week. Whether we are drawn to an ancient prayer from Scripture, the words of the church fathers and mothers like St. Augustine or Julian of Norwich, or a modern-day liturgy about changing diapers or enjoying hot coffee, the words from the community of faith are a wonderful tool for prayer. Resources for reading prayer: Every Moment Holy by Douglas McKelvey The Liturgy of the Hours The Book of Common Worship (free online!) The Book of Common Prayer (free online!)
June 29, 2021
Can we pray on the go? An invitation to prayer in motion
Good news! We don't have to sit still to pray! Wisdom from the Jesuits, the Benedictines, and an old friend of Pastor Courtney's on praying in motion, plus an invitation to you to pray on the go this week.
June 22, 2021
Can it be that easy? The simplest prayer practice of all
The good news of prayer is that we can start so small. How small? We're so glad you asked! Pastor Courtney invites us into a super-simple prayer practice. Plus: wisdom from Ellie Roscher's book 12 Tiny Things, Psalm 121, and a "bird from the Lord." A Bird from the Lord (Fathom Magazine)
June 15, 2021
Pray continually? Is that even possible?
We intro our summer series on invitations to creative prayer with a poem by Aarik Danielsen (read by the author!). Join Pastor Courtney to discover rich rhythms of prayer from out of the box places as we connect with God more deeply this summer. Prayer Language by Aarik Danielsen Fathom Magazine
June 08, 2021
Jeff Given Talks About Photographs You Can't Actually See - Bad Idea?
Let's explore the visual arts and continue to expand our imagination around what good and authentic worship of God can look like.
June 01, 2021
Greatest Hits: a pandemic year in review
Hear from Emily Wood, ER doc Ian Ellis, Fuller NT professor Chris Blumhofer, singer/songwriter Natalie Schlabs, author and activist Dorcas Cheng-Tozun, novelist Shawn Smucker, and journalist Aarik Danielsen on a year like none other and how God saw them through. Take a tour through the past with us as we revisit April and May of 2020 - the uncertainty of almost everything AND the faithfulness of God in this greatest hits episode.
May 25, 2021
Time to have some fun? Playing as a spiritual practice.
Pastor Courtney shares some stories of whimsy and an invitation to join God in holy play. How do you play best? Recommendations for kids: Bluey on Disney + Big Nate books Books by Kate DiCamillo Recommendations for adults: Ted Lasso on Apple TV The Cornell Bird ID app
May 18, 2021
Adapt or die? The pain and joy of change.
Change is hard! How do we embrace positive change and also name, normalize, and grieve the losses change entails? When is change too much? How can we love one another well in seasons of change? Plus: why Pastors Courtney and Daryl sobbed as they drove away from their wedding reception. (Hint: it's NOT that they were sad they married each other!) Resources: The Leaders Journey podcast: Two Feet Walking Disquiet Time, edited by Jennifer Grant and Cathleen Falsani Jesus is in the boat! Mark 4:35-41 Life Index Change/Stress Scale from Dartmouth
May 11, 2021
Easten Given Sings a Benediction (and joins Jeff Given in a reading of Psalm 138)
May the Lord bless you and keep you, make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. God has not abandoned you. God will not abandon you. Amen.
May 04, 2021
ReNew: the good work of God, inside and out!
Hear from Pastor Daryl on what God has been doing in and through PCOM over the past year. Plus: hear how YOU can be part of what God is doing! Renew video For more information: https://www.mypcom.com/renew
April 27, 2021
Faith & Science, Science & Faith: wisdom and stories from YOU!
Congregational stories about vaccines from Pastors Jackson & Daryl, Clayton Simon, Dwight Woodruff, Elaine Pappas-Puckett, Mary Smith, April Rudge, Kristy Vetter, Heidi Galloway, Jon Mooney, Jon Saur, and Vicki McRobbieralls. Clayton Simon's Marina Hills Animal Hospital mRna Video Hesitant about the COVID vaccine? Have no fear, we've got your back! Check out these resources, from people far wiser than us in the area of epidemiology: Are mRna vaccines risky? Info on the COVID vaccine from the Centers for Disease Control Commonly asked questions about the vaccine Find a vaccine near you (nationwide!)
April 20, 2021
Fear Not! (But what if Pastor Courtney shares a really scary story about spiders?)
Invitations versus commands, angelic arrivals, the answer of presence, and the gift of more information. What are you afraid of?
April 13, 2021
Jeff Given offers ZERO EFFORT Gardening Tips!
Deciduous trees, evergreen trees, and sleeping babies in between. Here is a link to the image of our Floss silk tree (Ceiba speciosa): https://imgur.com/a/CVAK00A
April 06, 2021
Grace that is greater: Pastor Courtney on God's tenderness toward us
Frederich Buechner on how life will be both "beautiful and terrible." The heartbeat of the Gospel meeting us in our sin, brokenness, and sadness with the merciful grace of God.
March 30, 2021
The joy and connection of a good story: Film & storytelling part II
What makes a great story? Tips from Jesus - and from Pixar! Plus: how enjoying and telling great stories can draw us closer to one another. Storytelling According to Pixar A few of Pastor Courtney's storytelling favorites: Gettysburg (based on Michael Shaara's book The Killer Angels) Inside Out (Pixar) Singin' in the Rain (Gene Kelly)
March 23, 2021
Whoever tells the stories shapes the culture: Film & storytelling part I
Good stories shape our appetites. Can movies draw us closer to Jesus? Can they help us love our neighbors well? What is the role of empathy in the Christian life, and how can film grow our compassion? Plus: favorite movies from our pastors. Common Sense Media Christ and Pop Culture's Mission Statement: Christ and Pop Culture exists to acknowledge, appreciate, and think rightly about the common knowledge of our age. Our mission is to edify the Church, glorify God, and witness to the world by encouraging and modeling a biblical presence within culture that is characterized by nuance and appreciation while resisting the extremes of thoughtless condemnation and uncritical embrace. We stand on the gospel and exist for the Church. Movie favorites: Pastor Jackson - The Usual Suspects Pastor Daryl - National Treasure Stephanie Cleye - Twister & Love, Actually Jeff Given - Black Panther Pastor Courtney - The Peanuts Movie, Hotel Rwanda, Lincoln, Miracle, The Greatest Showman, Hidden Figures
March 16, 2021
Poetry slam! Pastor Courtney on the power of words and the gift of poets
Favorite poems and poets, and where to go for more. Brett Foster's The Tree Felled, The Tree Raised Jane Kenyon's Let Evening Come Jose Hernandez Diaz's The Fall Langston Hughes's I, Too Ogden Nash's The Duck T. S. Eliot's Ash Wednesday Mary Oliver's Maybe Wendell Berry's This Day
March 09, 2021
Lent 104: Jeff Given invites you to “Let Yourself Be Useless”
Jeff shares the name of a new daughter and some wisdom from Henry Nouwen.
March 02, 2021
Lent 103: Waiting is the hardest thing
Pastor Courtney is bad at waiting. How about you? How the Lenten school for patience can shape, form, and hearten us. Plus: wisdom from Charles Spurgeon, Jim Elliott, Edna Hong, and Psalm 37 on God's presence with us in the ache of longing.
