Ashes to Ashes, Stardust to Stardust

Guest post: This was the message for Saint Andrew's Ash Wednesday service last night, as we kicked off our Lent worship series "Everyday Marvels." I am hoping you will indulge me and let me take you on two very quick journeys. First, we are going to go outward, away from the Earth like explorers into a vast cosmic ocean, into a Universe so enormous our human brains are physically incapable of understanding the scale of it. Next, we are going to go inward, to the very core of the cells of our … [Read more...]

The Fast I Choose: Lent, and What Consumes Us

Years past, I have rejected the notion of giving things up for Lent. I adhere more to the practice of adding a discipline TO my life, rather than the discipline of taking something away. The act of self-denial has always felt a little pious and inauthentic to me. Fine for other folks, if that works for them; but for me, nothing has ever felt meaningful enough to purge. I mean, in the grand scheme of the suffering of the world, what does it matter if I give up chocolate or t.v.?But I find … [Read more...]

Finished and Forsaken: 7 Last Words in Verse

Our Good Friday service at Saint Andrew this year is all music and poetry--reflections on the Seven Last Words of Christ, in spoken verse and song. Below are the poetic reflections written by members of our church family. I'm also providing links to the songs that accompany each word, if you'd like a feel for the whole experience. Spoiler alert: If you're coming to church tonight, this is the whole service. So if you want a few surprises, skip reading this. For everyone else--a blessed Friday to … [Read more...]

Go Prepare a Place: Holy Week and Political Trans-Shaming

If you haven't been following the Kansas politiscape, then you're welcome. It is a mind-melting, heartbreaking and head-banging-into-the-wall kind of situation, and if you live in another state at the moment, you can thank a Kansan for sparing you the disgusting details of our life right now. The short version is, that this self-proclaimed experiment in Tea Party trickle-down economics is absolutely imploding on itself, but nobody knows how to put the breaks on it without admitting it was a … [Read more...]

The World is Our Home: Terrorism, Holy Week, and Other Things We’d Like to Forget

If you know anything about personality typing, then I can tell you I'm an ENFP, and a 7...and you'll know that, among other things, I'm an escape artist.On a good day, that means I'm a day dreamer. In healthy expressions and moderate measures, I'm imaginative, creative, a visionary; I can see past the pain or discomfort of a present moment into a more hopeful future.In my dysfunctional moments, it means I bail out out of the present when it gets uncomfortable. In times of stress or … [Read more...]

Die Laughing: It’s a Lent Thing

It's all heavy sometimes. Life. Ministry. Lent. Winter. An election year. All of it. Some days it is all just heavy.My heart is especially heavy as Lent begins this year, with sadness for a family that suffered a terrible loss last week. I let that heaviness settle into Ash Wednesday. I let it preach the sermon on Sunday. I am learning to sit with it in prayer; I am holding space for it, indefinitely.I am an Enneagram Seven (the cheerleader! the sales rep! Joy, from the InsideOut movie!) … [Read more...]

The Death We Carry

I've been planning this for weeks. An intentional out-of-office beginning to Lent; traveling to different parts of town with ashes and blessings to share. Mostly I want to meet my people out in the world--in their real every day places where they live and work and share their gifts. Drawing a few strangers with my "ashes to go" sign would be an added bonus.Then last night, I got word of the sudden death of one of my church members. In my line of work, you expect to get these calls, on oc … [Read more...]

Here is Your Son, Here is Your Mother

"Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home." --John 19:25-27Friday is usually full of good things. Cook-outs and road trips; family game night or movie night; the beginning of Sabbath; baseball, yard work, a … [Read more...]

Resurrection Matters: The Holy Unknowing

The insistence on a literal, physical, bodily resurrection is killing the conservative Church.The denial of a literal, physical, bodily resurrection is killing the progressive Church.Yeah, it’s a pickle.The Bible says Jesus died, rose again, and ascended to heaven. All tensions within the Body of Christ can be reduced to this one question:  Did he or didn’t he?That may not be the only question that divides people of faith. But most bones of biblical and ideological contention s … [Read more...]