An Invitation to Stillness: Book Review of Be Still and Know

An Invitation to Stillness: Book Review of Be Still and Know by Norris J. Chumley No one can dispute the 21st North-American need to encounter silence with as much noise as most of us live with and in today. In his book Be Still and Know: God’s Presence in Silence, Norris Chumley investigates one slice of Christian contemplative tradition, hesychasm, a practice of prayerful silence, in its historical and present day Eastern European practice in the Orthodox tradition. This book… Read more

Joyful News for Women and Men: Jesus Feminist, A Review

A Joyful Invitation to Women and Men: a Review of Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey I read this book with a swirl of emotions. It was 40 years ago that I with gladness was transformed by the same good news that Sarah Bessey has discovered and proclaimed: the Bible tells us in Jesus Christ that “women are people, too.” I came from evangelical provenance, although a different strand, from a Reformed branch, rather than charismatic, but one that took Scripture… Read more

The True Course of Long Love

I have just returned from an annual retreat with women who have been convening to reflect and pray together monthly for 10 years; this is our sixth 4 day retreat together.  We never meant for the group to be permanent, or even last for a second year. Yet here we are, still convening, still praying, and still learning and delighting in the love that God happens between us. However, we were called this year to begin discerning whether after our… Read more

Loving the Littles

This Valentine’s Day I am thinking about Love in all its forms as I send cards and greetings to my beloveds. I think of God, who is Love– a very Big thought! But right now I am a little overwhelmed with Bigness—Big award shows: big wins, big losses; Big games: big scores and big heroes; Big Olympics: big achievements and big disappointments. I long to practice a love that is my size, that fits me, just little, yet still is… Read more

Soul Friend

Today I join with those who remember St. Brigid of Kildare on her feast day. Since I was not raised with the tradition of remembering saints, I discovered the Irish celebration of her with surprise, then delight–a celebration of relationship, of practicality and of trust in God. The adage attributed to her most often is Anyone without a soul friend is like a body without a head. Maybe I love her as much as I do because she articulates and… Read more

Prayer from the Body

O God, sometimes I have such big plans and hopes for the things I would do for you and for the world. But often my body makes demands and limits me. So today I pray for and with my body: that I would accept and befriend my body as a gift from you that I could take delight in the fact that I am fearfully and wonderfully made that I would do the maintenance and upkeep of my body necessary… Read more

How Can I Keep From Singing?

The week has been full of stories of grief and sadness. The conversations have teemed with struggle and bafflement. The news of the day from all around the world, and in my home town brings no joy. I read in a wise book that to live Wholeheartedly, there must be music. (Thank you, Brene Brown!) And I am reminded that there is a Taize service close by, a night of contemplative worship. I enter the space, bathed only in half-light,… Read more

Back on the Road

The Festival Season is over, although some  traditions celebrate the season of Epiphany still. How appropriate to find that after the waiting is darkness, the celebrating of Light and community, the cheering for the turn of a calendar year, we find we are back on the road again with our usual routines, gifts and annoyances, diversions and challenges, even if we have been wise and called to go home by another way. The new calendar year has begun, and we… Read more

Epiphany: A Star and a Dream

Those who were Wise started out with mind and heart fixed on a Star. They followed that Star that arose in the East to the place where the Light was born, and they were prompted to worship, to open their hearts and give the treasures they had. And then they followed the Dream that showed them a different route by which they could reach home. The story in Matthew of those Wise Ones still teaches me again every year. I… Read more

Christmas For All

Christmas Eve children’s services are baffling and challenging for pastors–the question is how to make the service accessible for children and still be able to tell the story of Christmas in Grace and Truth. Most churches decide on a much-rehearsed (read stressful!) pageant, in which a few children are the shining lights, and the rest are like the extras in Cecil B. Demille’s depiction of crossing the Read Sea. What a delight to encounter a children’s service this year in… Read more

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