Becoming a Minister of Listening

By John Helmiere, founding minister of Valley & Mountain.     Over 12 months, the Forum for Theological Education is spotlighting 12 leaders, their stories, and how their passion and call to shape a more hopeful future through Christian ministry guides the impact they are making in their communities, institutions, and universities.  I went to seminary [Read More…]

Racism Is a Spiritual Issue

By Therese Taylor-Stinson.   The shooting of unarmed black men by law enforcement officers and lone vigilantes ambushing churches has exposed the lie of a “post-racial” America. The polarization, the violence, and the controversies make it seem there is no turning from our human condition. But there is hope: In this racially divided time, religious communities [Read More…]

Real Youth Ministry: More Than Kumbaya Around the Campfire

By David Stevenson Real youth ministry isn’t about making nice. It’s about making waves. It’s more than Kumbaya around the campfire; more than bowling and pizza. It’s spiritual jazz; organic, always evolving, never the same. Real youth ministry isn’t for the faint of heart. Like jazz you have to be open to discovery, surprise. It’s [Read More…]

No Ideas But In Things: A Baptist Recovers Ritual

Bread and wine became things by which I came to know even more deeply the presence of God. As one of my professors told me, “When the world is completely upside down, the Eucharist is always the same. That’s the power of ritual.” [Read more…]

Is God Guilty?

God is guilty. I do not make this claim lightly. But I make it in the strength of the company of some of the most faithful people in history. [Read more…]

Are There Pets in Heaven?

A member of our church died and was cremated and then had her ashes blended with the ashes of her dog that had died and was cremated a year earlier. Another member of our church brought his five year old son to see me because the boy had told him that, “more than anything in [Read More…]

Struggling with Silence in an Instant-Gratification World

Silence allows us to rest from our own “noise within—our desires that plague us, our worries that deplete us, our thoughts that agitate us—that we must calm.” When we rest from the continual interior dialogue, we allow space for God to work within us. [Read more…]

Give Ben-Hur a Chance: Watch the Movie with Your Heart and Imagination

The new Ben-Hur movie from Paramount Pictures opened over the weekend and the reviews have been, well, not all that great. It’s not surprising really, after an enormous promotional lead-up setting expectations high, that folks (especially the non-Christian cadre) have been quick to criticize the big-budget epic laced with a feel-good Christian message. And while critically, I may have [Read More…]

I Needed Somebody to Hope Me: An Update on the Moral Revival

By Rev. Dr. William Barber When I was growing up in Eastern North Carolina, I used to love to sit in my grandmama’s kitchen and listen to her sing as she made dinner. Whenever she was done cooking, she’d give me a plate to eat. Then she and some of the other sisters from the [Read More…]

Patheos 10+1: A Q&A with the Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow

“The Asian American community is far from unified in its perspective, but a growing number are pushing our community to confront the racism that exists in our own communities and how we reinforce anti-Blackness and benefit from white supremacy. If you want to know more, track the hashtag #Asian4BlackLives and amplifying this growing ally group.” [Read More…]

Reviving the Heart of Our Democracy: Watch the Rev. William Barber’s Soul-Stirring Speech at the DNC

Last week at the Democratic National Convention, the remarkable Rev. Dr. William Barber II delivered an electrifying speech on the need to revive the heart of our democracy. His rousing words, delivered like a true revivalist preacher, effectively introduced millions of people to one of today’s most powerful and important preacher/activists and his grassroots movement for a moral revival. The video of his [Read More…]

I Dare You to Ask: On the Value of a ‘Beginner’s Mind’ in a World of Pre-Packaged Answers

In a moment when our world’s submerged ideological divisions are surfacing violently, it is critical that we take the open posture of asking. [Read more…]