February 23, 2021
Lent 102: Giving up, taking on, or something else? Advice for entering into this sweet, sorrowful season.
Lent is commonly a time when Christians turn to spiritual practices. Some fast from a particular food or another comfort item, others take on a spiritual discipline like prayer journaling. Why do faith leaders encourage the practice of Lent, and how might we enter into this season in a special way during this odd year? Plus: a short, simple prayer to start you on your way.
February 16, 2021
Lent 101: Preparing for the deep work of sitting still
What is Lent and why do we practice it? What role do rhythms, rituals, and rest have for our spiritual growth? Join us as we prepare together for the 40 days of Lent. Plus: a story from a beloved college professor on Lent's abundant lessons of grace and frailty
February 09, 2021
Great Anticipation: Reads we can't wait to get our hands on in 2021
New books. Is there anything better? Fiction and nonfiction releasing in 2021. Plus: Pastor Courtney's next book and the spiritual delight of waiting for a "bird from the Lord." (No, that isn't a typo.) Esau McCaulley's Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope Makoto Fujimora's Art & Faith Tish Harrison Warren's Prayer in the Night: for those who work or watch or weep Heidi Barr and Ellie Roscher's 12 Tiny Things Shawn Smucker's The Weight of Memory Susie Finkbeiner's The Nature of Small Birds Pastor Courtney's newest book: Happy Now: Let playfulness lift your load and renew your spirit
February 02, 2021
Great Devotional Guides: books to deepen your spiritual journey
Looking for a devotional read for 2021? We've got you covered! From topical Bible studies to artistic expressions of faith, you've come to the right place. Paul J. Pastor's The Listening Day NT Wright's Philippians for Everyone Kludt and Jenkins' Field Guides for the Way A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter Michelle van Loon's Growing Sage
January 26, 2021
Great Reads Part 2: Best books of all time
(That's just, like, your OPINION, man!) Pastor Courtney's favorites, your favorites, and best reads of all time.
January 19, 2021
Great Reads Part 1: Best Books of 2020
PCOM members share their love of story + award-winning author Susie Finkbeiner pops in to say hi. PCOM Readers' Faves Mudlarking by Lara Maiklem (Lauren Popkowski) Words on Fire by Jennifer A. Nielsen (April Rudge) Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano + The Other Americans by Laila Lalami (Elaine Pappas-Puckett) We Are Called to Rise by Laura McBride + Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist (April Lehman) The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson (Heidi Galloway) Pastor Courtney's Faves All Manner of Things by Susie Finkbeiner Jane of Lantern Hill by L.M. Montgomery Piranesi by Susanna Clarke Ordinary Grace by William Kent Kruger Art & Faith by Makoto Fujimara Endurance by Alfred Lansing All Shall Be Well by Catherine McNiel The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby The Way Up is Down by Marlena Graves This Too Shall Last: Finding Grace When Suffering Lingers by KJ Ramsey
January 12, 2021
Jeff Given on How to Trim Trees and a Few Favorite Books
Jeff talks trees, Easten's namesake and the poetry of Langston Hughes
January 05, 2021
Art and Melancholy: It Came Upon the Midnight Clear. Plus: Eduardo Ballerini on loss and hope.
The tragic, hopeful story behind It Came Upon the Midnight Clear. (Also: did you know it was "the" and not "a" Midnight Clear? It was news to Pastor Courtney!). How God's peace meets us beside the weary road with the singing of angels. PLUS: Don't forget to send in your book recommendations for our January series - best books of 2020, books to look forward to in 2021, and best books of ALL TIME. Eduardo Ballerini on reinvention, grief, and disappearing enough to let someone else's story come through. It Came Upon the Midnight Clear from different voices: Jeff Given + Anna Simon Ella Fitzgerald Josh Groban Mahalia Jackson Carpenters Johnny Cash St. Paul's Cathedral Choir
December 29, 2020
Tired? We get it! Lessons of grace + rest from an ancient carol. Plus: God meets an exhausted hero with a snack and a nap.
A brief history of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Pastor Courtney's favorite reminder from 1 Kings on God's grace when we reach our exhausted end, and exciting news about our upcoming January podcast series. Hear the carol from a variety of different voices: Jeff Given + Anna Simon The Petersons Bluegrass Band King's College, Cambridge Nat King Cole Keith & Kristen Getty Jars of Clay
December 22, 2020
An Advent exploration of Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus. PLUS: Things You Shouldn't Say in Church on Christmas Eve
Join Pastor Courtney in learning the theology and ecumenical history of the hymn "Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus." Plus, Advent wisdom from Fleming Rutledge, what longing can teach us about hope, and a bit about Susanna Wesley's apron. The hymn, from a variety of voices: Jeff Given & Awake Red Mountain Music Fernando Ortega Christ Church Mayfair Sara Groves St. Olaf Choir Lexington Road Band
December 15, 2020
Pastor Courtney dives into "O Come Emmanuel," with a little help from Wilson
Join us for the hymns of Advent! This week features "O Come Emmanuel," its ancient roots, Scriptural allusions, and timeless truths. Plus, a little joy from Wilson Ellis. Click below in the show notes to listen to different artists performing this phenomenal hymn. A Collection of Artists Performing "O Come Emmanuel" Jeff Given & The Awake Service The Piano Guys The Petersons bluegrass band Sufjan Stevens David Crowder Band Alison and Elizabeth Beck (instrumental) The Oxford Trinity Choir
December 08, 2020
Jeff & Easten Given on Darkness & Light for Advent
Jeff speaks to the coolness of winter, the darkness of night, and the interconnected nature of darkness and light. Also Christmas decorations and a revisit of Psalm 139, featuring Easten Given.
December 01, 2020
*Special Thanksgiving Episode* Stories of gratitude from YOU!
Hear from beloved PCOM members Evie Olson, Clayton Simon, Mary Smith, Arlene Weller, Ralph Parris, and Linda Payne about their gratitude on this Thanksgiving holiday. We at PCOM are thankful for each one of you, dear friends. Happy Thanksgiving!
November 26, 2020
Dr. Ian and Sonia Ellis let us ask them anything and offer Gospel (and medical!) hope, wisdom, and tips on getting to the light at the end of the COVID tunnel.
A very special good-news-is-on-its-way episode. Emergency room doctor Ian Ellis - no relation to our pastors! - shares his experiences fighting COVID on the front lines, and his wife, professional actress Sonia Ellis, shares what it's been like to support an essential worker and step back from her own career. They have lots of hope to offer, along with wisdom in how to stay the course as we wait for the end (the END, friends!) of the pandemic in 2021. Plus, send your prayers to Dr. Ian and Sonia (or any questions you'd like them to answer!) by emailing Pastor Courtney (she'll forward them on!).
November 24, 2020
Hearing from YOU! Dennis and Kelly share their gratitude stories. Plus: Advent devotional recommendations.
