Grace Notes in the Desert

Grace Notes in the Desert is written for the saints of Rio Grande Presbyterian Church and the surrounding community.

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Grace Notes acknowledges we need God's grace and forgivness as much as the desert water.


Fruitful Leadership

Recently I had the pleasure of attending a Called Back to the Well workshop with pastors, police and firefighter chaplains, and interesting as sundry group of people.

The Rev. Paul Hopkins, past director of the Samaritan Counseling Center for 20 years, was the leader and the workshop, titled after his book, called “Pursuing Pastoral Excellence, Pathways to Fruitful Leadership.”

For those of you who may not know about this book published this year by Alban Press (and I didn’t until I happened to attend this workshop), Paul Hopkins dedicates a chapter to each of seven local pastors whose ministry, he believes, reflects the following characteristics of fruitful leadership, namely that it is:


As Paul puts it, “Life in ministry must constantly be grounded in the lively practice of faith and confident hope in God’s providence, even through the dark days of discouragement and loneliness that inevitably come for most pastors. Staying connected to the vine of Christ is the most essential task. Fruitfulness springs from tender and tangled branches watered and fed and pruned by the vine grower.”

The same could be said of all of us growing in faith, in hope, in love, in Christ. I hope together, we are cultivating purpose, authenticity, relationships, along with a servant’s heart that is adaptable, persistent and spiritual, in our journey with God.

This is my prayer for all of us at Rio Grande, and, particularly our young people this summer as they embark on a week-long backpacking adventure with others in northern New Mexico: that, together, we cultivate purpose, authenticity, relationships, and a servant’s heart, that is adaptable, persistent and spiritual, rooted and grounded in Christ.

Blessings on the Journey,
A Pastor in the Desert