Downer Abbey

If you want to avoid Downton spoilers, then just go visit my guest post on HerKentucky today. Meanwhile, the rest of us are going to don some sack cloth and ashes and lament the season finale. It's very Lent-y, I promise.**Spoiler Alert ... fair warning.Awhile back, I posted The Gospel of Grantham.  I noted here that our fascination with Downton Abbey is really a timely response to our own dramatically changing culture. The show speaks deep spiritual truth about how we cope with our own s … [Read more...]

The New Anonymous

My friend Matt over at the Board of Church Extension wrote a great piece about 'anonymous letters' to the pastor. He says that pastors should not respond to these letters at all, and should probably not even read them.I agree that the anonymous angst letter should not be dignified with a response. A reply empowers the person who does not even give you the courtesy of their name (side note: we still know who you are)...and this sort of behavior should not be encouraged.But most clergy don' … [Read more...]

Out of the (little black) Box

Hey. Watch this real quick. When you're done tossing your pink frosted cookies, come back and we'll chat:Love Story, or beginning of epic slasher flick?Ok. Thanks for coming back. Now, where do we begin: a)terrible acting, b) shameless commercialization of love, or c) icky gender roles and the notion that women are afraid of loud noises?I'm going to go with 'all of the above' and say D) The dangerous notion that love can fit into a little black box.Advertisers have their way with … [Read more...]

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...]

Forwarding Address

tucson labyrinth

I'm feeling a little out of breath. I'm new to Patheos this week, which means I'm moving from my old blog spot. And while other people have done all the heavy lifting for this move (thanks, Deborah and Hillary!) I still feel like I'm in the middle of a literal re-location. I'm trying to bring with me not just my archives, but also followers, subscribers, and people who 'like' me on Facebook... In other words, it feels like i'm coming in with boxes of important stuff that needs to be organized. … [Read more...]

Out of Joint

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I hesitate to say this out loud and jinx myself so--knock on wood, or stucco, or whatever's handy but--i have not been sick in over a year. Not even a cold or a 24-hour stomach thing. No sinus infection, which i used to get chronically, no upper-respiratory gunk, nothing. I'm not sure what i've done to gain such a run of great good health, other than 1)take my kids out of daycare, 2)yoga and 3)drink lots of green tea. Whatever it is, it's working and i'm grateful for it.However--i am unwell … [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...]

Those Guys are Awesome

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Like many Americans, I spent a small slice of my life in the service industry. Several summers waiting tables, and nearly a year at hotel. I could spend days telling stories--good, bad and ugly--of the people i encountered in that time of my life. But in the interest of the broader message here, I'm going to share just two:The Bad Tip:  It was a Sunday lunch shift. The 'after church' crowd who, in southeastern Kentucky and elsewhere in the Bible belt, are also known as the worst tippers e … [Read more...]

The Risk of Relationship

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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...]


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