Ashes to Ashes, Stardust to Stardust

Guest post: This was the message for Saint Andrew's Ash Wednesday service last night, as we kicked off our Lent worship series "Everyday Marvels." I am hoping you will indulge me and let me take you on two very quick journeys. First, we are going to go outward, away from the Earth like explorers into a vast cosmic ocean, into a Universe so enormous our human brains are physically incapable of understanding the scale of it. Next, we are going to go inward, to the very core of the cells of our … [Read more...]

The Fast I Choose: Lent, and What Consumes Us

Years past, I have rejected the notion of giving things up for Lent. I adhere more to the practice of adding a discipline TO my life, rather than the discipline of taking something away. The act of self-denial has always felt a little pious and inauthentic to me. Fine for other folks, if that works for them; but for me, nothing has ever felt meaningful enough to purge. I mean, in the grand scheme of the suffering of the world, what does it matter if I give up chocolate or t.v.?But I find … [Read more...]

$h*T Jesus Says: Weapons and Walls Edition

Further proof that the GOP is working overtime to distance itself from the faith-based voter: the agenda now includes taking school lunches and healthcare away from poor kids, while trying to maneuver an extra $54 billion for the military.I recognize that our service men and women are, in many cases, grossly underpaid. That some need food stamps just to make ends meet, and many cannot get the vocational and mental health support they need after returning from combat zones. If most, or even … [Read more...]

Overshared Childhood: Parenting and Privacy in the Social Media Age

Friday night situation: everybody's home after Dad's been traveling all week, nobody has anyplace to be, the house is clean, and there's Chinese takeout for dinner. I'll add to this perfect tableau that my kids have mostly graduated from watching cartoons full of grating, whiny voices and now like to watch kids cooking shows on the Food Network.  All in all, a lovely evening--and if you've got a busy family, you know that these kinds of peaceful home nights don't happen often. Or at least, they … [Read more...]

Close to Home: The Human Cost of Racist Rhetoric

Early spring in the Midwest means that my neighborhood has been a picturesque snapshot of American virtue lately. Kids riding bikes and playing basketball; families walking and running together on the trail; birdsong and jump ropes and sidewalk chalk; those first brave buds emerging, hoping not to get hammered by a mid-March blizzard.This is the kind of place where kids walk to school, people run out for an errand and leave their doors unlocked, and if you see a police car in front of a … [Read more...]

Refugees are Not Political

I'm sure I'm the only pastor in the world who's been accused of "being too political."Lol. I'm kidding. Every minister who addresses justice issues will inevitably be accused of being political.Sometimes it's true. Sometimes the church IS political, and sometimes that's ok. Read Benjamin Corey's post about how Jesus was political; and maybe we should be too.At other times, we aren't being political at all. Rather, the person who's accusing us of "wading into a political issue" is … [Read more...]

Showing Up for the Stranger: The Church Speaks Out Against the Travel Ban

Ever look around at the news/world/government these days and say "for the love of all that is holy, where is the Church??"Blatant marginalizing and silencing of women; racist rhetoric at every level of leadership; the destruction of the environment and the attempt to dismantle the EPA; the growing gap between the rich and the poor, and the continued scapegoating of the most disadvantaged among us; escalating violence in our communities and the continued glorification of guns and violence as s … [Read more...]

Our Billion-Dollar Heart Problem: 7 Non-Consumer Ways To Do Valentine’s Day

This just in: Americans will spend about 18 Billion dollars buying stuff for their sweethearts today.18 Billion. I have to write that out because I don't even know how many zeroes that entails.This is nuts, people. I mean, we could use that money to build a giant wall. Or like, pay for healthcare for every child in America, or something crazy like that.$18 billion would also cover our National Parks budget for about 8 years. Someone, not naming any names, could do a whole lot of d … [Read more...]

#ShePersisted: Warren Silenced for Calling a Racist a Racist

While we were screaming into the void about the confirmation of Betsy DeVos, the Senate began confirmation hearings for Jeff Sessions, the pick for Attorney General.Sessions' past record on civil rights has provoked widespread protest over his nomination. But this is not a new conversation. In 1986, similar concerns kept Sessions from the federal bench.Among the voices opposing his appointment 3 decades ago--civil rights activist Coretta Scott King, widow of Martin Luther King, Jr. She … [Read more...]