Gratitude & Giveaways part 2. Hear stories of gratitude from PCOM members Dennis Hirschberg and Kelly Colvin on God's faithfulness. Discover wisdom in a world that seems chaotic from a martyred faith leader. Hear Jesus' reminder to look for the signs of what is right and true and good. Plus: recommendations for Advent devotionals as we look toward that season of holy longing. And remember: it's not too late to send YOUR stories of gratitude in to the podcast! (And win a free book!) Matthew 11 Advent by Fleming Rutledge Watch for the Light, a devotional guide Silence and Other Surprising Invitations of Advent by Enuma Okoro
November 17, 2020
Win a free book! Practice gratitude! Celebrate in a cranberry bog! (Wait... what?)
Gratitude & Giveaways Part 1. Stories of small gratitudes and how they can transform us from the inside out. Plus, a book recommendation and wisdom from Colossians. Seven Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude from Forbes Magazine Beholding and Becoming by Ruth Chou Simons Happy Now - Pastor Courtney's new book (out August, 2021) Colossians 3:17
November 10, 2020
Jeff Given explores the hymn "Great Is Thy Faithfulness"
It is election day here in the US, but that's not really what we're talking about. Not really. Perhaps an old song has something for us. Perhaps we can sing it together.
November 03, 2020
One week until election day? Time to panic? Or is God calling us to something deeper?
We are taking a deep breath and drinking from the well of hope and peace. We are praying for our neighbors. We are sitting with the Psalms and singing blessings. As the PCOM Podcast series on politics draws to a close, we reflect on what's next. Plus: THERE IS A PCOM APP! I know, right? Exciting times. Richard Rohr on centering ourselves amidst the storm. (Thanks to April Rudge for sending it on!) Download the PCOM Connect App for Apple (click here) or Android (click here) The Pittsburgh Blessing Psalm 71
October 27, 2020
Fake news? How can you tell?
Checking your sources, spotting misinformation, and stopping the gossip train. Plus, Pastor Courtney nabs a plagiarizer, and inspiration from the book of Proverbs. Snopes Fact Checking Site Proverbs 1 The Osterholm Update podcast - Dr. Michael Osterholm, epidemiologist at CIDRAP (Center for Infectious Disease Research and Prevention) Magnatiles Children's Toy Fathom Mag Center Political Sources: The Argument - Ross Douthat and Michelle Goldberg on controversial issues (also available as a podcast) Center/Left Resources: The New York Times Politico The Hill National Public Radio The Atlantic BBC News The Washington Post Center/Right Resources: Ross Douthat and Esau McCaulley at the New York Times The National Review The Dispatch The Daily Wire The Federalist First Things The Economist
October 20, 2020
VOTE! Plus: special guest Wendy Bucknum, Mission Viejo City Council Member
Join us for a very special episode with longtime PCOM member and current Mission Viejo City Council Member Wendy Bucknum to chat about how and where to vote in 2020! Plus, comfort from the gentle Jesus in Matthew 11, praying for our politicians, and a countdown to the election. https://www.ocvote.com/ https://cityofmissionviejo.org/departments/city-clerk/election-information https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/polling-place
October 13, 2020
Jeff Given asks What is Worship?
As a kid, Jeff stood on tables at fast food restaurants and sang at the top of his lungs. And other examples of what our worship might look like.
October 06, 2020
The burden of leadership, lessons from a hate letter, and the kindness of God
Politics Part IV. Why keeping a kudos file can help keep a leader going. Praying for our local leadership. Plus: lessons from the book of James on why not many of us should seek to be teachers. (Hint: it's a hard gig!) Email addresses to send notes of encouragement: Saddleback Valley School Administrator: Dr. Crystal Turner Capistrano Unified School Administrator: Kirsten Vital PCOM Preschool Director Vanessa Renich PCOM Children's Director Stephanie Cleye PCOM Youth Director Matt Becerra Recommendations: Thou Shalt Not Be a Jerk by Eugene Cho Honoring God in Red or Blue by Amy Black
September 29, 2020
What are your hopes for our country? Campaigning in poetry - and hope.
PCOM Politics Pod Part III: idealism in American politics, from Emma Lazarus to Martin Luther King Jr. to Eugene Peterson. How can hope guide us? Plus, a wise word from James on true religion and the poet Scott Cairns on why paper training is so difficult for tortoises. Emma Lazarus's "The New Colossus" Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" Eugene Peterson's "Hope on the Line" James 1:27 The Barkley Marathon Matthew West's "Amen" Perfectly Human: Nine Months with Cerian by Sarah Williams Scott Cairns' "On Slow Learning"
September 22, 2020
Seeking wisdom in the political arena and listening well - even when we disagree.
PCOM Politics Pod Part II (say that five times fast!). Clearing our heads so we can listen well. Reading /listening to the news rather than watching it. Proverbs illuminates the need for wisdom. Plus, how disagreeing in love can help strengthen our positions and our faith. The Argument - Ross Douthat and Michelle Goldberg on controversial issues (also available as a podcast) The Greatest Showman movie The Greatest Showman workshop video The Osterholm Update podcast - Dr. Michael Osterholm, epidemiologist at CIDRAP (Center for Infectious Disease Research and Prevention) Center/Right Resources: Ross Douthat and Esau McCaulley at the New York Times The National Review The Dispatch The Daily Wire The Federalist First Things The Economist Center/Left Resources: The New York Times Politico The Hill National Public Radio The Atlantic BBC News The Washington Post
September 15, 2020
A Politics Podcast at PCOM (Is this really a good idea?)
Pastor Courtney on following Jesus into the choppy waters of politics, Pastor Daryl on 1 Peter's instruction to "honor the emperor," Pastor Tim Keller on the Christian call to engage in politics without accepting any party's entire platform, and loving each other well, even when we disagree. Rev. Dr. Tim Keller - "How Do Christians fit into the Two-Party System? They Don't." Marilynne Robinson's new novel Jack Marilynne Robinson's essays: The Death of Adam
September 08, 2020
Jeff Given on Racism and the *Profits - Part II
Some history, some chicken squawks, and hopefully some good fruit.
September 01, 2020
Pastor Courtney writes a fan letter, no-limit popsicle days, and praying for our politicians
Plus, unexpected gifts of a pandemic season, a guide to devotional guides (see what we did there?), and goodness from the Gospel of Matthew. NT Wright's "Philippians for Everyone" Carol Bechtel's "Interpretation Commentary on Esther" A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants Glorious Weakness by Alia Joy An Oral History of the Office by Brian Baumgartner
August 25, 2020
Pastor Courtney on whitewater hydraulics, pandemic wrinkles, and how the kingdom of God can look a lot like a swing set.
Plus, praying for our small business owners, Matthew 6, Psalm 42, breaking cycles of worry, and this week's recommendations. The Osterholm Update - Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, University of Minnesota (Dr. Michael Osterholm) November: Lincoln's Elegy at Gettysburg by Kent Gramm Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese, Pizza card game Matthew 6 Psalm 42
August 18, 2020
What's a blessing? Plus: pastoral arts and crafts fails, Horace Grant's goggles, and plague stories.
Examples of blessings and benedictions from Scripture. The New York Times Magazine's Decameron Project. The Last Dance - Michael Jordan documentary Jemar Tisby's The Color of Compromise
August 11, 2020
Jeff Given on Racism and the Prophets - PART I
The prophet Amos and the call to Abraham might still have something to say.
