Band Names

The pastor of my church asked for input on what to call our church music group. We feel like we ought to have a name for our band. Here were the suggestions that he started out with: Facebook Poll: Help us name our Worship Team at Crooked Creek Baptist. So far the suggestions are (in [Read More...]

Ash Wednesday

Tonight was the first time I’ve experienced Ash Wednesday celebrated at a Baptist church. My own church, Crooked Creek Baptist Church, was the host to an interfaith Ash Wednesday service, a multi-congregation and multi-denomination celebration, featuring our own Rev. Tom Bartley as well as Rev. L. Bryant Parker of Witherspoon Presbyterian, Rev. Kevin Bausman of Immanuel [Read More...]

Can a Church Be Too Inviting?

My church, Crooked Creek Baptist Church, is a friendly and welcoming one. We would, however, prefer that visitors park their cars in the parking lot and enter on foot… These are photos another church member took on Sunday morning. I'm guessing they are self-explanatory…   [Read more...]

Jazzy Christmas Music for Piano

I made some recordings, when practicing before church today, of music I would be playing during the service. The first is a jazz arrangement of “Angels We Have Heard On High,” arranged by Phillip Keveren (published in the volume Yuletide Jazz): The second is a medley from the “Charlie Brown Christmas Special” which I played [Read More...]

Weapon of Prayer

Bluegrass at Crooked Creek Baptist Church. That’s not our usual style. That’s me on the guitar on the left – which is not my usual instrument. I have scoffed at claims that the election of Barack Obama signaled the approach of the apocalypse. I’ve viewed similarly the doom and gloom predictions related to Disney buying LucasFilm and [Read More...]

Undead (Guest Post by Rev. Tom Bartley)

Rev. Tom Bartley reviews the book Undead by Clay Morgan, which in its exploration of zombies and vampires, and the stories of raising the dead to life in the Bible, turns out to be more about life than it is about death. [Read more...]

Happy 175th Anniversary, Crooked Creek Baptist Church!

Yesterday my church, Crooked Creek Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana, in the United States, celebrated its 175th anniversary. There was a special program book about the church’s history, including drawings of the early log cabin building, and a bookmark insert with a list of the pastors that have served the congregation. The service incorporated guest [Read More...]

Without Fear And Trembling

One of the recent conservative commenters on my blog decided to write to my pastor to make sure that he is aware of the sorts of views I have. He is (he regularly attends my Sunday school class, as well as being someone I’ve talked to often in other less formal settings). This occurrence got [Read More...]


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