Parable of the Triangle: Blessed are those who communicate directly

Anonymous complaints in churches can be a common source of conflict. They leave the recipient, minister or staff, unable to follow-up with the dissatisfied party and collaborate within relationship. This story is meant to illustrate some of those pitfalls.And it came to pass that Zebulon the Elder passed by a table of wares of Micah the Baker. Zebulon, having no small hunger, resolved to buy a small loaf.“Kinfriend Micah,” he inquired, “how much do you charge for a smaller one of these l … [Read more...]

Be Ready: Kindness to Strangers

The problem with strangers is that they can be a little strange. One time I gave a guy a sandwich and he gave me a pair of blue shoes. It's not really weird, just unexpected. The shoes were really soft, so they gave my feet some relief. There's a lot of teaching about strangers in the Hebrew and Christian scripture. A lot of the time, the point was just because you don't know someone, doesn't mean you have permission to treat them badly. In fact, “Stay on good terms with each other, held t … [Read more...]

A Moment of Honesty with Myself

I have been trying not to think about how I am feeling. I am a Christian, I have a masters degree in Divinity. I work at a church and at a seminary. I am supposed to be able to find hope even in the depths of hopelessness. The eschatological dream that is born in the gospel is supposed to give me enough to hold on to so that I can get out of bed even when day after day I see the injustices of the world grow. I shouldn't complain. I live in the United States of America. I have a solidly middle … [Read more...]

Beyond Dreaming, Toward Repentance

"It is my fear that, though we may not embrace an outright substitutionary atonement theology of Jesus, we have embraced a substitutionary atonement theology of Dr. MLK Jr. That is to believe that Dr. King existed in his life solely to die to pay off the sins of white racists, and that because of his death, we don’t have to do any work beyond believing in what a nice fellow that Dr. King was. What a nice fellow that Dr. King was. With that dream of his and all. Sure glad he ended racism so that I … [Read more...]

A letter to my congregation after the election

 Dear Beloveds,I am writing to witness that for some of you, the election results from this week present an intense challenge and disappointment. My heart and my will are with you. It will be a time of adjustment for all of us, to move to a new administration. I want to write a for a moment specifically to those who are grieving, especially grieving the world that could have been.1. It is real and reasonable that you are upset.For some of you who have labored for civic … [Read more...]

To all Allies in the Episcopal Church and Beyond, Shocked by the Election

I’m writing this post to my fellow progressive, white Episcopalians, but I also write it mindful of the many allies out there who are not Episcopalian. While some of what I write may not pertain to those outside of the Episcopal Church, I believe this post is relevant to many who are dealing with the implications of this election and are trying to find a way forward.I want to be clear up front about where I am coming from. I love my church. I love my country.  I write this post from my co … [Read more...]

Splendid are those: Falling in love with Vehicle City

Today marks almost exactly one month that I’ve been in Flint. I am the interim minister at the Unitarian Universalist congregation there. People read about Flint in the news, see videos about it on the internet and TV, but the real Flint is different from even that. The real Flint has a legacy of factories that contributed to the boom of the automative industry in the United States. For better or for worse, that making and doing is an important part of American history. Certainly, factory p … [Read more...]

Progressive Evangelical Female’s story of pornography and sexual addiction

I am a progressive evangelical. I like to think of myself as a baptiscostal floating around in the mainline churches.What do I mean by that?I mean that:I take the Bible seriously. I don’t worship the bible, and I don’t interpret it literally. I try to use exegesis, and historical context to interpret it. I love the Bible. I love it’s 3,000 plus verses on God’s decrees of Justice to the marginalized. I love creation and I try to care for it. And I don’t mean a literal 7 day creation … [Read more...]

Milwaukee and the Space Between

What is the name for the thing that happens when people ask you to do as they say, not as they do? What is the name of the thing that happens when people have a promise and a duty and they not only fail to fulfill it, they show disdain for their responsibilities? People who cry for peace but then act for war come to mind. All of these factors weigh heavy in the burning of Milwaukee. I’ve been there in recent years, wide boulevards and clear skies, Midwestern charm. Has there been a higher p … [Read more...]

When Faith Fades

O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
 the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it, and the dry land, which his hands have formed. O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
Fo … [Read more...]