The Future of Seminary

Sunday night after church I was out with a few fellow Journey-ers and we were talking about the future of seminary. It's been a frequent conversation around the Village in recent years- what to do about educating this next generation of Christian leaders, who are currently being prepared for a Church that may or may not continue in its same form, and arguably not preparing them for leadership in the emerging church. There is also the issue of cost- not only monetary but time- associated with a … [Read more...]

Islamic banking: Is it closer to Luther and Jesus than Christian banking?

Today is the day that a men-in-black team called Moneyval gather to "discuss a report assessing the Holy See's progress in preventing money laundering and terrorism financing, a crucial step toward international recognition as a financially responsible country". People are wondering whether the Vatican Bank, or the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), will emerge an opaque, corrupt, money-laundering pathetic excuse of a financial institution or, rather, as a shining beacon of Christian … [Read more...]

July in an Election Year

One of the few things in this life that I really do try to be careful about is the business of proper citation. When I find an idea worth taking, I am grateful enough not to morph into a ready thief certainly. And usually…at least so far as I know…I also am pretty good at saying thank-you publicly several times over to the giver; but I am about to fail. Thus, a mea culpa of sorts.At some point over the last few months, I read and copied out, but failed to record citation on, what I tho … [Read more...]

Getting the Courage We Long For


"Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage."  Maya Angelou Somehow in my thirties I became aware of how much of my life had been occupied and driven by fear and anxiety and I wanted that to change.  A noticed a conversation about fear was rising to a public sphere (i.e. shows on Oprah).  People who had been victims of violent crimes w … [Read more...]

An Assessment of Great Worth

Some several weeks ago now, I spent a laughter-filled few days in Tellico Community, in my native East Tennessee hills. While going home again has never been big on my list of to-do things, those few days have given me pause to re-consider.Anyway, be all that as it may, my two or three days in Tellico were to be spent with the staff and people of Tellico Community Church, a very large and, at first blush, traditional church serving what is quite definitely a huge retirement community. As one … [Read more...]

Do I Pray?

Do I pray, Tony Jones wants to know. He asks the question as part of research he's doing for his next book.I couldn’t make a selection on his blog survey.  It only gave the option of yes, or no. I wanted to answer ‘maybe’ but there was no option for that. I might answer ‘no’, but not without a ….’but’…’because’…..I went back to it several times, wanting to be helpful and wanting to participate. I still can’t answer the question. Maybe because the definition of prayer that has been drilled … [Read more...]

Is Violent Racism Making a Comeback or Has it Ever Gone Away? by Randy Woodley


Many White people thought we had racism almost licked in America. We would all at the least, like to believe racism has become more subtle than it was in former days. I don’t see it.  It was shameful to hear how the entire stock of “Trayvon Martin Targets” sold out in just two days. The targets did not have Trayvon's face but were of a young man in a hoodie holding Skittles and an Arizona Ice Tea. The target was on the heart, where Trayvon was shot. What is especially frightening about this is im … [Read more...]

Fashioning Compassion

In my attempt to understand the unrecorded aspects of lives of women in the Bible, the following poem is written in the voice of Sarah. I never liked her much, to be honest, and I like Abraham even less. They are not people I would choose to go back and visit if I were a time traveler. However while working on this poem, I have managed to fashion some compassion and admiration for Sarah.SaraiI. BoughtFather is pleased. My worth in gold and cattle more than he hoped. "I once … [Read more...]

On My Mind These Days

Every single year, one of the great mysteries of Easter for me has to do with Eastertide, and not so much with Easter per se. And every year, as I make my way through the daily propers and the Sabbath texts, I feel the same need to say, “But…..”I never say it, of course, but…But I want to say it here, now, with these pixels. Then maybe I’ll get it out of my system before this time next year.My restiveness [for it is more a matter of restiveness than anything else] is that once we … [Read more...]

Lines at Easter

I am an amateur poet. Well, more precisely I scribble on paper and end up throwing it next to my bed in my ever growing pile of papers, or if it’s lucky it ends up in a binder. Whatever that is called, that is what I do. The majority of my poetry focuses on nature, philosophy or love. However, I have long desired to write a poem that would reflect the inner emotions I feel toward God. Unfortunately, any time I have attempted this in the past, it ended up sounding cliché. You know how it is - in y … [Read more...]