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Pastoral Counseling Sessions

In August of 2020, Pastor Rick Harrington filmed five sessions of pastoral counseling in northern Vermont near the end of his sabbatical. The sessions are each about 20-minutes and cover the topics:I. GodII. MarriageIII. ParentingIV. WorkV. DeathThey draw on Scripture as well as on personal and ministry experience. Rick has a Doctor of Ministry from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and has been a pastor for about 18 years. We hope they’re of some benefit to you. If they are helpful, please leave some feedback. Feel free to use or share these videos, but we would ask that you do not alter the content in any way.
Session 1: God

Session 2: Marriage Session 3: Parenting


Session 4: Work Session 5: Death

Recent posts

Leaving Las Vegas

After leaving Las Vegas and moving on to the next leg of our sabbatical, I jotted down some thought. First let me say there is a lot of good fun to be had here. I had a blast! The restaurants, shops, tours and weather are topnotch. Many people call "The Meadows" home and raise a family here. But in this reflection I want to dwell on the doctrine of sin.

Las Vegas embraces its sin. It nicknamed “Sin City“ for a reason. Prostitution is legal in parts of Nevada (though officially not in Las Vegas). Their slogan was (I think they’ve changed it now) “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” suggesting to visitors they should go a little wild while here. Even Forbes published an article, Why Las Vegas is Still America’s Most Sinful City.
But consider: sin is not worse here, it is just more evident. What is veiled in other places around the world is brought out into the open on The Strip. And when something is out in the open, it can be more clearly examined.

You would need to be bli…

The Old West Dies

Where the big sky touches the low green hills like a painter’s finished canvas,
And the dark-starred firmament canopies the crisp cool nighttime hours,
The rivers flow and the gentle wind blows on the fields made out of hay.
Nature rests as the horses play and the bison and bulls graze grass.

Then comes the crowds and the city lights and the Old West dies away,
The big gold arches and the tourist shops and the canvas washed away,
The natives wear suits and the great elks flee as the motels multiply.
A new day dawns, for better or for worse, and it’s here to stay for a while.

On the busy streets the jovial crowds drink at the newly minted bars,
Only a few will ask or consider at all what was lost and gone away.
The day is passed and the clock has ticked and the memory starts to fade,
And only a few will ask or consider at all what was lost and gone away.

Thomas Halyburton

I came across Scottish Presbyterian Thomas Halyburton in my study of the puritans. John Duncan called him a “minor John Owen.” Halyburton said on his deathbed:

“I bless the Lord that when I stood trembling under the terrors of God’s law, He seasonably saved me from despair by some discovery of the blessed way of salvation for self-destroyed sinners through a slain Savior; even such a discovery as made me resolve to part with all that I might have the field, Christ the treasure hid in it, and pearl of price. There is nothing I dread so much as a mistake in this matter. It is Christ only that will answer me and my case, and without Him I am undone; on Him—the efficacy of His sufferings, the power of His resurrection, and of His whole mediation, as revealed in the Gospel—do I build all my hope.”

The picture Is The Westminster Assembly by John Rogers Herbert.

Christmas Listening

Like the first Christmas story, Christmas today is permeated with hurt, even as it is brimming with happiness. It’s filled with weeping while also being saturated with rejoicing.
It’s the hap-happiest time of the year! Christmas ‘tis the season to be jolly. We cheerfully wish one another a Merry Christmas and sing together Joy to the World. Every Hallmark movie, Christmas special and Santa song reminds us of this. Many understandably look forward to this time all year round!
Yet, at the same time, all things considered, it is also the most difficult time of the year. For many, the Christmas season is filled with loneliness, depression and even grief. It is literally the darkest time of the year. The shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere falls on one of four days:December 20, 21, 22 or 23. Because of this, the Christmas season is the time of year when Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) begins to take effect.
It is the deadliest time of the year. Christopher Ingraham in The Wa…

“How to Find a Church” Endorsements

Listed alphabetically:


“Rick Harrington's book How to Find a Church is an excellent and informative read. The titles of each chapter clearly outline the steps a person would take in understanding the value of church, and in finding the proper one for themselves. Various scenarios are openly discussed in both truth and humor, highlighting the complexity of the human soul's search for belonging.”
Pastor Rick Amendola, New Life Christian Assembly of God.
"In a winsome, concise and uncanny way, Pastor Rick Harrington takes the confusion, anxiety, and weirdness out of finding a church family.I encourage those that have given up looking for a faith community or those actively seeking a faith community to read How to Find a Church to assist them in their journey to the relational joys of life together in Christ's Church."
The Reverend Canon Brian Bethke, the Anglican Diocese in New England.
“Choosing a local church can be one of the most formative decisions a person makes. H…

Lilly Grant News Release

NEWS RELEASE FOR RECIPIENTS OF GRANTS IN THE 2019 NATIONAL CLERGY RENEWAL PROGRAM
First Baptist Church of Haverhill has received a grant of $49,980.00 to enable its minister, Pastor Rick Harrington, to participate in the 2019 National Clergy Renewal Program. First Baptist Church of Haverhill is one of 150 congregations across the United States selected to participate in this competitive grant program, which is funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. and administered by Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. Established by the Endowment in 2000, the program’s grants allow Christian congregations to support their pastors with the gift of extended time away from their ministerial duties and responsibilities.  Ministers whose congregations are awarded the grants use their time away from the demands of daily ministry to engage in reflection and renewal. The approach respects the “Sabbath time” concept, offering ministers a carefully considered respite that may include travel, study, rest, …