August 04, 2020
Ding Dong Donuts! Plus, our very first Q&A session
What month is it again? Pastor Courtney on loving our neighbors, lifting up our performers and encouraging our families. We introduce our first Q&A segment with a wonderful, thoughtful question on Matthew 1, Luke 3, and why Jesus' family lineage was so important (and so radically different in these two Gospels!). Have a question for the PCOM Podcast? Send it to Pastor Courtney: firstname.lastname@example.org
July 28, 2020
Christmas in July? Two Exciting Announcements, a Book Recommendation, and a Call to Prayer
A reading from Matthew 1, Alfred Lansing's great book "Endurance," a new podcast Q and A section (send me your questions!), an invitation to a Bible study, and staying connected across the miles.
July 21, 2020
Isolation or overwhelm? Fearless toddlers. And a challenge (and some tips!) to press in to Scripture.
Praying for those who are on the other end of the isolation or overwhelm spectrum. Setting ourselves up for Scriptural study success. Pastor Jackson's sermon text (Matthew 1:1-17). And a story about Pastor Courtney's 20-month-old daughter, who has decided she is invincible.
July 14, 2020
Jeff Given on Freedom and Belonging
Jesus tells a story about a kid who asks for his inheritance then splits. You may have heard it before.
July 07, 2020
Don't skip leg day! Maturing in prayer, emotionally healthy spirituality, and resources to encourage your soul
Books on Prayer Prayer by O. Hallesby Prayer: Living with God by Simon Tugwell Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero Podcasts Rev. John Ortberg - Menlo Church Sermons Rev. Tim Keller – Gospel in Life Sermons Woven Podcast The Leader’s Journey Podcast Fiction Recommendations Ordinary Grace by William Kent Kruger The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward This Week's Sermon Scriptures Galatians 3:26-29 1 Corinthians 11:17-26
June 30, 2020
Resources for the journey, sermon text reflections, justice and mercy, and a big announcement
Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry These Nameless Things by Shawn Smucker Andy Crouch's March article on ministering in the long haul Letter from a Birmingham Jail by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 51 Questions to start conversations around race and justice by Alicia Akins John 19 1 Corinthians 6
June 23, 2020
Pastor Jackson on books, faith, and redemption: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 5-25-20
Pastor Jackson shares the story behind his love of reading (it involves dishes and Little House on the Prairie!) and how narratives can help us through rocky seasons. Plus, he and Pastor Courtney each share five recommended reads from their favorites lists. And we wrap it all up with Psalm 91 and praying for our pastors and those in leadership in this stretching season. Psalm 91 Pastor Jackson's list: Under the Unpredictable Plant by Eugene Peterson The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene Crime and Punishment by Fedor Doestoevsky The Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren Father Elijah by Michael D. O'Brien Pastor Courtney's list: Silence by Shusako Endo Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler East of Eden by John Steinbeck Gilead by Marilynne Robinson Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
May 25, 2020
Jeff Given is afraid of bears! Psalm 27: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast 5-23-20
Jeff shares a story about his fears out in the wild while his gracious father, Dean Given reads from Psalm 27.
May 23, 2020
Author and therapist KJ Ramsey on God's grace amidst chronic suffering: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 5-22-20
"The object of our waiting is always God." We wrap up Mental Health awareness week on the PCOM podcast with brilliant and lovely author and therapist KJ Ramsey sharing the story of her new book "This Too Shall Last: Finding Grace When Suffering Lingers," describing how trauma can steal our tongues, and reveling in the hope of the Psalms. Plus, Psalm 126 and praying for the most vulnerable among us.
May 22, 2020
Dr. Holly Oxhandler on mental health warning signs + how to get help for yourself or others - The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast: 5-21-20
Associate Dean of the Baylor School of Social Work, Dr. Holly Oxhandler, on pandemic coping strategies, the pressures of this uncertain season, and what to do if we or someone we love is feeling suicidal. COVID Mental Health Support The Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (or text HOME to 741741) Email Pastor Courtney for a mental health referral Contact The Bridge Ministry for confidential spiritual care and prayer Perfectly Hidden Depression by Margaret Robinson Rutherford
May 21, 2020
Therapist Malaika Clelland on resilience, self-care, and the ties between disappointment and grief: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 5-20-20
Our own Malaika Clelland shares strategies for coping with disappointment, the importance of small acts of self-care (are you eating well? getting enough sleep? staying connected to friends?), and the importance of acknowledging our feelings, big and small. Plus, selections from Psalm 69 from The Message and praying for those who struggle with anxiety and depression. Email Pastor Courtney to confidentially request the list of counselors PCOM refers out to Request spiritual care and prayer from The Bridge Ministry The Anxiety Workbook
May 20, 2020
Therapist Robert Vore on caring for teenagers and young adults: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 5-19-20
Atlanta-based counselor specializing in adolescent mental health Robert Vore on ministering to our high schoolers, college students, and emerging adults. Robert's tips for helping teenagers and young adults cope with difficulty and disappointment: 1) Validate their emotions. Then, after calm is restored (minutes or hours or days later), challenge the harmful thoughts. 2) Facilitate safe social interactions whenever possible. A Zoom movie night, online social gaming, phone calls with friends, digital hangouts. 3) Lean into the context of your own setting and struggles. Don't just minister to your teen, also check in on how YOU are doing and make sure you aren't coming in hot or anxious to their struggles. Resources for further reading, from Robert (with notes!): The Teenage Brain by Frances Jensen // if folks are wanting to learn more about the neuroscience of adolescence but in a way that’s written to be understandable for parents (and by extension, people ministering to youth). Parenting a Teen Who Has Intense Emotions // this one is super practical, focusing on how to interact with adolescents The Stressed Years of Their Lives by B. Janet Hibbs & Anthony Rostain // I *highly* recommend this one for folks who work with your late high school/college-aged kids. The first few chapters in particular gives one of the best overviews of the current state of college kids (and the factors that go into that) that I’ve read. Under Pressure by Lisa Damour // focuses mostly on girls & anxiety, but still great [information for parents of any teenager]
May 19, 2020
Hymn History, "It Is Well," and Psalm 13: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 5-18-20
How some of the most well-loved hymns of the faith were written in remarkably difficult seasons of life. The history behind "It Is Well with My Soul," the echoes of heartache in the Psalms of lament, and praying for our listeners.
May 18, 2020
Jeff & Stephanie Given on Psalm 27 and Centering Prayer in OUTER SPACE! The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast 5-16-20
Jeff introduces two practical images that may help us enter into our practice of Centering Prayer.
May 16, 2020
Remembering God and Psalm 22: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 5-15-20
Is anyone else forgetting what day it is? Tips and tricks for remembering God when things are muddled. Plus, Psalm 22.
