Another Dream

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Holy smokes. I am just getting around to reading Jimmy Carter's piece about gender inequality in the church. If you haven't read it yet, please do so today. Even if it feels like preaching to the choir in some of our circles, he speaks far more eloquently and broadly the truth that so many of us have been hollering about for decades, given his perspective from within the tradition. And also, he was the freakin President of the free world. Somehow, I feel this good word carries a little more … [Read more...]

God of the Facebook Meme

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One woman's 'apologetic' as to why she is raising her children without God has been making the internet rounds this week. Reading it made me want to respond in some way, without engaging the crazies in the comment thread (do not feed the trolls). But I also don’t want it to sound like I’m arguing with her—or with people who share her beliefs.Because actually? I kind of agree with her.At least, on some points. Despite my own faith and vocation, I absolutely ditto the sentiment that schools … [Read more...]

The Rhythms of Grace

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Last week, I signed my 4-year-old daughter up for her first dance class. !!  I bought tights and leotards, and she's been wearing them around the house for weeks now. I'm trying to teach her the grande jette. Because, you know, it is always preferable to begin the (beginner, toddler, community center) class from a more advanced perspective than your peers.Oh, yeah. I'm going to be that mom. Consider yourselves forewarned.Thing is, while the 'retired' dance teacher in me is thrilling at … [Read more...]

As Often As You Do This…

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Clergy burn-out rates are at an all-time high. All sorts of seminaries and foundations are devoting studies to the topic, trying to learn why the life of ministry seems to be growing less and less sustainable.I'm grateful that these studies exist, though i don't think there's an easy answer--or one that applies in every situation. I think that each pastor's personality contributes to how they approach ministry; and each congregation's personality contributes to how they treat their pastor. So … [Read more...]

The Unapologetics

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I'm not complaining. I have the best job in the world. I spend time with wonderful people who have incredible stories to share. I get to write, and read, like, a lot. I get to break bread in all sorts of settings and call it blessed. I set my own schedule, within reason. I go on trips. I talk about Jesus. I share with people the fullest and most joyful moments of their lives. And when an earthly life has ended, I draw a thread of narrative to bring meaning from it all, and point it all back to … [Read more...]

The Tenth Day of Christmas: Elf Hats, Broken Candles, and Leftover S’Mores

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I'm staring at a blinking cursor on a blank white screen, and wondering why it is so hard to make a beginning. I haven't preached or blogged in nearly two weeks. You'd think i would be just FULL of good news, articulate responses to world events, and witty observations of human behavior. Well, I may be full of something, but today, it is neither wit nor wisdom.On the contrary, writing is like excercise. The more you do it, the easier it is. Fall out for a few days, and it seems nearly … [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


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...]

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...]