When I think of what it means to truly love ones congregation as a pastor I remember a wonderful pastor friend who lived next door to us while we were in seminary. Steve was getting his Phd here and him and his family had to be the sweetest of folks we had ever met in our lives. Steve was someone I’d turn to if I was stuck on some pressing theological question or if I had a question about the ordination process within the PCUSA. He was also someone who practiced the art of pastoral care by his very presence. When Deb was pregnant with our third little guy, we made it to the hospital, and got Deb checked into her room. As the night went on, the doctors had told us that she would need a C-section. They rolled her into the operating room at the hospital and I followed right behind her. As I was waiting for someone to bring me into the operating room with Deb, I noticed someone reading a newspaper near one of the doors to the entrance of the operating room. It was Steve. By his simple presence, both Deb and I felt loved and we knew that Steve was there to not only show his care, but to pray. As the nurse put on my mask, gown, and little hospital shoes, and then rushed me into the operating room to watch the C section, I felt that the Lord was very much with us. Loving your church means doing the simplest of things for those within the life of the church. Even it means just being present.

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