Author: Pastor Mark Toone

Other

I was talking with a member of my LifeGroup last week. He told me of a time when he was walking in downtown Seattle (before that was considered a life-threatening adventure!) and noticed a homeless person begging on the sidewalk. As my friend describes it, he literally crossed the street, walked 20 feet, and crossed […]

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Sabbatical

This September will mark the beginning of my 34th year as Senior Pastor of Chapel Hill. This is unusual. The average tenure of a Senior Pastor in the United States is 7.7 years. I’ve been in Gig Harbor more than four times longer than that. When my large-church colleagues ask me how I’ve stayed in […]

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Spiritual start-ups

I don’t know when they installed it. It certainly wasn’t during my time living there. But I’ll never forget driving the freeway past my home town of Yakima and seeing a large, garish sign that declared: “Yakima: The Palm Springs of Washington.” I actually laughed out loud. I’m not sure what ad agency came up […]

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Big MO

If you are old enough to remember the original Monday Night Football, you might also remember commentator “Dandy” Don Meredith. When one team was hopelessly outgunned, Meredith would break into song: “The Party’s Over.” He also spoke of “Big Mo.” He wasn’t referring to the battleship Missouri. He was talking about “momentum.”  When a team […]

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For…

So…what do you do when you’ve spent months as a congregation, turning your focus outward, talking about what it means to be good neighbors, good citizens…? What do you do when you’ve filled a map in the lobby with stickers indicating ways in which your people are reaching out to really love the community around […]

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Finding treasure…

There are many wonderful Chapel Hill ministries that had to take a hiatus last year. Isn’t it great, as we are breaking out of the COVID funk, to see so many things returning to normal? One that I’m particularly excited about is Vacation Bible School which will launch next week! We were able to expand […]

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Our vagrant moderator

Last week was our “General Assembly,” the annual gathering of our national church, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC.)  It is a big deal and you would have been proud of how Chapel Hill was represented.  Pastor Megan was featured in a video about church planting.  Pastor Julie chaired one of the standing committees.  Pastor Rachel […]

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A year like no other!

More than a year ago, at the start of the pandemic but before we had been shut down, I stood in front of my staff with what I hoped were words of encouragement. I told them that we were facing an unprecedented and uncertain future; that we had no idea the impact on our congregation. […]

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A pile of poo…

I’m going to gross some of you out. I grew up on a little alfalfa ranch on the outskirts of Yakima. We had a horse named “Monty.” Monty grazed on that alfalfa and produced piles of reconstituted alfalfa. Those piles dried in the sun and became what we called “road apples.” And one of the […]

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