May 15, 2020
Poet and professor David Wright reads Psalm 32: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 5-14-20
Poet David Wright reads "Making Confession," "Local Talent," and Psalm 32. Plus, how the pandemic is affecting universities, staff, and students and how we can pray. Local Talent Lines from the Provinces
May 14, 2020
Author Marlena Graves reads Psalm 145 - The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 5-13-20
Marlena Graves, author of "A Beautiful Disaster" and the upcoming "The Way Up is Down" on falling in love with Scripture, the hard but oh-so-powerful lessons of desert seasons, and Psalm 145. Preorder "The Way Up is Down" at Hearts and Minds Bookstore, InterVarsity Press, or Amazon
May 13, 2020
Prayer walking and Psalm 117: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 5-12-20
Praying with our feet when we run out of words. Plus, Psalm 117.
May 12, 2020
Psalm 37 and praying for our friends: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 5-11-20
Exciting upcoming podcast guests (Marlena Graves! David Wright!), Psalm 37, and praying for our friends.
May 11, 2020
Jeff & Stephanie Given on Psalm 123: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast 5-9-20
Jeff Given talks Centering Prayer, Pineapple Guava Trees, and Belinda Carlisle!
May 09, 2020
Psalm 10 and an important announcement: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 5-8-20
What does God have to teach us when we come to the end of ourselves? Plus, lessons from Psalm 10. At the End of Ourselves, There is Grace (The Glorious Table Devotional)
May 08, 2020
Author Alicia Akins reads Psalm 77: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 5-7-20
Deep wisdom on rhythms of prayer (and easy tools!) for an upended season of life. Plus, how the church can care for singles, praying for international students currently stuck in the United States, and the grace of a rough season leaving us different than it found us. Psalm 77 The Single Ladies' Catechism
May 07, 2020
Author and humanitarian Dorcas Cheng-Tozun reads Psalm 90: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 5-6-20
Dorcas Cheng-Tozun on her new book about bringing light to the third world ("Let There D.Light"), outbreaks of violence against Asian-Americans, and how the church can help stand in solidarity with those who are hurting from some of the side effects of this global pandemic. Psalm 90 Let There D.Light Start, Love, Repeat
May 06, 2020
Jana Alayra, singer, songwriter, and friend to children everywhere, reads Psalm 90: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 5-5-20
Winsome worship leader Jana Alayra shares what first drew her into writing songs for children, what happens when your global tour gets cancelled, pivoting to virtual concerts, and learning more about God's great love when we realize how small we are. She also shares a gorgeous original song, "Day by Day." Plus: Jana has a free online concert TODAY at 2pm Pacific Time! Click here or here to watch and sing along!
May 05, 2020
Throwback Monday! A look back at where we were in mid-March, Psalm 95, and news about the week ahead
Enjoy a quick look back at where we were on March 17 at the very start of this pandemic. We'd just done our first livestream worship service, schools were newly closed, and lots of uncertainty lay ahead. And still - as always! - God was present. Psalm 95 New episodes resume tomorrow!
May 04, 2020
Making Confession with Psalm 51: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 5-3-20
Why does Scripture invite us to confess our sins not just to Jesus but to one another? Pastor Courtney shares a devotional centered around Psalm 51 and invites us into the spiritual practice of confession this morning.
May 03, 2020
Easten Given strikes again! Psalm 131: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast
Jeff Given walks us through the "simplest" of prayer practices - Contemplative Prayer - while Stephanie and Easten Given read Psalm 131.
May 02, 2020
Our 50th Episode! Psalm 50 and a call to pray for our neighbors: 5-1-20
Can you believe it's our 50th episode (and thus, our 50th day of "Safe at Home" guidelines?). No one saw this season coming, but Pastor Courtney shares her gratitude to be on this journey with each one of you. Plus, Psalm 50, preparing for worship, and praying for our actual neighbors.
May 01, 2020
Singer/songwriter Natalie Schlabs shares the power of music to hearten and heal: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 4-30-20
Natalie Schlabs shares her new single, talks about the faithfulness of local art and ministry, and reads a beautiful version of Psalm 139. Psalm 139 Listen to "Home is You," Natalie's new single Natalie's website
April 30, 2020
Shawn Smucker, author and novelist, on complexity and Christian hope: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast: 4-29-20
Author of Light from Distant Stars, Once We Were Strangers, and the upcoming These Nameless Things (comes out June 30th!) Shawn Smucker joins us to talk about creativity, Christian art, Psalms that dare to question God, and parenting in a pandemic. Psalm 77 Light from Distant Stars Once We Were Strangers Preorder These Nameless Things Shawn's podcast with his wife, Maile, on art and marriage - The Stories Between Us
April 29, 2020
College & Career Decisions with Ann Bergen (Plus, Isaiah 35!)
College & career specialist and PCOM Deacon Ann Bergen encourages high school seniors (and those who love them!) in this season with wise words of advice and hope. Plus, Isaiah 35 and praying for our high schoolers, their parents, and those who work in college admissions.
April 28, 2020
Author & Pastor Anna Woofenden reads Psalm 116: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 4-27-20
Author of the newly released "This is God's Table: Finding Church Beyond the Walls" shares how God brings hope out of unlikely places, how the churches she serves in Massachusetts are responding to the crisis, spiritual practices that can help get us through, and an excerpt from her beautiful book. Donate to South County Outreach's Food Bank This is God’s Table: Finding Church Beyond the Walls It can also be found here or here Read more from Anna Woofenden here.
April 27, 2020
Psalm 118: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 4-26-20
A call for donations to South County Outreach (our local food bank), a brief appearance by Boomer (the class parakeet), rejoicing in the day the Lord has made, and the complexity of the Psalms.
April 26, 2020
Jeff and Stephanie Given on Psalm 30: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast 4.25.20
"New life has not been cancelled"
April 25, 2020
Journalist Aarik Danielsen reads Psalm 86: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 4-24-20
Art & music editor for the Colombia Daily Tribune shares how his faith informs his writing, how we can pray for those working in journalism, why truth is so important, and ways we can support our local newspapers. Plus, Psalm 86 and what Andy Bernard from The Office has to teach us about the Imago Dei. A Four-Part Miniseries on Faith and Journalism, from Fathom Mag A Theology of The Office, from Think Christian Don't You Forget About Me (Coronavirus and The Breakfast Club), from Fathom Mag Subscribe to our local paper, the Orange County Register, here
April 24, 2020
Wilson Ellis shares Psalm 91: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 4-23-20
4-year-old Wilson Ellis shares Psalm 91:1-2 from memory and asks us to pray for the mommies, the daddies, and the doctors on this short but sweet episode of the PCOM Podcast.
April 23, 2020
Author Catherine McNiel reads Psalm 130 and an excerpt from "All Shall Be Well:" The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 4-22-20
Where is God when it's too foggy to see the next steps? Catherine McNiel reads from her book All Shall Be Well, talks about meeting God in desperate seasons, and shares wisdom from the wilderness. All Shall Be Well: Awakening to God's Presence Long Days of Small Things
April 22, 2020
Pastor Daryl reads Psalm 1: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast
Pastor Daryl on the hidden gifts of a unique season, reading novels, practicing Sabbath, and praying for those working in finance. Plus, praying through Psalm 1.
