Life Out There: Celebrating 5 Years of Patheos

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As a writer, I live 'in here,' in my head much of the time. As a faith leader, I live ‘out’ in the world, and up in front of a big community much of the time. ‘In here’ and ‘out there’ are two scary places to be sometimes.  This is why I started blogging.It is easy to feel isolated with one’s own thoughts. Especially if some of those thoughts are doubts about faith, or critiques of the Church, and one is supposed to be a leader in said faith/Church. But doubts and critiques are exactly what m … [Read more...]

Red Tape at the Table

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Picture this: a devout woman, active in her local parish, has been denied communion for years, because her husband (not her) has been previously married. Therefore, her marriage is not considered legit by the Church. So she writes a letter to the Vatican.I’m not sure what sort of response she was expecting. But what she got was a call from THE POPE. He calls her up, says, it's cool, you can take communion. No biggie.She leaks the call to the media, so for about 5 minutes, Catholics e … [Read more...]

A Doctor, A Pastor, and a Car Salesman…

No, they're not walking into a bar. But perhaps they should...Here's what I know about TMJ: well, I know a lot, and guess/infer a lot more--this is some of each. For starters 1) it affects more women than men; 2) it is a whole-person issue, encompassing physical, dental, and psychological factors--which means that no type of insurance coverage-- even if you have benefits for all three of these areas--wants to cover treatment. Some come right out and say in the fine print 'we do not cover … [Read more...]

In New Skin, Again

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Yes, this is what I do when I should be working on sermon notes, or prayerfully reflecting on high holy days. I rhyme things. It's a sickness... My car and my office are both a big messAnd I’m a big pile of hot-wired stress--Even the preacher has to confesswhen It’s Holy Week again. Friday’s black (but not like for shopping)The dang Easter bunny comes hippity hoppingAnd I wish this headache would just start stoppingIt’s Holy Week again … [Read more...]

Broken and Othered

interfaith

This morning, I went to an interfaith Service of Unity and Hope at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park. Last Sunday, 2 people were murdered there. Another victim was shot at a nearby retirement facility, also connected to the Jewish community.The man responsible for these heinous acts of violence—we won’t say his name, because I don’t believe in making celebrities out of killers—he had a history. Some long and awful history. He was involved with the KKK, and was even a Grand Dragon, … [Read more...]

Changing the Conversation: 7 Ways to End Violence While Keeping Your Guns

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I’m tired of hearing “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people!”I’m tired of conversations full of soundbites from everyone’s favorite pro/anti organization or polarizing media outlet.And I’m tired of saying “God is present with us in tragedy and loss of life… we grieve with the families of the victims… we hope for a day in which God’s peace may be known on the earth and blah blah blah…” For love of ALL THAT IS, I am tired of preaching that sermon.Is it true? That God is with us in … [Read more...]

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

himym

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...]


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