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...]

$*^! Jesus Says: The Christmas Shopping Edition

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An open letter (because the blogging world freakin LOVES open letters) to the American Family Association:Dear Affluent Straight White (Mostly Male) Christians:Nobody is persecuting you. And I mean, nobody.Encouraging Christians to boycott Radio Shack because the retailer features a “holiday” greeting instead of ‘Christmas’ wishes, is like refusing to wear pants because it’s cold outside.Or something.Here’s the thing: Jesus never in his life said, “Merry Me-smas.” He never mea … [Read more...]

Tell Me Again

silas

I've lost count of how many times I've read the Grinch these past few weeks. I've got it memorized, as do the kids. In fact, they are starting to cotton on when i try to skip a line or two in order to move things on along toward bedtime. "No, mom, you forgot the part where..."Meanwhile, in my own reading life, i am making nightly trips to Hogwarts--again. This is probably my third time reading the newer books, more like 4th or 5th on some of the older ones. I've got other characters and … [Read more...]

In Church, at Christmastime

In Church at Christmastme Image 2ornaments

The phone is ringing off the hook,The sanctuary’s hard to book.Yes it’s clean--dare you to look--In church, at Christmastime. One hard-working secretaryIs a little tried and harried.Under bulletin notes, she’s buried,In church, at Christmastime. The kids are plenty sugar wired,the moms all look a little tired,and we all know how that transpiredIn church, at Christmastime. Cause church ladies are such a soft touch … [Read more...]

Do Not Be Afraid

chris-campbell-xmas

Guest Post: Rev. Amy Gopp is Executive Director of the Week of Compassion. WOC is the relief, refugee and development mission fund of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada. They share the good news of Jesus Christ through disaster response, humanitarian aid, sustainable development and the promotion of mission opportunities. This holiday season, you can make a gift that truly brings hope to a waiting world.The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, f … [Read more...]


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