Signs of Strength: Thoughts on the Women’s March

Guest post: Dr. Kimberly JonesOne of the first signs that I saw as we trekked into Washington DC for the Women’s March contained these iconic words:Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.Since the election, I have despaired that our country has moved so far from this welcoming spirit… until yesterday.I gathered … [Read more...]

Back to Work For Affordable Healthcare

It's kind of a fog, but from what I recall, we had a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old. 2 kids in diapers. 2 kids who needed naps at different times of the day, and who needed to eat every 2 hours or so. 2 car seats with complicated buckles to fumble in the triple-digit heat. The older one was a chronic thumb-sucker, and in part-time day care. So we were all sick, all the time. We'd pass it around, and by the time the last one of us was better, a new and exciting germ funk would be making the rounds. T … [Read more...]

The End of Words: A Zechariah Advent

Thanks to the magic of Facebook pop-up memories, I revisit the posts of Christmas Past on a pretty regular basis. The last few weeks' flashbacks have shown me that, every year around this time, I have a viral blog post. Almost like clockwork, I write some clever ode to terrible Christmas music, a survival guide for clergy with young children, or a snarky diatribe about the so-called War on Christmas. According to the calendar, I am due for such a post right about now.But this is not going to … [Read more...]

Do Not Be Afraid: Calling All Angels

 Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child con … [Read more...]

Moana, the “Other” Princess: Thoughts on Identity and Belonging

Guest post: by Rev. Allison RuariWhen I was three, I learned the words to “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” After hearing “Red and Yellow, Black and White/They are precious in his sight,” I had to reconcile that I was none of those colors (nor was my Samoan father). Still, I knew Jesus loved me (and my father). So what did I do? I asked questions and made the music director change the words. The new words weren’t perfect, but they served my purpose and the conversation encouraged others to t … [Read more...]

Open: The Perfect Christmas Card

I guess it's time to start thinking about Christmas cards. (sigh)This means coming up with a reasonably current picture of my whole family--all together in one place, all looking at the camera at the same time; preferably not in matching outfits, but also not looking like we just rolled out of bed or survived a minor struggle.For some families, this is no big deal. They schedule their professional family photo shoot for the same weekend every fall. They show up at a lovely local setting, … [Read more...]

Here I Am, Where We’ve Been: A Post-Election Sermon

In the year of King Uzziah’s death, I saw the Lord sitting on a high and exalted throne, the edges of his robe filling the temple.  Winged creatures were stationed around him. Each had six wings: with two they veiled their faces, with two their feet, and with two they flew about.They shouted to each other, saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of heavenly forces! All the earth is filled with God’s glory!” The doorframe shook at the sound of their shouting, and the house was filled with smoke. … [Read more...]

Election Fatigue: 10 Spiritual Practices for Toxic Times

I want to write about election fatigue. But I'm too tired.I've been dragging, feeling run-down and drained. This should not be. I haven't been sick. It's my favorite time of year. Church is good, kids are good. It's almost Halloween and last week was my birthday. I just got a FitBit and have met my step goals every day since I put the dang thing on. I've been sleeping ok. I eat green vegetables. What more does this body want from me?My first impulse would be to blame last week's … [Read more...]

Dear America: You’re In An Abusive Relationship

My beloved America. This is an intervention.This is a hard thing to say, so I'm just going to get right to it: You are in an abusive relationship. I'm sorry if it hurts you to hear that, and I hope that someday you will be able to forgive me for being so direct. It's only because I love you, and I can't bear to see you hurt anymore.This guy you've been seeing... He is dangerous. He threatens you with violence. He lies to you about your friends and family, trying to isolate you so t … [Read more...]