Trust Me, Church: When Passing the Peace Turns Stressful for Me

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Belonging to a different church than my husband seemed hardly subversive in the beginning. After all, he worked fourteen-hour days on Sundays as a pastor in a neighboring town and took our one and only car to get there. I, on the other hand, rode my bike to a nearby congregation that I was starting [Read More...]

Five Things To Do When GOD Seems ALOOF

There is an old joke… There was a man who fell in a hole and couldn’t get out. He had a friend walk by above and he called out for help, but the friend kept walking. After some time he saw a second man he knew and called up. The second man looked down into [Read More...]

Holy Parents, Not Rabbits and Colonizers

By Timothy Villareal Discussing the Catholic Church’s prohibition on artificial contraception and its promotion of Natural Family Planning (NFP) on his return flight from the Phillipines, Pope Francis told reporters, “Some people think — excuse me for saying this — that to be good Catholics we have to be like rabbits.” Well, I have an [Read More...]

Trust Me, Church: Why I’m Not That Interested in “Letting You Know I’m Here”

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When I graduated from divinity school, I was homeless. Not in a literal kind of way but a spiritual one. I had been living in the same city for two years without a church to call my own. Sure, I had dated a few congregations on and off but nothing serious developed. The only names [Read More...]

When God Hides: An Interview with Author Tony Kriz

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Have you ever felt like God was hiding from you? Have you ever wondered how you’re supposed to be a faithful Christian when God feels absent so much of the time? If you’ve ever asked these questions or others related to God’s presence or absence, author and speaker Tony Kriz wants you to know you’re not [Read More...]

Two Conversations Christians Need to Have in 2015

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America is coming apart at the seams. Greed, corruption, fear, and violence are among our defining qualities. We Christians must confront the fact that we have done a poor job of proclaiming Good News in America. As such, there are two conversations we must have in 2015. This first is, “what is sin?” The second [Read More...]

Some Assembly Required: A Church Without God

On January 11, I drove down the hill to the Musicians Union hall at 817 Vine Street to attend the monthly Sunday Assembly Los Angeles, described at its website as “a godless community that meets monthly to hear great talks, connect for service projects, sing songs and generally celebrate life. Assemblies are free to attend, and everyone is [Read More...]

Trust Me, Church: How Your Bulletin Makes Me Feel Like I Do (or Don’t) Belong

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In my search for a church home during graduate school, I attended over ten churches in two years, each with their own different style of communication. Some handed out a tan, tri-fold piece of paper by which I could follow along, nose down, during the service. Others projected announcements on movie screens that required thick-rimmed [Read More...]

Trust Me, Church: Five Micro-Resolutions That Make a Big Difference

Hello My Name is Millennial

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” I said to myself as the storm door pumped behind me to a close. I carried the day’s mail in on the flat of my forearm, like a waiter bussing dirty dishes. A letter from my former church lay on top of the junk addressed to “The Beam Family.” [Read More...]

Where Is God? A Sermon on Why It’s Not Necessary to Believe that Jesus is God

John’s prologue is actually a poem that introduces major themes that will be developed in the unfolding of the story that follows. It is a beautiful poem about the mystery of incarnation. I love the story about two mischievous boys, Tommy the oldest, Jimmy his little brother. One summer the two boys became quite popular [Read More...]

Advent, Christmas, and the Messiness of Wombs

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I never had children; never wanted to. So I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about my womb. I never really had to keep track of its schedule, so I just let it do its thing, tended it as necessary without giving a lot of thought to what it was there for. I don’t [Read More...]

Yes, Mary Did Know. But Do We?

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By the Rev. Jude Harmon Chartbusting this holiday season is Pentatonix’s cover of “Mary Did You Know?” Rich vocal harmonies fused with the group’s fresh, dynamic flavor make this version really pop. It has rightly been hailed as “haunting,” “breathtaking” and goosebump-inducing. Written by Mark Lowry, the song has been covered by the likes of [Read More...]


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