June–July 2013 Ordained Servant

A Journal for Church Officers

E-ISSN 1931-7115

A Pastor's Grief



A Pastor’s Grief, and How to Cope with It

Addressing Issues: A Cordial Response to VanDrunen

A Response to a Response to a Response

The Church

God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment


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From the Editor. A grief that is often overlooked is the pastor’s grief. Having been through seasons of loss in our congregation, I have noticed that I was grieving right alongside those who sustained loss more directly. Empathizing with those who are grieving is a form of grieving. But pastors also feel the loss of members in a way similar to the grief experienced by the immediate family. Pastor and chaplain Gordon Cook has been a great help to me in my own grieving as a pastor and now, with the loss of my mother, as a son; and so it is a great pleasure to publish the last in a series of articles on ministry to the dying and grieving, “A Pastor’s Grief, and How to Cope with It.”

Along with the archive of printed issues of Ordained Servant below, be sure to read Gordon Cook’s article “Suicide: A Complicated Grief” and his review of Glenda Mathes’s Little One Lost: Living with Early Infant Loss in the March issue of Ordained Servant Online; and Brian Winsted’s three part article in the March, April, and May issues.

Also in this issue is an exchange between David VanDrunen and Ryan McIlhenny in response to VanDrunen’s review of McIlhenny’s book (editor and contributor) on the two kingdoms. This is, I think, a model of the kind of cordial interchange among Reformed people over debatable issues that should characterize the church of our crucified Lord.

Don’t miss John Muether’ review of The Church: One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic, by Richard Phillips, Philip Ryken, and Mark Dever. This is a solid book that would be excellent for adult Sunday School. In our present environment, teaching Presbyterian—that is biblical—ecclesiology is essential.

Also, David Booth reviews James Hamilton’s intriguing biblical theology, entitled God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment.

Finally, George Herbert brings us a superb poem on grief. The rhyme scheme is in quatrains, but the poem has no spaces in between, perhaps to emphasize the depth of Herbert’s grief, and certainly to arrest the reader’s attention, by stepping slightly outside poetic convention. For a comprehensive literary biography, I recommend Joseph Summers, George Herbert: His Religion and Art (1954).

Blessings in the Lamb,
Gregory Edward Reynolds


Subject Index

  • “Books on Grieving: A Bibliographical Essay.” (Gordon H. Cook, Jr. and Gregory E. Reynolds) 19 (2010): 113–14.
  • “The Danger of Excessive Grief.” (Stephen J. Tracey) 20 (2011): 65–67.
  • “A Pastoral Response to Complicated Grief.” (Gordon H. Cook, Jr.) 20 (2011): 60–65.
  • “A Pastoral Response to Grief.” (Gordon H. Cook, Jr.) 19 (2010): 37–41.
  • “Death: An Old-New Terror.” (Gregory Edward Reynolds). 19 (2010): 10–12.
  • “A Life and Death Matter.” (G. I. Williamson) 8:2 (Mar. 1999): 39–41.
  • “Pastoral Care for the Dying.” (Gordon H. Cook, Jr.) 19 (2010): 30–37.
  • “Pastoring the Dying and the Mourning.” (Joel R. Beeke) 13:4 (Oct. 2004): 76–87.

Ordained Servant exists to help encourage, inform, and equip church officers for faithful, effective, and God-glorifying ministry in the visible church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Its primary audience is ministers, elders, and deacons of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, as well as interested officers from other Presbyterian and Reformed churches. Through high-quality editorials, articles, and book reviews we endeavor to stimulate clear thinking and the consistent practice of historic, confessional Presbyterianism.

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Contact the Editor: Gregory Edward Reynolds

Editorial address: Dr. Gregory Edward Reynolds,
827 Chestnut St.
Manchester, NH 03104-2522
Telephone: 603-668-3069

Electronic mail: reynolds.1@opc.org

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