Passing the Peace

Hi, folks. I took a week or so away from blogging to finish my book, and now I'm taking a week away to spend with my family. Enjoy this guest post from my friend Annie Kratzsch, and look for more guest posts in the coming days. I'll be back to writing around mid-August, and look forward to catching up with the world. A few weeks ago, I was proselytized twice in three days.On a Thursday night, before I could get all the way through the mall doors, I heard the universal opener for selling s … [Read more...]

7 Takeaways from the RNC: And the Only One You Really Need to Know

I tried not to watch. I poured myself a glass of wine and cranked up Netflix on my laptop and tried to keep my heart rate in a normal, resting range.But with my husband watching in the next room, I kept hearing bits and pieces. Mostly the loud, hysterical "BOOs" that seemed to be the pervading sentiment of the evening. That's pretty much the gist, I thought. Who needs to watch?I managed to stay away until"DID I JUST HEAR HIM SAY HE WILL NOT TOLERATE INJUSTICE??" I yell to my sp … [Read more...]

While You Were Watching Melania: Rep. Steve King’s Telling Racist Remarks

While everyone was busy watching the absurd 60-Minutes interview; while we laughed at the disastrous rolling out of his VP pick, and the subsequent rolling back of the dumbfounding logo (the memes tho...totally worth it); while we shook our heads at the Melania plagiarism fiasco and wondering Michelle should take it as a weird sort of compliment(?); something else was happening:Iowa Congressman Steve King made an overtly racist statement in a public forum; and exactly nothing hap … [Read more...]

Just One Thing: On Hearing and Being Heard

Sermon from Sunday, July 17;  Luke 10:38-42The man said to the doctor, “I’m concerned my wife isn’t hearing well, and I can’t convince her to get it checked.”“Here’s what you do,” said the doctor. “Stand on the other side of the room and say something. If she doesn’t hear you, move a little closer and try again. Keep doing that until she responds, and then you’ll know how bad the problem really is.”So that night, the man sat on the far side of the room and said, “What’s for dinner?” … [Read more...]

Which Amendment Comes First? Guns, Muslims, and Fear that Trumps Freedom

After Senator Chris Murphy led a 15-hour filibuster; and other lawmakers, led by Rep. John Lewis, staged a sit-in on the House floor; Congress finally allowed for a vote on measures that would, among other things, ban people on the terrorist watch list from buying guns.Conservative lawmakers voted the measure down. Though its failure to pass was predictable, the reason they gave was a bit of a head-scratcher. (Not that reason has much play in the conversation around gun control...) Their c … [Read more...]

Good Christian Sex: Not an Oxymoron

Guest Post, by Bromleigh McCleneghanLast spring, I told the committee that hired me as the new associate pastor that I was writing a book about sex, both in the interest of full-disclosure and as a bit of self-defense. They couldn’t complain later if they didn’t complain initially, right?They didn’t complain. They are lovely. Though the congregation has taken to teasing me ever so slightly, especially as my book received its title (Good Christian Sex). Apparently it will receive a mentio … [Read more...]

The End of Us: Where Love Is Not Enough

Love is not enough.I'm a pastor, so I'm not supposed to say that. As a minister of the gospel, I'm supposed to say that love "bears all, believes all, endures all," etc. That love conquered the grave. The love is made perfect in Christ, and therefore perfects us all.Love will keep us together. Love lifts us up where we belong. Love is all you need.At some point, it all starts to sound the same, and it all starts to ring hollow. People have had enough of silly love songs.When the … [Read more...]

Who is My Neighbor? Police Shootings and Those We Leave For Dead

I am writing a book about family values--not the James Dobson kind, that are dependent on your family being a man+woman+2.5 kids+terrier. I'm writing about the kinds of values that do not rely on compliance with rigid gender roles, or a particular expression of "right belief." They are values that each unique family and faith community can discuss, apply, and live with intention, to find meaning and greater connection.The value that I'm struggling to articulate today is: justice. We say it's … [Read more...]

Why We Don’t Want To Be Made Well

Guest post: by Ed CyzewskiDo you have any moments from your past that make you cringe or recoil in fear and shame?I have a running list of these moments that range from times I publicly embarrassed myself in front of friends and family to the times I’ve deeply wounded friends and family with my own selfishness and anger. I can whip myself into a frenzy of guilt and shame with remarkable efficiency.One afternoon I sat down to pray because I'd had enough of the shame I'd been carrying. … [Read more...]