April 21, 2020
Courtney Hinshaw, Cypress Village Elementary Teacher of the Year, reads Psalm 27: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 4-20-20
Expert educator and 3rd grade teacher extraordinaire Courtney Hinshaw shares tips and tricks for parents helping their children learn at home, how to find God in the midst of the chaos, and a reminder that we're all in this together. She shares Psalm 27 and we pray for those working in education and those who are learning. (Pastor Courtney refers to her as "Irvine teacher of the year," but Courtney Hinshaw wants to be clear that it was for her individual school, not the district at large. Please forgive the error!) Psalm 27 Ramona Recommends - Courtney Hinshaw's reading + resource site Emotional Must-Have Picture Books
April 20, 2020
Psalm 50 and resources to learn more about the Psalms: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 4-19-20
Pastor Courtney shares some recommended resources on the Psalms, encourages us to pray for those who will be worshiping today, and we read Psalm 50 together. Psalm 50 Reflections on the Psalms by C.S. Lewis Psalms, the Prayer Book of the Bible by Dietrich Bonhoeffer Psalms for Everyone by John Goldingjay The Spirituality of the Psalms by Walter Bruggemann Everyday Psalms by Peter Santucci
April 19, 2020
Stephanie Given reads Psalm 13: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast 4-18-20
Jeff Given walks us through even MORE lament, post resurrection.
April 18, 2020
Jenny Kroger reads Psalm 46: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 4-17-20
High school senior Jenny Kroger talks about an upended graduation year. Hear how she's mourning the losses and finding hope, ways to pray for our seniors in high school, how our youth are blessing our older members, and a beautiful reading of Psalm 46.
April 17, 2020
Psalm 125: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 4-16-20
Dietrich Bonhoeffer on how we never pray alone, praying for our faithful delivery people, and Psalm 125. Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
April 16, 2020
Mary Smith reads Psalm 16: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 4-15-20
Elder for spiritual formation Mary Smith shares a call to daily, listening prayer, including the importance of setting a "cue" so we're reminded daily. Plus, Psalm 16 and praying for our seniors. Psalm 16
April 15, 2020
Psalm 124: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 4-14-20
Writer and theologian Hannah Anderson on the danger of conspiracy theories and the importance of expertise, praying for those who are grieving, and Psalm 124. Hannah Anderson's post The Center for Disease Control's Coronavirus Info Center The World Health Organization's COVID-19 Response Page
April 14, 2020
Psalm 147: The PCOM Daily Podcast - 4-13-20
Upcoming special guests (Mary Smith! Ray Irwin! Courtney Hinshaw! Jenny Kroger! Catherine McNiel!), the blessing of Eastertide, and Psalm 147.
April 13, 2020
Easter joy & Psalm 150: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 4-12-20
Encouragement from Frederich Buechner, the great joy of Easter, and Psalm 150.
April 12, 2020
Stephanie Given reads a song of lament, Psalm 88: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast 4-11-20
Stephanie and Jeff Given walk us through a Psalm of Lament on this Holy Saturday.
April 11, 2020
PCOM's Good Friday Radio Hour
Good Friday noon worship led by Pastor Dee Lilly, with music by Gene Roberson and a reading of Scripture by longtime PCOM Member Terry Jenkins.
April 10, 2020
Chris Blumhofer, New Testament Professor at Fuller Seminary, reads Psalm 131: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast for Good Friday - 4-10-20
Where is God when we're forced to wait? Why must we never call bad things good? Lessons from Jesus on Good Friday, brought to us by the deeply wise Visiting Assistant Professor of New Testament (and occasional PCOM guest preacher!) Chris Blumhofer. Plus, praying for our educators, and those who have been drafted into home education in this unique season. C.S. Lewis - "Learning in War Time." Psalm 131 set to music - Waterdeep Psalm 131 set to music - Sandra McCracken
April 10, 2020
Pastor Courtney reads from Psalm 119 on Maundy Thursday: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 4-9-20
Praying for our tech workers and volunteers, the meaning behind Maundy Thursday, an encouragement to love and serve one another however we can with what we have right where we are, and a reading from Psalm 119. Psalm 119 Vanderbilt Divinity School's Revised Common Lectionary Resource
April 09, 2020
Pastor Courtney reads Psalm 70: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 4-8-20
Praying for the poor and those struggling financially, the Wednesday of Betrayal, updates on Holy Week, and Psalm 70. Psalm 70 Bread & Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter
April 08, 2020
Kendall Kennedy, Nick Nolan, and Psalm 117: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 4-7-20
High school juniors Kendall Kennedy and Nick Nolan share their idea for a new and vital ministry at PCOM, the courage of following Jesus, and how we can be praying for our teenagers during the coronavirus crisis. Plus, Pastor Courtney reads the short and sweet Psalm 117. Psalm 117 Click here to request grocery assistance (or offer grocery assistance!)
April 07, 2020
ER Doctor Ian Ellis reads Psalm 91: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 4-6-20
Emergency Room doctor Ian Ellis fills us in on everything from face masks to virus shedding, including how we can help care for our neighbors, pray for our medical professionals, and remember that Jesus is Lord, even in the storm. Psalm 91 Ian's sneeze video - why wearing a mask can help keep us all safer DIY sewing face masks Where to donate N95 respirator masks in Orange County
April 06, 2020
A Palm Sunday reading of Psalm 5: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 4-5-20
Pastor Courtney reads Psalm 5, shares some wisdom from theologian Edna Hong on returning, again and again, to the cross during Lent. Plus, a preview of some exciting upcoming special guests (Emergency Room Doc Ian Ellis! New Testament professor Chris Blumhofer!) and some notes on our Palm Sunday worship. Psalm 5
April 05, 2020
Jeff Given reads from Psalm 139: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast 4-4-20
Today we let the "third way" response we found in the Welcoming Prayer (neither avoidance or aggression) point us toward Jesus' invitation to love even our enemies.
