Check Yes or No: 7 Questions Not to Ask in a Pastoral Search Interview

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I was on the phone with a pastoral search committee a couple weeks ago—no, I was not being interviewed for a job (cause dang, that would be awkward). I was serving as a reference. I’ve done that quite a bit lately, and I usually feel like the person on the other end of the phone is going through a bullet list of things that 1) a denominational entity has given them or 2) they pulled from the employment handbook of the YMCA. Circa 1954. (Friendly? Clean? Christian? Check.)The conversation wen … [Read more...]

Love and Perfect–Wait for it–Timing

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Major spoiler alert—(insert Ted and Robin salute—Major Spoiler Alert!) If don't want to know how the HIMYM finale  ends, stop reading.If you're like, What's a bro code? Why are we suiting up? —keep reading anyway. There’s a spiritual thread here.Faithful viewers of the long-running How I Met Your Mother have always known they were in for a multi-twisted ending. You don’t play with the space time continuum like these writers have done— weaving past, present and future together with fantasy … [Read more...]

Buzzfeed Your Soul: Which Whatever Are You?

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Which Downton Abby character are you? Buzzfeed wanted to know. Ok, fine. I’ll play.I started clicking on stuff. Pick a color…sure. But like…for what? For a new dress, or for new paint in the living room? For nail polish, or liturgical paraments for the sanctuary? Ooh, and if yes to either the nail polish or the liturgical stuff, WHAT SEASON IS IT?Then, pick a movie. Like, I don’t know what kind of mood I’m supposed to be in, or who’s watching with me? Husband, or bff from high school? Cle … [Read more...]

Before Someone Drops a House on You

I've long had a theory about Fred Phelps: He didn't really hate gay people.Well, ok, he probably did. But not to the degree that his antics would lead one to believe. He was probably homophobic in the same way that a lot of people are homophobic...in a passive way that is mildly accepted by much of popular culture (which is a whole 'nother post) but you don't see all of those mainstream haters pounding the pavement with these ugly signs, and forming an abusive cult around their ideology. W … [Read more...]

Singing in Dimly Lit Places: Is Religious Freedom Under Threat?

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Here is the question that will be on Patheos Public Square  next week: While the principle of religious freedom is inscribed in the Constitution and forms a core idea of American democracy, it has also become an increasingly embattled issue amid broader cultural tensions over individual rights, the power of government, and the separation of church and state. Is religious freedom under threat, as many advocates claim? What does it mean to defend religious freedom in a diverse, modern society … [Read more...]

Drink it Up, Drink it In: The Lost Art of Celebration

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The Sunday before Valentine's day, I was doing my usual Sunday afternoon thing--staring at the wall, trying to recover from the mental and physical strain of preaching.  As I mindlessly scrolled through Facebook, I noticed a trend. Several consecutive pics in my newsfeed of friends displaying the Valentine cards, treats, and mail boxes they were making with their kids. After scrolling through 800 of these (ok, it was probably 7, but still) I got nervous."Hey," I said to my spouse..."Does H- h … [Read more...]

The Right Kind of Prayer

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A few weeks ago, Saint Andrew Christian Church hosted a "Welcoming Church" event, in partnership with a sister congregation and the GLAD Alliance. The goal was to generate conversation around what it means to be an open and affirming congregation, and what difference it makes to identity and mission when you 'say out loud' that you welcome everyone. Because, if we're being honest, most of our congregations still chant the mantra. You know the one: "We welcome everybody. Why do we have to talk abo … [Read more...]

If My Wings Should Fail Me

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I'm back among the living after a week down with the flu. Not a 24 hour flu bug type thing: actual influenza. Think sharp knives stabbing your chest every time you cough (which is, let's just say, often) chills, all-over body aches and general awfulness. And then my husband and one of the kids got it, and well... all downhill from there.But like I said--I'm back among the living today, newly aware of the fragile state of life embodied.  It doesn't take much to lay us flat. And at all … [Read more...]

“Jesus Feminist:” A Gospel of Empowerment

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“Jesus Feminist: Exploring God’s Radical Notion that Women are People, Too.”My initial reaction to that title was “Well yeah… Like we been sayin.” Because in most mainline protestant circles, we have been HELLA sayin. For like, 100 years. Don’t get me wrong, I was glad to see this book—an apologetic for empowering women leaders in the church—emerge in the evangelical circle, because, you know, ‘those people’ sure need to read it. But I didn’t really expect to find anything in it that would sp … [Read more...]


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