When Monks Say “I Do”: Confessions of a Former Monastic’s Wife


A recent Pew Report shows that those who choose monastic, celibate lifestyles are in steady decline. The number of Catholic nuns in the U.S. has dropped 72 percent since 1965; men in the priesthood have decreased 35 percent in the same time frame. Culturally, it’s easy to understand why there might be fewer monastic volunteers. [Read More...]

Too Many Positive Coincidences: How a Church Reaches At-Risk Teens

UMC Education Article Youth First graduates 2015

by The Rev. Pam Brokaw Dreaming of a bright future can be more difficult in an economically depressed community – especially for its young people. However, for the city of Winlock, one church has found a way to plant seeds of hope that are truly taking root. In this rural community in southwestern Washington, many [Read More...]

Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome: A Video Q&A on Spiritual Healing with Reba Riley


“Whatever is bringing you light, and life, and joy, move toward that. That’s God. We’re told that God is love, over and over, so move toward that love, however that looks like in your life. And whatever’s getting in the way of your search for that love, let it go.”– Reba Riley, author, Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome [Read More...]

Naked Preaching


[Editor's Note: This is the fourth in a series of posts we'll be featuring by the Rev. Deborah Dean-Ware, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last May.]  Okay, you pastor types, I know you know the dream. The one where you show up at church missing one or more pieces of clothing. Or the one where you find yourself completely and [Read More...]

Money, Mammon, Meaning & the Musings of Robert Frost

Christ of the Coin, Van Dyck / Wiki Commons

There is little doubt what Jesus meant when he lectured from the hillside that money is the root of all evil. Wait a second—don’t make any memes based on that quite yet. Because Jesus’ monetary remark from the Sermon on the Mount was actually about the impossibility of serving two masters, God and money. And [Read More...]

Confessions of an Ex-Postmodernist


by Todd A. Comer “Why Am I an Ex-Postmodernist? Perhaps because—even though ‘we’ postmodernists are well aware of this problem—somehow hospitality had become romanticized for me. Or, perhaps, postmodernism was never for me anything but the product of white, male privilege?” I began my graduate studies at Michigan State University in 1998, and it wasn’t long [Read More...]

“Dads Don’t Babysit!” When Black Fathers Love in the Midst of Injustice

A photo of Cbabi Bayoc’s half-finished painting R.I.P. SON © Cbabi Bayoc, 2014]

Just over a year ago, under a midnight sky, African American artist Cbabi Bayoc stood alone, painting at the cross-section of Canfield Drive and West Florissant Avenue in St. Louis, Missouri, not far from where police officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old African American male, just a few weeks earlier on August [Read More...]

Mommy, are your boobies broken?

[Editor's Note: This is the third in a series of posts we'll be featuring by the Rev. Deborah Dean-Ware, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last May.] I ordered this book, not so much for its wisdom (though there is plenty of wisdom in it), but for its title. I laughed out loud when I saw it, and I knew that I [Read More...]

Why I’m a Christian, Still


The relentless religious decline of my fellow Americans doesn’t really surprise me — even as I am one who loves the church, claims it as my spiritual home, and wonders why people don’t “get it” the way do. It’s just that I know too many perfectly wonderful people – friends, family, colleagues – who simply hold zero [Read More...]

Can we Stop for a Minute? A Call for an Ecclesiastical Intervention


It never changes. At every event, at every workshop, in so many of our sanctuaries and board rooms the conversation is all the same. Seemingly daily new books are published which contain some version of a response to the same conversation. “The Church is Dying! What do we do? What’s next? How will we make [Read More...]

6 Ways to Reach Millennials: The Future of Progressive Christianity


by Glenn Zuber The recent May 12th Pew poll (“America’s Changing Religious Landscape”) added a new wrinkle to the familiar debate over why established, traditional U.S. churches aren’t attracting younger generations like they used to in the 1950s. It turns out that Millennials more than Baby Boomers and Gen Xers don’t trust institutions of any kind and so they [Read More...]

The Future of Progressive Christianity: What If…?


What if the people leaving the Church are the collective voice of God to us, the Church, today? This question offered by Mark Sandlin in his post for our new series on The Future of Progressive Christianity sets the tone for a frank, deeply thoughtful, and ultimately inspiring symposium at Patheos this week. Mark’s lead question, firmly grounded in [Read More...]