Let Freedom Ring: A Very Ducky Christmas Special

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I wish these public media storms would hold off until after Christmas. It’s really messing with my Advent 4 mojo. However—the Duck Debacle has crept into my head space, and I’m pretty sure the Spirit will not be able to show up with a sermon until I’ve got this out of my system.As you have probably heard, Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame said some off-putting things about LGBT folks in a magazine interview. What he said should not have surprised anyone who knows anything about the family, … [Read more...]

Detour: Holiday Hospitality for Churches

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It’s the week before Christmas. You haven’t been to church in a year. Maybe in lots of years. Maybe you’ve only ever been to church for weddings and funerals, but this year, something compels you to seek a sacred connection in community. So you scan the newspaper ‘seasonal worship’ ads. You scour the internet. You maybe ask around the neighborhood.Having found a place that might be the place, you set out on Christmas Eve. Maybe you had to feed, dress and corral a herd of small children into t … [Read more...]

Ready

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If you are following along with the "Partners in Prayer" Advent devotion guide, you'll see that today's reflection is about the litany of 'I'm not ready' that we're all supposed to be sharing right about now. That piece was extracted from a longer blog post that I wrote two advents ago. Here's the whole thing. I'm reading it today, in the middle of moving and chaos, and thinking how much it still applies. I'm also thinking, hey...a self care day sounds pretty great right about now!I took a … [Read more...]

Bumpy Roads

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I've got another great guest post for you today. Rev. Isaac Varner is one of my Arizona clergy friends (I sure do miss those guys!) and he just returned from a trip to Indonesia with Church World Service. I asked him to share a reflection on that experience, and here's what he delivered. 3A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven gr … [Read more...]

Annunciation

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Today we have a guest post from Rev. Elizabeth Myer Boulton. She is, among other things, creative director of the SALT Project, "a not-for-profit project dedicated to reclaiming and sharing the beauty of Christian life through film, photography, music, poetry, and ideas."   And y'all...this little "Hamlet" video is the cutest ever. But it's not JUST cute. It is a powerful witness to the beauty of the gospel through the eyes (and voice!) of a child. Take a minute to watch, and then share around. B … [Read more...]

Go and See

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Advent and Christmas might be the most hectic time in the church year. But it can also be the fullest and most blessed. All the serving and sharing, the singing and decorating, the gathering and singing some more...it all leads up to something that feels almost magical, as we gather in a candle-lit, greened up sanctuary on Christmas Eve.Or i should say, sanctuaries. Because part of the magic of that sacred gathering is knowing that, in sanctuaries all over the world, others gather to sing … [Read more...]

Filled with Good Things

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Rev. Brandon Gilvin is the Associate Director of Week of Compassion, and he is also a dang good writer. A native Kentuckian, he now lives in Kansas City with his wife, Lisa.I recently returned  from a two week trip to India, where I visited two very different states, Bihar and Meghalaya, to learn about some of the work supported through a partnership between Week of Compassion, Foods Resource Bank , and several other ecumenical partners from the FRB network.  From the sleepy mountain town of … [Read more...]

Daring to Wait

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Cheryl Carmichael is the author of Dare to Care: Caring for Our Elders. She began her career in aging with the Area Agency on Aging, in Phoenix, Arizona. Cheryl earned an AAS in Gerontology in 2002. She worships and serves at Foothills Christian Church in Phoenix.Cheryl’s father, Bill, is in the middle stages of Alzheimer's Disease. What are you waiting for? After my parents’ divorce, I was raised by my mother. I was 14, and she harbored much anger towards my dad. … [Read more...]

Tell Me Again

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I've lost count of how many times I've read the Grinch these past few weeks. I've got it memorized, as do the kids. In fact, they are starting to cotton on when i try to skip a line or two in order to move things on along toward bedtime. "No, mom, you forgot the part where..."Meanwhile, in my own reading life, i am making nightly trips to Hogwarts--again. This is probably my third time reading the newer books, more like 4th or 5th on some of the older ones. I've got other characters and … [Read more...]


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