Category Archives: Tools for Ministry

Book Review – What I Have Come to Know

E-book available at

The family of Rev. Tang recently notified the Congregational United Church of Christ, where I currently serve, that his book has been published.

The book consists of a series of reflections by Rev. Tang concerning the illness and passing of his beloved wife, Poey Sim on April 24, 2010.  He uses this medium to discuss the epiphanies (visions and dreams) he experienced that helped him to know that Poey Sim was near.  Further, he speaks of his struggles dealing with grief and how the Holy Scriptures, as well as, other devotional books helped him to deal with his loss.

He cites 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 as the verses that gave him the inspiration to write this book:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of al comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

He writes, “In my deepest desire to share what I have come to know as the way to find comfort and peace— that of going into the Word of God.  I pray and hope that this sharing will, indeed, be received by fellow travelers who continue their life journey under the same circumstances that pertain to me.”

After reading this book, I believe he has achieved his purpose.  It is an inspiring story of faith, hope and most of all – LOVE. It clearly demonstrates that nothing can separate us from the love of God and those whom we have loved while on this earth.  In addition, he gives some good advice and resources that can assist anyone dealing with the loss of a loved one.  I believe that I have found it to be beneficial as it provides insight into the struggles that people go through when they suffer a great loss.  Whether you know someone going through a time of loss and grief or you are going though this yourself, this book may be of benefit to you, as well.

I thank God for you,

Pastor Kathy Nealand

Interim Pastor


One resource mentioned that was given to him by his church are a series of books designed to help those grieving.  Each book is given to a grieving individual or family at a particular time during the first year.   It is published through Stephen Ministries and available on  It is:

Journeying Through Grief by Kenneth C. Haugk

Some of the other resources referred to in the book may be helpful for anyone going through difficult times.  They are:

Facing Our Giants: A David and Goliath Story for Everyday People by Max Lucado

The Vanishing Power of Death: Conquering Your Greatest Fear  by Erwin Lutzer

The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

The Upper Room Daily Devotional for 2012

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Posted by on August 21, 2012 in Tools for Ministry


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The Event: A Day of Reflection – Our Past

The event is held during the worship time.  The event as designed here should take about 75 minutes.

Materials needed:

  • Newsprint and/or Eraser Board
  • Magic markers
  • Bibles and Hymnals
  • Healthy Congregations survey
  • Ground Rules for Mutual Communication 
  • Paper and pens for small group leaders
  • Folding chairs
  • A bell or xylophone (used to get their attention)
  • Timer or Clock
  • Outline of the event in the form of a worship bulletin

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Posted by on May 10, 2012 in Tools for Ministry


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A Day of Reflection and Discernment on the Past of a Particular Church


Mirror Reflection

One of the events scheduled during the Interim period is something I refer to as  “A Day of Reflection”  The idea for these events came out of “Bible Studies for the Journey” found in the book Temporary Shepherds: A Congregational Handbook for Interim Ministry by Roger S. Nicholson.  This is simply my account of how I have put his ideas in to action in various ministry settings.

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Posted by on May 10, 2012 in Tools for Ministry


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Becoming a Healthier Individual and Pastor

Do you find yourself from time to time, feeling like you want to tear your hair out over something someone did or said to you?  If so, you will want to read further.

In order to avoid or limit these situations we must practice self-management.  An important aspect of this is to maintain a healthy balance mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  One way to do this is to become a self-differentiated individual.  This is vital to all individuals but even more so to pastors who find themselves in conflicted situations.

Ronald W. Richardson discusses the importance of self differentiation in his book Becoming a Healthier Pastor.  This is a companion book to Becoming a Healthier Church.

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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Tools for Ministry


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Living Into the Answers

During  the blackout from Hurricane Irene, my husband and I needed something to do.  We played Trivial Pursuit for two nights but then decided to begin working our way through this book.

As a result of reading this book, we now spend time most evenings either reading another chapter or reading a passage in the Bible.  This has brought us closer together and given us an opportunity to talk to each other in a deep and meaningful ways. the book Living into the Answers: A Workbook for Personal Spiritual Discernment by Valerie K. Isenhower and Judith A. Todd.

I highly recommend this book.  Please share with me books that have helped you in your spiritual journey.


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Posted by on September 16, 2011 in Tools for Ministry