Holy Spirit: Strengthen, Empower, and Sustain

June 5th, 2024 by Carl Buffington

Is confirmation for you? Read on to learn about confirmation: what it is, what it's for, and whether you should be confirmed.

What is Confirmation?  

Confirmation is a service for those of us who were baptized as infants to make our own, mature and public, decision to follow Jesus with the blessing of the laying on of hands by a bishop.  

The laying on of hands is for the imparting of the Spirit to serve; to minister as Jesus did.

I got confirmed at the age of nine.  My reason was clear and simple, I wanted to be an acolyte, wear a red cassock and white surplice, and serve at the altar on Sundays.  

But that’s not a good reason to get confirmed.  

A good reason to have a bishop lay hands on you and pray for the Holy Spirit to strengthen, empower, and sustain you is for an equipping to do ministry.  

It’s the way God has always done it.

Pentecost: A First Step

May 17th, 2024 by Carl Buffington

Pentecost - What’s it all about?  

I remember my first step.

Pentecost: My First Step

Okay, here’s the scene:

I was the lone clergyman in a rather large New England church. I had spent two years at the post. 

I was fixing coffee and hard-boiled eggs for our monthly clergy meeting, which was for priests from local churches.

You need to know that the eggs symbolized these meetings, which were usually filled with hard-boiled and stale arguments about high and low churchmanship.

I heard the speaker mention the Holy Spirit.

Seriously, I thought, I spent three years studying in seminary and two years as a curate in this New England church. Why had I not heard of this Holy Spirit before now?  

Shell Alive!

March 10th, 2024 by Carl Buffington

Shall We Shell?

My wife Barb is an avid sheller and gifted shell finder. I'm her assistant. Of course, Sanibel is notorious for its shells, but then, we are not in the shell hot zone of Sanibel. 

We stay at a place called ''Tween Waters. It's between Sanibel and Captiva Islands. 

That's' not to say the shelling there isn't good. It is...just not as good.

 Not to grumble, but we have oodles of glass containers, even a rather large one shaped like a fish, all around our home filled with seashells. We even have framed shells on our walls, along with prints of shells framed on the walls.

We are beach people.  

Today, the last day of our five-day vacation together, we walked and talked about how shells remind us of just how great our Creator is.

What Can We Learn from Children?

May 12th, 2022 by Sara Buffington

Have you ever sat in a restaurant booth?  It’s like being in a little pod. You are so close to the people in the booths beside you, but they feel a mile away. You feel enclosed; you have privacy.

Not so if there is a young child in the booth next to you. Kids don’t respect the privacy of the booth. They stand or kneel on the booth seat and peer over the top to see what their neighbors are doing.

They outright stare. 

You are eating your shrimp tacos and chatting with the people in your party, and the neighboring child is watching every move you make. They don’t smile when you smile. They don’t wave when you wave. 

They watch you.

Uncovering Little Known Stories on Holy Week

April 14th, 2022 by Dr. Larry Selig

Do you know all there is to know about Holy Week?

Delve a little deeper as I walk you through some little-known stories about the events of Holy Week.

It might change your whole perspective!

Living Life to the Fullest This Lent

April 7th, 2022 by Erica Stephenson

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 10:28 

It was the summer of 2020 when these words from Jesus penetrated my heart differently than they had before. Was it really true that Jesus was saying that I just needed to be weary and to be carrying heavy burdens to receive this rest? 

I was about to put this new question to the test.

Just Walk Away This Lent

March 29th, 2022 by Nancy Lambert

What would you grab if your house was on fire? 

Many people asked me that question after my house burned down on Christmas of 1989. 

“What did you grab?” people inquired as they painfully thought of all the things they would grab on the way out of the house. 

These were things they couldn’t live without.

Before I answer that question, let me take a minute to give you background on this story.

Running on Empty

March 21st, 2022 by Barb Buffington

Have you ever looked down at your gas gauge and thought, Uh oh! The orange light is on and looks like the tank is on Empty!

Moving along on fumes to get the gas station usually works, but there was one time (that I will admit) when Carl and I did indeed run out of gas and had to walk home. 

Granted, it was just about a mile walk, but when you’re wearing heels and it’s a hot Florida summer night, that can be a long walk! An empty gas tank is an easy “empty” to fix – go get the gas can, fill the tank, and you are back in business.

Personal emptiness is so much more difficult than an empty gas tank.

The Meaning of Lent

March 18th, 2022 by Abigail Buffington

Several weeks ago, I attended the funeral of my boyfriend’s grandfather, a dearly beloved old man. On the back of the bulletin, his wife chose to inscribe one of their favorite quotes, which  she thought fitting:

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world could ever satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” - C.S. Lewis

When I noticed the quote, I stared at it for a whole minute in surprise. For several years, since I first read it, this has been one of my favorite lines, and it echoes in my head quite often. This spring, more often than usual. 

Do You Like Lent?

March 11th, 2022 by Sara Buffington

"I don't like Lent."

Who said that? Full disclosure: I did.

Is that even allowed?  Before you decide one way or the other, ask yourself this: Do you like Lent?

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