Evangelizing with Strawberries

Every Memorial Day, families in our suburb of Hartford, Conn., gather in the town center for a parade. Our church takes advantage of our location on the parade route to invite passers-by to stop for bowls of strawberry shortcake (with hot dogs and drinks also available). It’s a modest fundraiser for the church, but also [Read More...]

I Don’t Like God’s Seating Chart

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As you know from my last post, I was devastated by World Vision’s reversal, under pressure, of a previous policy decision to welcome people in legal same-sex marriages as employees. Today’s post is less about the decisions themselves than how they made me feel about many of my fellow Christians—those at World Vision and those whose [Read More...]

What Happens When We Pray

I don’t understand how prayer works. But I believe in a God who is good, a God who is love. I keep praying because I believe that prayer, somehow, makes that goodness and love more real and accessible in the midst of whatever nightmares mark our days. [Read more...]

God Does Not Make Me Happy (or Three Things I Learned About My Relationship with God)

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Last weekend, I went on a one-night retreat with my church’s vestry. (In an Episcopal church, the vestry is akin to a board of directors. We advise and collaborate with the clergy on big-picture questions around the church’s mission, and approve the annual budget. I am in my third year of a three-year vestry term.) [Read More...]

Why I Love Pope Francis’s Radical (Not Really) Take on the Gospel

I am enamored of Pope Francis. Every time he clarifies what he believes about the Catholic Church, its priorities, and its purpose, I am grateful that God gave this wise, smiling cleric a worldwide audience. Francis’s thoughtful, humble way of speaking about God and the church is good for all Christians, not only those who [Read More...]

Passing on the Faith: Community Trumps Theology

My daughter at choir camp last week.

In church choir, my children are learning what it means not just to go to church, but what it is to be church for one another—what it means to be in a fellowship of people with a common faith, where standards are high and all are accepted, with a common goal of worshipping God with their best efforts and talents. [Read more...]

Mainline Churches—A New Home for Disaffected Evangelicals?

By now, it’s old news that one in five Americans, including one-third of adults under 30, claim no religious affiliation. Popular blogger and author Rachel Held Evans, who identifies primarily as an evangelical, wrote a much-shared CNN blog post about how churches can attract disaffected “millennials,” or young adults, back to church. (She is talking mostly about young [Read More...]

My Church Bells Rang in Celebration of DOMA’s Defeat

Photo courtesy of the Rev. Curtis Farr, St. James's Episcopal Church, West Hartford, CT

Last Thursday morning, the bells of my Episcopal church pealed to celebrate the Supreme Court’s rejection of the Defense of Marriage Act. In my house in the days since, we have been playing Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s song Same Love at top volume. The opening strains of the song, which indicts the notion that homosexuality is [Read More...]


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