Not in the Fire, Not in the Wind

The following is from week 2 of the sermon series "Doors and Windows: Faces of Faith in Transition." Since many of you followed last week's conversation about "Mapping the Message," I thought you might like to see the product of all that series planning. I really enjoyed sharing some of the creative process, and I hope we can talk more about that soon!  Meanwhile, read on for some thoughts on finding that still, small voice--even when all around us feels like chaos. It’s official. Nothing is … [Read more...]

Holy Ground: A Small Place at the Center of Everything

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Genesis 28:10-19Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. 11He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. 12And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13And the Lord stood beside him and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of … [Read more...]

The Turning Away

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PSSSSSsssttt. You guys. Somebody tell the Southern Baptists that the transgender crowd is not exactly queuing up to join their churches…Is exactly the kind of snarky thing I’m really tempted to say right now, just a few days after the Southern Baptist Convention voted to affirm a resolution condemning transgender people. Because really, telling the transgender folks to get out of the Baptist church? That’s kind of like telling the Portland hipsters to stop shopping at Wal-Mart.It’s almost … [Read more...]

The Art of Lazing: Your Summer Reading List

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Hey, you. Yeah, you over there: Posting your pictures of summer home improvement projects; the litany of outdoor activities, parties and marathons that fills your calendar; your Pinterest board full of landscaping ideas, cooking adventures, and craftiness; the ‘before’ pictures of your closet, about to become glistening ‘afters’ worthy of a spot in the Pottery Barn catalogue… YOU ARE WEARING ME OUT. Everybody knows what summer is really for.Reading.Hours and hours of reading.  Glorious la … [Read more...]

Check Yes or No: 7 Questions Not to Ask in a Pastoral Search Interview

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I was on the phone with a pastoral search committee a couple weeks ago—no, I was not being interviewed for a job (cause dang, that would be awkward). I was serving as a reference. I’ve done that quite a bit lately, and I usually feel like the person on the other end of the phone is going through a bullet list of things that 1) a denominational entity has given them or 2) they pulled from the employment handbook of the YMCA. Circa 1954. (Friendly? Clean? Christian? Check.)The conversation wen … [Read more...]

Love and Perfect–Wait for it–Timing

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Major spoiler alert—(insert Ted and Robin salute—Major Spoiler Alert!) If don't want to know how the HIMYM finale  ends, stop reading.If you're like, What's a bro code? Why are we suiting up? —keep reading anyway. There’s a spiritual thread here.Faithful viewers of the long-running How I Met Your Mother have always known they were in for a multi-twisted ending. You don’t play with the space time continuum like these writers have done— weaving past, present and future together with fantasy … [Read more...]

The Right Kind of Prayer

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A few weeks ago, Saint Andrew Christian Church hosted a "Welcoming Church" event, in partnership with a sister congregation and the GLAD Alliance. The goal was to generate conversation around what it means to be an open and affirming congregation, and what difference it makes to identity and mission when you 'say out loud' that you welcome everyone. Because, if we're being honest, most of our congregations still chant the mantra. You know the one: "We welcome everybody. Why do we have to talk abo … [Read more...]

“Jesus Feminist:” A Gospel of Empowerment

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“Jesus Feminist: Exploring God’s Radical Notion that Women are People, Too.”My initial reaction to that title was “Well yeah… Like we been sayin.” Because in most mainline protestant circles, we have been HELLA sayin. For like, 100 years. Don’t get me wrong, I was glad to see this book—an apologetic for empowering women leaders in the church—emerge in the evangelical circle, because, you know, ‘those people’ sure need to read it. But I didn’t really expect to find anything in it that would sp … [Read more...]

Marked

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Yesterday, I found myself decidedly NOT at church, imposing ashes. Instead I was at home, trying to rest myself back from the flu I've been battling, and being clung-to by my littlest one, who woke up with it yesterday. Though I never left my house, I spent the holy day keeping a different kind of watch...one that every parent knows too well, and one that bears its own kind of liturgy. So I wrote a thing.       From dust you were born. To dust you will return.And we, the keepers … [Read more...]


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