Breathing Room: the Legacy of Marcus Borg

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Listen, I don’t have a wildly inspiring story about the time I met Marcus Borg, or how one of his books saved me, precisely, from abandoning the church altogether. I did hear him speak once. From the FRONT ROW. And he was gracious, and engaging, and challenging, and yes, inspiring. But I never met him in person. The internet will be full of those stories today—testimony from those who knew him well, or met him briefly at a critical time in their life of faith, and were transformed by both his wor … [Read more...]

Top 10 First World Headlines of 2014

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If I had to pick a word-of-the-year, it would be "privilege."  You either know why or you don't. And if you don't, I couldn't sum it up in a couple of quippy bloggy paragraphs. Truth is, the real defining story of 2014 is the emerging divide between those who talk about/are aware of privilege, and those who say "what are you talking about? We all live in the same world."Privilege is not just about race. Sometimes it is about geography, gender, ability, sexual orientation, state of mental … [Read more...]

In Defense of Innkeepers

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A communion meditation for Christmas Eve...Every good Christmas story has a villain. An Ebeneezer Scrooge. A Grinch. A Mr. Potter.What about an inn keeper? In my memories of childhood Christmas pageants, you DEFINITELY wanted to be an angel. You MIGHT want to be Mary or Joseph—depending on who was playing opposite you. It was totally ok to be a shepherd or a wise man. But the inn keeper? Nobody wanted to be the inn keeper. That guy was bad news. He was the callous, uncaring mogul who o … [Read more...]

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...]

The Nice List: Songs that Save Christmas

Last week, I wrote about those holiday songs that set our teeth on edge/cause ear bleeding, etc. I got some resounding 'amens' about most of the list; a few "but you left out!"s, and a handful of "what?? I love Josh Groban!" kinds of things.But all in all, the feedback confirmed what we already knew--Christmas music, for better or worse, is really important to us. We have attachments and associations, some of which we don't even understand. And the soundtrack is an important part of the … [Read more...]

Shadow Seasons

At Saint Andrew, we create space during Advent for those who might be dealing with grief, illness, family changes...or who otherwise struggle to be all  jolly-sparkly and merry. (Which something tells us that we are 'supposed to be' this time of year). This is my prayer for tonight's Service of Remembrance. Feel free to share with those who might need a different kind of Christmas greeting this year. God of the changing lightBe with us in shadow seasons; when love has changed its … [Read more...]

10 Songs That Ruin Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…Some grating, tedious songs that get stuck in your brain like a tiny piece of caramel corn in your teeth; like flecks of glitter that you’ll NEVER get out of the carpet; like a tiresome metaphor that some blogger just can’t let go…Anyway. My grandmother hated “The 12 Days of Christmas.” She was a gentle soul. She loved most people and never wanted much excitement in her life and I rarely saw her fired up about anything. But man, she hated … [Read more...]

ADVENTageous: Loud and Visible

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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

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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...]


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