Liturgy for Pentecost

I started a new course called “Reformed Worship” at Fuller Theological Seminary last week. This week we learned about what worship is and what being “called” to worship is all about. For our assignment this week, we were asked to select/design a call to worship, opening prayer, and hymn. I chose to design a service for Pentecost. My prayer is from the Book of Common Worship and my hymn is from El Hímnario Presbiteriano. Overall, I really enjoy learning about Reformed worship and liturgy design. I think it would be neat if a pastor taught a class on worship design and then asked different families from the congregation to design the liturgy for several weeks during ordinary time.


A Service for the Day of Pentecost


Call to Worship (written by myself from Psalm 104:24-35)

(Leader) O Lord, how manifold are your works!

(All) You fill us with good things.

(Leader) Send forth your spirit!

(All) You renew all of your creation.

(Leader) May the glory of the Lord endure forever.

(All) We will sing praises to God as long as we live.

(Leader) May our meditations be pleasing to him, for we rejoice in the Lord.

(All) Bless the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord!


Opening Prayer

God our creator, earth has many languages,

but your gospel proclaims your love

to all nations in one heavenly tongue.

Make us messengers of the good news

that, through the power of you Spirit,

all the world may unite in one song of praise;

through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever. Amen.


Opening Hymn

182 Santo, Espíritu de Dios


Clinical Pastoral Education aka Boot Camp for Pastors

hospital chaplaincy

More and more seminaries and denominations are requiring clinical pastoral education in hospital settings. Whether it is required for you or not, I HIGHLY recommend CPE for all future pastors and church program staff members. Here are a few things a CPE student can hope to take away from their experience:

1) Cultural Sensitivity Training

Hospital chaplains are required to serve all patients, to the best of their abilities, regardless of their cultural, ethnic, or religious background. Clinical Pastoral Education is not about proselytizing; it is about pastoral care.  Do you know the communication styles or superstitions of various Asian cultures? Or death and burial rituals for Gypsy clans? What about offering sacraments for Catholic families or chanting resources for Buddhists? What about the needs of Hindu or Muslim patients? At the end of CPE, you will be well-versed on providing care for patients of all types while also maintaining integrity and honoring your own faith tradition.

2) Self-Development and Awareness

CPE students will choose a learning or spiritual theme that they would like to explore during their term based on their personal lives. This learning theme will be explored in relationship to self, to the group, and to the hospital patients and staff. Throughout the experience, Chaplains will reflect and work on themselves with the assistance of individual supervision and group process. The learning environment will be a safe place to share about the truth of one’s life. Examples of learning themes might be: “living with guilt”, “taking risks”, “accepting change”, “seeking hope”, etc. Additionally, the group process and verbatim process with help serve as a venue for building self-awareness as well as giving and receiving constructive feedback.

3) Pastoral Care Skills

Death, grieving, denial, anger, and mourning will all be regularly encountered in your patient, staff, and family visits. In CPE, you will learn how to provide compassionate care for an individual or family in crisis that will hopefully leave them walking away with a sense that they mattered and that they were cared for.

4) Confidence for Practical Ministry

As students near the end of their seminary programs, some begin to realize that while they have learned a lot of theory they still are lacking in many key practical skills. Some are paralyzed by fear of failure and worry that they are unprepared for ministry. However, one of the best outcomes of CPE is confidence for practical ministry. In this learning environment, one will be well equipped to take authority when necessary, facilitate discussions, discover resources, lead prayers, manage multiple crises,  and more. All of my colleagues left CPE feeling much more prepared to be spiritual leaders wherever they went. As a young person, this was especially valuable for me as I often struggled with wondering if older adults would recognize me as a leader or person of wisdom in their midst.


What are your questions about Clinical Pastoral Education?

What To Do With All Your Seminary Text Books

About half-way through my first year in seminary, I had to purchase an additional bookcase for all the resources I was collecting. Not long after, we began to feel like we were drowning in the multitude of books from both our graduate programs. Here is a simple guide to help you decide what to keep, purge, and sell.

seminary books



Here is what I generally recommend you should keep if entering pastoral ministry:

  • Commentaries
  • Dictionaries
  • Theological classics
  • Writing guides or manuals
  • Biblical languages references


  • Introductory or broad theological texts
  • Church history books you know you will never read again
  • Biographies you are done with
  • Crappy devotional books given to you by well-meaning supporters
  • Outdated denominational books, old Book of Orders, etc


Don’t live in the fear that if you sell a book you will never be able to find what you need from it again. First search the internet for whatever issue or quote you are looking for and then if you are unable to find it consider purchasing it again. At least you will know that it is something you will need for the long-term. Everything else leftover should be listed at,, or Hopefully, you will earn back hefty chunk of change that will help you pay off your loans, move to a new call, etc.


What books or resources are must-keeps for you?

Resources For Women Church Planters

Many have called church planting the “last frontier” for women in ministry. Sadly, most of the resources and funding are geared towards men at this time. However, I am hopeful for the future and seeing more women each year being embraced for their gifts and callings. If you do a quick Google search, you will quickly find there is little that addresses or serves women church planters which has inspired me to write this post as a resource to women discerning this specific calling. Please continue below to find helpful articles, funding, conferences, networks and more. I also have included a list of networks that you should not waste your time on as they do not support women in ministry. Read on and remember that you can do anything God has called you to!

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MaryKate Morse- How Women Plant Churches

The Final Church Barrier for Women- Church Planter


Funding is one of the trickiest barriers a woman church planter may face. Generally, the best bet for funding comes from a mix of friend and family support, individual church support, and denominational funding. However, I believe that this challenge should not stop a woman from planting, instead she may need to get creative and find funding elsewhere. One option is start a separate non-profit or business that is eligible for grant funding.


I’m not a huge fan of church planting assessments for women as they compare your data against mostly men since women have not been widely church planting. However, here are a few assessments you can take if you are curious about your aptitude against other church planters. Just remember that your test results are not conclusive as to whether you will be successful or not.

Denominations/Networks Who Support Women Church Planters:

PCUSA (Presbyterian Church USA), ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church), ECC (Evangelical Covenant Church), UMC (United Methodist Church), some AG (Assemblies of God), Vineyard

State/Region Specific:


Don’t waste your time with the following networks and denominations who DO NOT fund or support women church planters: Stadia, Acts29, LCMS (Lutheran Church Missouri Synod), PCA (Presbyterian Church of America)


If you have any other good links or resources that could benefit women church planters, please share them in the comments section and I will continue to update this page! Blessings on your journey!