I am an ordained minister, author, writer and blogger, living on the edge of a marsh (see header pic) in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts with my wife Martha.
I am Pastor Emeritus of First Church of Christ in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where I served for 22 years. Before that I served congregations in Maine and was a seminary chaplain.
“When I Survey . . .” contains some of my ruminations on a variety of topics, including, but not limited to, theology, pastoral ministry, the church, ecumenism, cooking, food and wine, the arts, books, films, music, poetry, politics, traumatic brain injury, New England Sports teams, memories, and the occasional rant.
I have also archived here many of my published and unpublished essays, book reviews, hymns, devotions, special-occasion sermons, papers and addresses from my four decades as a pastor-theologian. Glad you found me. Take a look around and come back anytime.
Follow me on Twitter @rfloyd7.
Nice job, Rick! I like the way you’ve divided up your various genres, and yet left a sense that they’re all part of a unified project. – Skip Mac
Thanks, Skip. It is still a work in progress.
“work in progress” is a pretty good ongoing description of the cyberworld! Eventually, we’ll be able to send snappily designed avatars to deliver our communications to other peoples’ avatars. Before we know it, the avatars will be having all the fun, and we’ll be wondering why we never get messages anymore.
My avatar can beat your avatar! 🙂
The avatars are fallen beings too? Well, I guess that follows, given that we design them…
Rick, I just moved over from the former blog page and added you as an new app to my yahoo toolbar. “Rumination Nation” lives! … I’ve got an app for that! Hope all is well in Western MA. Missed you at convocation … though I know travel is not a real option …take care.
Grace and Peace,
Glad you found the new site. I’ll send you a personal message.
Found your website while searching for discussions on P.T. Forsyth, whose writings I have loved since my seminary days. Have been reading again his, “The Centrality of the Cross.” Finding your site is like finding a pot of gold. Thanks
Thanks for the encouraging comment, Daniel. PTF has been an inspiration to me for over thirty years. My friend Jason Goroncy has just edited a book of his sermons soon to be published by Wipf and Stock, which i hope will make him more widely known. I give his books to young preachers. Some of it falls on rocky ground, but his enduring witness still speaks to many.
Just discovered Christmas letter from the Floyds in 2009. decided to check your site out. hope all is well and your summer is awesome ! Eileen in West Newfield
A post for Richard Floyd. Upon reading “What’s Your New Normal” piece in the UCC News, I feel I am a pastoral & neuroplastitic peer of yours. I thank you for writing this piece. A pending call Commissioned UCC minister on Disability Ministry I am. After my TBI in 2001 I sequentially had a cognitive awakening…then one to the light & love of God. Please let’s dialog!
Cum Deus E Pluribus Unum
Thanks for your comment, John. My TBI was in 2000, so we’ve been facing that challenge for roughly the same time period. You might like to see the post I wrote called “disability and grace.”
nice blog… thanks for sharing… I’m an Episcopal priest and rector of Christ Church, Las Vegas, NV, but prob a New Englander at heart… went to Harvard undergrad and YDS.
Hi Barry. Thanks for the comment. I went to Andover Newton. My daughter, however, just graduated from YDS last year. New England is a pretty nice place, especially our little piece of it here in the Berkshires.
Hello Rev. Floyd. We met a few months back in Westport, CT at the re-dedication service for Saugatuck Congregational Church. I’m wondering if you are considering any preaching/worship leadership opportunities for this coming fall and would welcome the chance to speak with you. Please be in touch when you have a moment. Peace and blessings,
Hi Sarah. I do remember meeting you and recall that Rebecca told me how helpful you were to her when she was accepting her call in CT. You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just read your retirement sermon. Sure could relate to ecclesiastically homeless. I am a widow of retired clergy, Lou was 45 yrs in parish ministry. Great preacher & writer, trying to figure out how to get some of his sermons & hymns to wider audience. Also, haven’t seen anything written on clergy widows, i would have lots to write about that! Jan
Thanks for the comment. I just started writing what I had to say and in time it found its own audience. I hear from retired clergy and spouses all the time, and there’s a dearth of writing about them. I encourage you to start writing! Blessings.
I always appreciate your Daily Devotional writings. Thanks you for bringing scriptures to life.
