Ashes and Casseroles: The Business of Life

I did a funeral this morning for a beloved saint of the church. Now I'm working on an Ash Wednesday service for later this evening.I tell you what--sometimes us Pastors have the funnest jobs EVER.Days like today, I remember that we are in the business of death. We are in the business of comforting folks as they exit the world; of blessing people into the next life; of drawing threads of narrative to speak the purpose of it all. We are in the business of sitting next to the widow.In ce … [Read more...]

Zumba-dy Stop Me

Maybe you don't know this about me, but i'm a 'retired' dancer. I've been missing the dance part of my life lately because my daughter has recently started ballet. All those little leotards are making me remember 1)the time when i could fit into such a thing and 2)the sheer joy of movement. For the past 12 years or so, the yen to dance again has come and gone in seasons. This time, in looking at dance studios for my kid, i found one that had an adult Zumba class, and figured I'd try it.  I've … [Read more...]

The Risk of Relationship

A follow-up to yesterday's discussion re: "Moral Compromise."  We are talking about the beginnings of transformation. The sharing of real stories, real relationships; engaging open discourse and genuine interest in those we mark as 'other.'  Time and again we find that once an 'opinion' or an 'issue' becomes about a real live person, everything changes.That truth goes both ways. Always.There is still a long way to go down the road to equality and inclusion of LGBT folks, in all segments o … [Read more...]

Moral Compromise

I've seen two news items today that made me really happy. How often can you say such a thing?Here they are: thing 1 being, a tiny little coal town in Eastern Kentucky (holla!) passed a city ordinance to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. Thus far, Vicco is "the smallest municipality in Kentucky, and possibly the country, to enact such an ordinance."  If you haven't read this piece yet, take the link over. You'll be glad you did. I mean, mullets are involved. Seriously. And s … [Read more...]

For Life. Still.

On this anniversary of Roe v. Wade, when emotions run high, it seems an important time to re-post this piece i wrote awhile ago. What has happened to the elusive 'middle road,' that place from which people of differing views can see another side, and engage in valuable discussion and discernment to approach difficult topics? If you've already read this, talk amongst yourselves.Come to think of it--talk amongst yourselves, anyway. It's important. Find somebody with whom you do not agree … [Read more...]

Your Jesus looks like a frat guy…

It was a day to celebrate diversity, a day to celebrate progress. It was a day to look forward with great hope and resolve. It was also a day to look with sadness on the deep divisions of race and religion running through the course of our history; a day to recognize the tragic and growing chasm between plenty and want.  And yet, for all that, it was a day to believe in the best ideals, the most beautiful landscapes, and the hard-working, free-thinking people that make up our great nat … [Read more...]

Another Dream

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...]

As Often As You Do This…

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 Gospel of Grantham

If you want to know what a nerd I am, I'm going to tell you. About 80% of the status updates in my newsfeed on Sunday were from friends engaged in a "Downt-down." (I crack myself up). That is, a countdown to the season 3 premier of 'Downton Abbey.'The other 20% were something to the effect of, where is Downton Abbey, and why do I want to go there? I'm never quite sure what to tell people about it, except that once you go, you'll know.Come to think of it, why DO so many of us love this … [Read more...]


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