Contributor: Jordan Shaw

The Rev. Jordan G. Shaw is currently Pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in Farmington, Maine, where he lives with his wife, Lucy and the best dog around, Chewie. In addition he is pursuing a Master of Science in Couples and Family Therapy at Plymouth State University. You can connect with him on Facebook

Small Church Magic

A number of years ago I found myself sitting in an auditorium, surrounded by colleagues, listening to a speaker talk about church growth. It was not the first time I had found myself in this situation: A speaker from an urban center telling people in a judicatory that is predominantly rural and low-income what they need to do to grow their congregations. Good... Read more

The Pain of “Doing No Harm”

As I finish Thanksgiving and head full bore into the Christmas season, John Wesley’s three rules—“Do no harm. Do good. Stay in love with God.”—keep running through my mind. Perhaps this is because we have just come through a contentious election season that has left our communities deeply divided. Or maybe it’s because many of us recently spent hours sitting around... Read more

Winter Dreams: The Warmth of Church Camp

I guess it’s not surprising that, while staring at about eight inches of hard packed snow in my yard, I am already thinking about summer. For a lot of people summer means lazy days at the beach, quiet moments in the sun, and long nights sitting on the front porch enjoying the cool evening air. But, for me, it’s not quite that. When I start to dream about summer,... Read more

Feeling Our Way Back to Center: A Novice Potter on the Ancient Art of Reshaping 21st-Century Church

This fall I began studying pottery-making. Every Thursday night I drive to a studio about 30 miles from the town where I serve as a United Methodist pastor to sit at a pottery wheel and learn how to throw pieces of art. It all begins with a lump of formless clay that gets worse before it will get better. After cutting it off of a block, I have to knead the clay... Read more