Thanks Joe M.
Thank you Joe. I’m glad you find them useful.
Hello Richard after reading your post today on Daily Devotional (and downloading your yummy recipes) I wanted to comment on the use of the words “lead me not into temptation”. About 32-years ago while attending a watercolor workshop at the Grünewald Guild in Plains, Washington, (GrünewaldGuild.com) I raised the question during a daily theology gathering “Why would God tempt us”. It didn’t make sense to me. The wife of the pastor who directed the Guild said “Some would interpret that line as ‘Protect us during and trials and tribulations”. I found that very helpful and have never forgotten her words. Very relevant to your writing today. Thanks for your work.
Thanks for the comment. I’ve had congregants raise the same question.
Dear Mr. Floyd, thanks for today’s DD. It made me pause and wonder about the magic of thin places. I saved if off for future reflection and in the hopes of being surprised by being found by one someday. Keep up the good work.
Thank you for your kind comment. May you find a thin place soon.
Hello Rick. Ever since I first arrived at First Church 18 years ago, you made me feel both loved and welcome. I was new to the area and I was both heartbroken and lonely. I tearfully told you the story as to how I arrived as my mother deliberately left me in Pittsfield just to separate me from my wife Tish. But now, I am fully healed from this ordeal and I recently graduated at MCLA with a second degree in Music Therapy. You have always given me the spiritual inspiration to endure the rough road that I traveled throughout my life. Your writings are the best. In Christ, Robin
Thanks for the good word, Robin.
Thank you once again for giving me the inspiration to heal and to show me the right path toward my given destinies. I knew that you welcomed me into the church family but I was wandering so aimlessly to different churches. But God lead me back to First Church and it has been my home ever since. And I also like to mention that I met my future wife, Christa when I first joined the Berkshire Concert Choir at the church. I don’t know why I was led astray but the answer has always been First Church. In Christ, Robin
Dear Rick, A friend from early in your ministry Roberta Wentworth Newfield. Just read The Message Of The Cross. What my Soul needed at this point of the journey. Noticed a picture from Iona. A place much a part of my spiritual energy over past few years. Retire this year 52 in Social Work. Erlie and I have held you and Martha in prayer for many years, thought it was time to tell you. Wonderful memories.
Roberta! Yes indeed, wonderful memories from my first congregations. You and Erlie were such faithful supporters of this (then) young minister! Martha and I remember you both with great affection. Blessings to you.
Have just signed up for the Daily Devotional and am delighted to find the friend of my mother, Laura Pineo of Sanford, Maine, as one of the writers. I remember you and your many kindnesses to her. She took great pleasure in having you as a friend. Barbara Pineo Hall, Windham, Maine
Barbara Pineo Hall, Windham, Maine
I remember your mother with great fondness. Martha and I met her when she was a dean at Pilgrim Lodge with Fred Robie. She invited us many summers down to her house (with Charlie and Becky Ford) for lobsters. What a nice memory you have given me.
Good morning, Pastor Floyd. I’m enjoying exploring your blog and your UCC devotionals. I help fill the pulpit at the Slater Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and have quoted you. In fact, I’ve drawn inspiration from your 2012 post of your fourth Sunday of Advent sermon on Joseph. I’ll be quoting you again this coming Sunday! A favor: Could you share more bio information? I enjoy sharing more about the scholars I quote with the congregants. Where did you go to school? Why you chose the ministry, etc.
Thanks for the good words, Michael. My undergraduate studies were at Coe College. My M.Div. is from Andover Newton Theological School. My D.Min is from Bangor Theological Seminary (Hanover NH campus). I have studied during three sabbaticals at Oxford, St Andrews and Cambridge. You can see my publication list from the pulldown menu, and there is a lot of biographical material in Memories, also on a pulldown menu. Thank you for your interest.
I always knew you were destined to save souls. But I also remember you could rebound with the best at Coe , Brother Floyd. Jan and I are forever in your debt.
Hey Bill. a nice surprise to hear your e-voice. I was recently thinking about our summer as roomies at J.B. Turner and Sons! I hope you are thriving.
Excellent letter to the editor in the latest New Yorker!
Thanks, John. It was my first submission and I was surprised they published it.