April 04, 2020
Emily Wood reads Psalm 130: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 4-3-20
Brilliant musician Emily Wood shares how we can prayer for artists and musicians, what happens when a graduate program in music moves completely online, the silver linings in the midst of the storm, and how music practices can bless and embolden us. Plus, an original song written and performed by Emily, and a prayer from Psalm 130. Psalm 130 Opera Livestreams from the Met Digital Concert Hall's Livestream Voces8 Early Music America
April 03, 2020
Malaika Clelland reads Psalm 62: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast 4-2-20
Licensed clinical social worker (and registered play therapist!) Malaika Clelland joins us to talk about healthy coping strategies, tools of the trade, online therapy, getting outside, and her prayer for our nation. Psalm 62 Malaika Clelland: The Nest Family Therapy
April 02, 2020
Psalm 4: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 4-1-20
Pastor Courtney reads Psalm 4, plus words of wisdom from Catherine McNiel's book "All Shall Be Well," prayers for our widows and widowers, and updates on virtual Holy Week. All Shall Be Well by Catherine McNiel Psalm 4
April 01, 2020
Psalm 6: The PCOM Daily Podcast - 3-31-20
Pastor Courtney reads Psalm 6, plus N.T. Wright on lament, a poem by Thomas Curtis Clark (shared by longtime PCOM member Bob Everett), and happy birthday to Wilson! Psalm 6 Christianity Offers No Answers to the Coronavirus. It's Not Supposed To. N.T. Wright in Time Magazine Hymn writer and poet Thomas Curtis Clark
March 31, 2020
Sonia Justl Ellis reads Psalm 100: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 3-30-20
Wisdom from Emergency Room doctor's wife, Sonia Justl Ellis, on how we can pray for those on the front lines. Why we're short of equipment like ventilators in the United States, what type of masks doctors need most, and what the average layperson can do to help the most. Psalm 100 Mortality vs. Morbidity by Ian Ellis, Emergency Room Doctor Flattening the Curve
March 30, 2020
Psalm 92: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast
Praying for those on the front lines by name, a reminder that it's okay (and important!) to keep laughing, and Psalm 92, read by Pastor Courtney. Clergy Bloopers from online services Psalm 92
March 29, 2020
Easten Given shares from Matthew 11: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 3-28-20
Easten Given leads us in Matthew 11:28-30, plus Stephanie and Jeff Given walk us through The Welcoming Prayer: Welcome, welcome, welcome. I welcome everything that comes to me in this moment because I know it is for my healing. I welcome thoughts, feelings, emotions, persons, situations and conditions. I let go of my desire for security. I let go of my desire for approval. I let go of my desire for control. I let go of my desire to change any situation, condition, person, or myself. I open to the love and presence of God and the healing action and grace within. -This version of the prayer courtesy of Contemplative Outreach
March 28, 2020
Psalm 76: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 3-27-20
Pastor Courtney reads Psalm 76, plus prayers for the sick, exciting upcoming podcast guests, and ancient words of wisdom from church leaders who have lived in times of plague. Martin Luther's "Whether One May Flee From A Deadly Plague" (1527 A.D.) "Against Heresies" from Bishop Irenaeus (200 A.D.)
March 27, 2020
Pastor Courtney reads Psalm 87: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 3-36-20
Wise words from C.S. Lewis, songs to encourage and bless, prayers for our food service workers, and a reminder about our new PCOM Family website where you can connect to offer help or receive it. We're all in this together, friends! Psalm 87 Sparrows and Lillies - Pat Barrett Isaiah 43 - Jeff Given We Will Feast - Sandra McCracken "On Living in an Atomic Age" by C.S. Lewis
March 26, 2020
Pastor Courtney reads Psalm 43: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 3-25-20
What role do creativity and beauty have in times of difficulty? A call to pray for the leaders of our nation, our state, and our community. Plus, a few links to stories of the arts in anxious times that just might lift your spirit. Pastor Courtney reads Psalm 43 today. A virtual art opening by textile artist Michelle Montjoy at LUX JG's Reptile show (great for kids!) San Clemente pianist serenades her neighbors
March 25, 2020
Maddi Hundley reads Psalm 61: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 3-24-20
College student Maddi Hundley had her freshman year at the University of Utah cut unexpectedly short. How can we be supporting and praying for our college students, where is God in the midst of disorienting times, and what Psalm is giving her hope today? Psalm 61
March 24, 2020
Pastor Courtney reads Psalm 18: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 3-23-20
A prayer for our scientists and researchers working to stop this nasty virus, a reminder to reach out to the widows, widowers, and singles who may be feeling the isolation in particularly acute ways, and a prayer from Hebrews 12 that God would help us strengthen muscles we haven't used in awhile--muscles like staying put, being creative, and being still. Psalm 18 The Doctor Who Helped Stop Smallpox Explains What’s Coming The Hammer and the Dance: Stopping Coronavirus
March 23, 2020
Pastor Courtney reads Psalm 16: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 3-22-20
Stop the pandemic, I want to get off! A reminder that God is with us in this journey, Lynn Ungar's poem "Pandemic," a reminder about our Sunday worship service (connect here!) and wisdom from Psalm 16.
March 22, 2020
Jeff and Stephanie Given read Psalm 23: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast - 3-21-20
Who are these new voices hosting the pod today? It's Jeff and Stephanie Given! Jeff directs our AWAKE worship service (and performed our podcast music!) reading Psalm 23. Plus, a story from Lloyd Ogilvie, wisdom from Jeff's dad, clinical psychologist Dean Given, and a word of comfort in the midst of fear. Pastor Courtney returns as host tomorrow. Jeff has graciously agreed to be our new regular Saturday host because he's just that awesome! Psalm 23
March 21, 2020
MV City Council Member Wendy Bucknum & Psalm 71: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast, 3-20-20
City Council Member (and longtime PCOM-er) Wendy Bucknum on what the city is doing to protect the health and safety of our people, the importance of supporting local businesses in creative ways (food delivery! buying gift cards online!), where to go for local updates, and how to pray for those on the front lines. Plus, Pastor Courtney shares Psalm 71 and closes us in prayer. Psalm 71 City of Mission Viejo COVID-91 Information Creative Ways to Support Local Businesses During Coronavirus
March 20, 2020
Paul Belcher reads Psalm 100: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast
Pastor Courtney's dad weighs in on God's lessons in times of uncertainty, being thankful for each breath, and the love of God that extends throughout all generations. Psalm 100 Philippians 4:4-6 Best Vince Lombardi quotes
March 19, 2020
April Rudge reads Psalm 138: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast
April Rudge, educator, music teacher, Bridge minister, and all-around-awesome human, joins us to read Psalm 138, share prayers that are boosting her spirits, describe the ways music can bring us together (even while we're under a lockdown in Orange County!), and how God meets us in grief, big and small. (Scroll down to see the show notes with lots of links and goodies!) Psalm 138 The Orange County Emergency Health Measures The Metropolitan Opera's free live stream The Serenity Prayer Then Sings My Soul: 150 of the World's Greatest Hymn Stories In honor of St. Patrick's Day: "An Irish Blessing" and "A Clare Benediction" Music Together's Hello Everybody App ( 8 Welcome Songs, Karaoke, and an eBook sing a Long Storybook) Virtual Piano Keyboards Piano Chords & Scales
March 18, 2020
Psalm 1: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast, March 17, 2020
When anxiety rises, what's a person to do? Clues from breath prayers, poet Jane Kenyon, WWII Christian Corrie Ten Boom, and Psalm 1.
March 17, 2020
Psalm 95 (again!): The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast, March 16, 2020
Online worship around the world, Italians singing from balconies, a poem by Richard Hendrick about the music of this unique season, and (just to make you smile) the groceries NO one is panic buying. Join us to pray Psalm 95 together. Pastor Katie Nix at Grace United Methodist Church in St. Louis. Pastor Steve Yamaguchi at Union Presbyterian Church in Tokyo. Our worship service from yesterday. Groceries no one is panic buying. A poem by Father Richard Hendrick - "Lockdown" Neighbors singing to neighbors under lockdown in Italy. Psalm 95
March 16, 2020
Psalm 23: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast, Sunday, March 15, 2020
Encouragement from God's people offering help in creative ways, a note from a wise Wheaton College professor, and Psalm 23 read by Wilson Ellis, age 3. Show notes: "When Loving Your Neighbor Means Staying Home" by Esau McCaulley, Wheaton College professor, in the New York Times Psalm 23 PCOM's worship livestream
March 15, 2020
Psalm 95: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast, Saturday, March 14, 2020
News about our online worship for this Sunday, a poem about the strength of God's love by Denise Levertov, and a morning Psalm with Pastor Courtney.
