The Clergy/Parent’s Christmas Eve Survival Guide

For clergy with small children, it’s kind of a sick joke: your longest work day of the year falls on the night before your children’s earliest morning. You can see it unfolding, but you’re powerless to stop it. You’ll get home around 12:30 or 1am, too jacked up on caffeine and adrenaline to sleep. So you’ll wind down by eating the cookies the kids left for Santa (because, hey, keep the magic alive!) and watching part of the 24-hour A Christmas Story marathon.  You might get drowsy by 2… But hey, … [Read more...]

ADVENTageous: Loud and Visible

nikki's fam

Guest post: My friend Nikki Adcock Williams is a wife, a mom to two amazing kids (Anna, 10 and Liam, 7), and a legal writing professor at Georgia State College of Law. In February of 2014, Nikki was diagnosed was multiple myeloma, a rare blood and bone cancer. She is undergoing weekly chemotherapy treatments for the next three years.Although some doctors have told her that her cancer is treatable but not curable, she places her hope in God and the great scientific minds who are tackling this … [Read more...]

ADVENTageous: Tragedy Plus Time

Now...

This the growing edge of Advent: to take a time fraught with stress and damaging expectations, and instead use it for spiritual growth and good work in the world.  I'm sharing my attempt to grow through this season, rather than deplete my every ounce of energy; and to share good news, rather than just sharing Made-In-China stuff. Care to join me? Send in your stories, and I may share some.  A Staten Island grand jury declined to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the choking death of unarm … [Read more...]

ADVENTageous: Un-busy

Now...

This the growing edge of Advent: to take a time fraught with stress and damaging expectations, and instead use it for spiritual discipline and good work in the world.  I’m going to write about my attempt to move through this season gracefully and hopefully; the effort to grow, rather than deplete my every ounce of energy; and the work of sharing good news and compassion, rather than just sharing Made-In-China stuff. Care to join me? Send in your stories, and I may share some.  Something must … [Read more...]

In Church, At Christmas Time

sacc tree

It's Christmas week, and you know what that means--re-runs! I wrote this piece last year, but as our staff puts final touches on the Christmas Eve services for tomorrow, I am reminded, all over again, that the sacred community bears gifts of miraculous proportions. I'm sharing this again today, with great thanksgiving for all the people who 'do' church, and who make Christmas happen for others. Blessings...The phone is ringing off the hook,The sanctuary’s hard to book.It's p … [Read more...]

Let Freedom Ring: A Very Ducky Christmas Special

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I wish these public media storms would hold off until after Christmas. It’s really messing with my Advent 4 mojo. However—the Duck Debacle has crept into my head space, and I’m pretty sure the Spirit will not be able to show up with a sermon until I’ve got this out of my system.As you have probably heard, Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame said some off-putting things about LGBT folks in a magazine interview. What he said should not have surprised anyone who knows anything about the family, … [Read more...]

Detour: Holiday Hospitality for Churches

detour

It’s the week before Christmas. You haven’t been to church in a year. Maybe in lots of years. Maybe you’ve only ever been to church for weddings and funerals, but this year, something compels you to seek a sacred connection in community. So you scan the newspaper ‘seasonal worship’ ads. You scour the internet. You maybe ask around the neighborhood.Having found a place that might be the place, you set out on Christmas Eve. Maybe you had to feed, dress and corral a herd of small children into t … [Read more...]

Ready

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If you are following along with the "Partners in Prayer" Advent devotion guide, you'll see that today's reflection is about the litany of 'I'm not ready' that we're all supposed to be sharing right about now. That piece was extracted from a longer blog post that I wrote two advents ago. Here's the whole thing. I'm reading it today, in the middle of moving and chaos, and thinking how much it still applies. I'm also thinking, hey...a self care day sounds pretty great right about now!I took a … [Read more...]

Annunciation

hamlet

Today we have a guest post from Rev. Elizabeth Myer Boulton. She is, among other things, creative director of the SALT Project, "a not-for-profit project dedicated to reclaiming and sharing the beauty of Christian life through film, photography, music, poetry, and ideas."   And y'all...this little "Hamlet" video is the cutest ever. But it's not JUST cute. It is a powerful witness to the beauty of the gospel through the eyes (and voice!) of a child. Take a minute to watch, and then share around. B … [Read more...]


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