What It Means to Belong to a Church

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When we moved from D.C. to Connecticut, we hoped to find a new community that would look a lot like the one we left behind. We never did. But we found what we needed most, which is a place where we belong. We learned that belonging isn’t about shopping around to find a group of people just like us, or a place where we can check off all our requirements for an ideal community. Belonging is mostly about showing up, becoming disillusioned, and staying anyway. [Read more...]

Four Important Things to Understand About Volunteers (from a Mom Who Volunteers Too Much)

Lately I’m being eaten alive by everything on my to-do list. It’s hard to communicate just how crazed my schedule is without 1) boring you to pieces, and 2) sounding like a first-class whiner. So I’ll just say there is an awful lot going on. © 2010 Dave Dugdale, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio [Read More...]

On Episcopalian Rules (or, Why Episcopalians Rule)

Last weekend, my husband and I drove to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, to pick our daughter Leah up from the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) summer course at King’s College. The children’s choir at our Episcopal Church is based on the RSCM model, and every summer several of our choristers head to Pennsylvania and other sites to spend a [Read More...]

Can Hospitality Be Too “Scruffy”?

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Several years ago, when I was invited to speak at a conference, a friend (who was also speaking) and I shared a room to save money. Our room was not in an actual hotel, but rather in a sort of guest house that the hosting organization ran in an old apartment building. The furnishings were [Read More...]

Why Church is Important (One Reason, Anyway)

Perhaps part of me thinks that to be worthwhile, prayer and Bible study have to be strenuous and difficult and unpleasant. Showing up to church to sing beautiful music, read ready-made prayers, and hear an excellent sermon seems too simple. [Read more...]

Revitalizing Churches and Communities the “Slow Church” Way

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After years of driving south to visit my husband’s family in North Carolina, our family has developed a series of designated stopping places that give us just what we need at certain points in our journey. There’s the Delaware rest stop with pretty flower gardens and a playground, which is a perfect place to stretch [Read More...]

How My Daughter (“the Mensch”) Taught Me About God’s Love

Saturday night, as we drove south on Route 9  in the rainy twilight, a billboard shone out from the gloom. In huge white letters on a red background were the words, “Jesus, I Love You.” Although I’ve seen this billboard before, this time the words struck me as seriously off base. “No,” I thought. “My [Read More...]

Deep in a Place of Exile, Waiting for the Return

I don’t much like when people I care about are deep in the “exile” part and waiting for the return. But I have to believe that God will bring all of us who have times of exile to that promised place of abundance, community, and hope. [Read more...]


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