A Measure of Elf Awareness

elf

I’ll just admit it. The Elf on the Shelf creeps me out. I mean, something that watches every move I make, reports back to Santa, and can run around my house at night? No, thank you.Jenny, the fabulous Bloggess, expressed distaste for said elf more aptly and colorfully than i ever could. But don't go see her if you find my language to be occasionally borderline or offensive. Let's just say, she does not use %*$&#@ symbols. She's not a preacher. She can say what she means. But language a … [Read more...]

Week 1, Day 2: Homecoming

chris-campbell-xmas (1)

Many thanks to our guest author today. Jane Fugate is a dedicated social worker and addiction counselor. She is a published author, a popular speaker and presenter, and she helped develop the television program "The Family Works." She began her career serving in the Red Cross Special Services during the Vietnam War. Natives of Kentucky (!!) Jane and her husband, Bob, are active members of Foothills Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Phoenix, AZ.What are you Waiting For?They say … [Read more...]

Advent: Week 1, Day 1

my-own-domain (1)

I started early this year. While I am usually a stickler for the liturgical year and save decorating, shopping, and festive music for the beginning of Advent proper, i got impatient. Or rather, i got that 'need a little Christmas' feeling in the wake of an ugly election cycle--as did we all--and i might have let some holiday cheer creep through my radio a full week before Thanksgiving. I might have done all my shopping (online) on black Friday. I might have put up my tree a full week before the … [Read more...]

A Prayer for World AIDS Day

Eight years ago, I went on a small mission trip to Swaziland, a tiny little kingdom in southern Africa, a (scary) 5-hour drive east of Johannesburg. One in four adults there is HIV positive--and that is just reported cases--ranking that country's rate of infection among the highest in the world. Poverty and gender inequality were, and remain, key factors in the spread of the disease.As one often learns on a mission trip, our time there was spent not so much 'doing' anything that would change … [Read more...]

Are We Still On This?

Dear Bill O'Reilly: there is no war on Christmas. It is alive and well, and 'merica spent the first $60 BILLION of it on Black Friday Weekend. (That's now a thing--not Thanksgiving, not Advent I, but Black Friday Weekend).Is our faith so tenuous that we need it to be affirmed by the retailers? (--says a wise member of my congregation) By the greeting card industry? By the person fixing our pumpkin spice latte?I've already said my peace about all the reasons we need to stop being so touchy a … [Read more...]

An Empty House

A Tao of Christmas shopping, from a wannabe minimalist:So, i buy most of my kids' clothes at consignment sales. Also sell stuff there, so i almost break even. I go to this one sale twice a year (because it is at my church and i get to shop early!) While i'm shopping for clothes, i also keep my eyes peeled for good toys at super cheap prices. I buy a few here and there, so by the time Christmas rolls around, I buy each kid one new thing, and i'm pretty much done. They get about 4 gifts each, … [Read more...]

Like Frosty Said… the Sun Was Hot That Day

I think i say this, or something like it, every year of the world. But, here it is again:It is really, really hard to get into Advent and Christmas mode when it is 80-degrees and sunny outside. There's something just downright apocolyptic about driving down a scenic desert highway, with gorgeous views and sunshine, and hearing 'Holly Jolly Christmas" or "Frosty the Snowman"  come on the radio. Nevermind the fact that 'Holly Jolly" is just about the worst song in the history of the world...it … [Read more...]

Top 10 Reasons Christians Should Stop Whining About Secular Xmas

Photo by Elisabeth Gawne

"Keep Christ in Christmas!" "Jesus is the reason for the season!" "It's OK to say Merry Christmas!"I don't disagree with any of these statements. However, as a PR rep for Jesus, I cringe whenever I see them printed on a sign somewhere. I know we all lament the commercialization of a sacred day; I know that it's frustrating to see something so meaningful reduced to plastic snowmen and frozen fruitcakes. That said, it's not worth getting all offended by a 'season's greetings' card, or a … [Read more...]

til by Turning, Turning, We Come ‘Round Right

sanctuary

Spoiler alert: if you are coming to Foothills for worship tomorrow and you want to be surprised, wait and read this on Monday.Over six years ago, when i first walked into the sanctuary at Foothills, what i saw with my eye and what i saw with my heart were two different things. My eye saw a space that was much-loved, though cared for with limited resources. Bright (i mean bright!) paint colors that detracted from the beautiful stain glass; old carpet; a communion table and pulpit in synthetic … [Read more...]


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