March 14, 2020
Psalm 91: The PCOM Daily Prayer Podcast
Postponing in-person worship? Closing down campus events? Coronavirus pandemic? I HAVE FEELINGS ABOUT THIS. Good thing God is here for our deepest feelings, be they frustration, grief, fear, anger, or anything in between. Tune in to our new, 10-minute daily prayer PCOM podcast with Pastor Courtney and a variety of guests. Today we hear from Pastor Daryl, talk about the beauty of both collective worship and church beyond its walls, and read through Psalm 91.
March 13, 2020
Kristy Vetter on grief, vulnerability, and Jesus
Longtime PCOM member (and Sunday School teacher, former Women's Ministries coordinator, dentist, mom, sister, ballroom dancer, and more!) Kristy Vetter shares her walk down a path no one wants to tread - the death of a spouse. Where is Jesus in grief, how can the church support those who suffer such a significant loss, and what is the balance between vulnerability and keeping things close? For more information on the Grief Recovery program or the Bridge Ministry that Kristy mentions, contact Pastor Courtney or the church office. We'd love to help get you connected with that type of support. PCOM also offers regular AA meetings.
March 04, 2020
Dwight Woodruff, Elder for Buildings and Grounds, on grief, loss, and hope
"There was still life to be lived and still church and community and God to be served." Lessons from 48 years of marriage, the loss of a wife, daughter, and son all within fifteen years, and the decision to walk with Jesus through the valleys of life as well as the joys. Dwight Woodruff is our current Elder for Buildings & Grounds, a longtime member of the PCOM Choir, an avid reader, former Air Force serviceman, and is currently working on a memoir of his life.
February 19, 2020
Mary Smith, Co-Elder for Spiritual Formation on Growth, Transformation, and Community
What happens when God surprises us in ancient ways? Retired librarian Mary Smith is a pro storyteller with a wonderful tale of God, fellowship, and stepping out in faith. If you'd like to get connected with a men's or women's Spiritual Growth group, or for more information on spiritual practices, contact a pastor or the church office - we'd love to help you get started on a transformative journey of your own!
February 05, 2020
Pastors Jackson, Daryl, and Courtney on the sacraments
What is the Lord's Supper and who is welcomed to the table? Why do we baptize infants? What are the sacraments, essentials, and distinctives of the faith we practice here at Presbyterian Church of the Master? I'm so glad you asked! Join our pastors for a spirited conversation on why we do what we do.
January 22, 2020
Kristen Cerfogli, Sunday School Coordinator
One vitally important (and super easy!) thing parents can do to help raise their children in the faith, why so many teenagers and young adults wander from the church for a season, and why historical novels are the best kind (it's true!). Plus, lessons of daily bread, daily trust, and daily joy from our Sunday School Coordinator and longtime PCOM member Kristen Cerfogli.
January 08, 2020
Kelly Kroger, Elder for Youth
What do brownies, ping pong, and an open door have to do with youth ministry? Just about everything! Former radio DJ Kelly Kroger does the traffic report (yes, really!) and shares her story of God's faithfulness at PCOM, from Vacation Bible School silliness to digging deep in the faith and beyond.
December 11, 2019
Kassy Najm - Lessons on Faith and Prayer from a Coma
What happens when a 24-year-old ends up in a medically induced coma immediately after giving birth? How can we pray when it looks like our plans might not be God's? What does it look like to ask for a miracle? Join us for a truly incredible story of God's faithfulness from longtime PCOM member Kassy Najm, just in time for Thanksgiving.
November 27, 2019
Dakota Shyres, Associate Youth Director
Who rocks at junior high ministry AND extreme cycling classes? This girl. Hear about Dakota's passion for helping kids fall in love with Jesus, the secret to building a successful program (hint: more Jesus), her seminary studies, and why coffee makes the world go round.
November 13, 2019
Jon Mooney, Sunday School teacher extraordinaire
A beloved Sunday School teacher talks about helping kids (and adults!) fall in love with Jesus, the gifts of evangelism, and his own story of coming to faith later in life. (And a bit about gardening, too!)
October 30, 2019
Children's Director Stephanie Cleye on the joy of helping children discover Jesus' love for them
Stephanie Cleye, PCOM's Children's Ministries Director, shares stories of God at work in the lives of our children, parents, and families, and tells us about some exciting upcoming ministry events.
October 30, 2019
Pastor Jackson Clelland on the strength found in silence and rest, God's kindness, and what's next for PCOM
Pastor Jackson shares about his sabbatical, finding God in new rhythms of silence, prayer, and Scripture reading, traveling to Italy, missing home, and what's next for PCOM
October 02, 2019
Vision, stewardship, and building a church with Greg McClure, Elder for Finance
Greg McClure talks about his Canadian roots, painting a vision for the future, why giving is good for the soul, and how healthy thinking about stewardship can transform more than just our finances.
September 18, 2019
Career, vocation, college and faith with Ann Bergen.
Ann Bergen, former elder for Communications and College & Career Advisor at Laguna Beach High School, describes God's unique call to each of us to pursue knowledge, use our gifts, and serve in the world.
September 11, 2019
Truth, lament, and celebration in worship with Director of Awake Worship Jeff Given
What elements does a worship service need to be faithful? Why are both lament and celebration important? How can music help us reflect upon truth? And why is a guy who grew up in Santa Barbara such a die-hard Philadelphia Eagles' fan? Get to know Jeff Given, Director of Awake Worship, meat-cooking-vegetarian, and musician extraordinaire.
August 27, 2019
Joining Jesus in the lives of teens with Youth Director Matt Becerra
Youth Director, loud laugher, and Scrabble-master Matt Becerra on what draws teenagers to Jesus, what brought him to PCOM, how having fun has a deeper purpose, and his famous tattoo (you'll recognize it!).
August 21, 2019
Welcoming guests to worship with Membership & Hospitality Elder Nadine Wardwell
Why welcoming guests, visitors, and strangers is the heartbeat of the Gospel, and what we can learn from God's gift of hospitality.
August 12, 2019
Director of Admin. Carol Marleau on the good, hard lessons of trust.
Carol Marleau on how listening well can change a life, the hard lessons of trust, and coming to faith early--and again later--in life.
July 23, 2019
Spiritual Formation Elder Linda Payne shares stories of God at work around the world.
Mission, miracles, and how a knock on the door forever changed her life. Elder Linda Payne on the work of God in the world and the joys of participating in the kingdom.
July 17, 2019
Preschool Director Vanessa Renich on why play is good for both the brain and the soul.
Get to know Vanessa Renich, the creative mind behind PCOM Preschool, learn what makes her tick, and discover why play is good for both the brain and the soul.
July 04, 2019
Pastor Daryl Ellis on the joys of joining Jesus on his mission.
Get to know Pastor Daryl Ellis, his heart for Jesus, how he came to faith, how many years passed between him asking his wife Courtney out on a date and her finally saying yes (!), and what he's most excited about as PCOM continues on mission.
June 24, 2019