Bad News, Good News

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Over the weekend, two young people in our community committed suicide. These young women went the same high school, and played on the same soccer team. I can’t imagine the grief that student body is bearing right now, not to mention the families of the two girls. In the wake of this tragedy, I’ve been impressed by expressions of sympathy and compassion from the entire community. I’m also impressed with the school’s response, encouraging parents to have real and honest conversations with their kid … [Read more...]

Narrow Margins

So. Nobody wins.The myth of scarcity, the fear of other, and the rhythmic force of silent money: that narrative wins races, and people lose. And while neither party has the exclusive rights to that narrative—we hear it from every corner—this morning’s results show us where, on the map, those tactics speak the loudest.And yet…  that fearful story won so narrowly, in so many places. Is that good news or bad news?It is bad news that, no matter who wins, half of the country wakes up with … [Read more...]

Your Faith-Based Voter Guide

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Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on Politics in the Pulpit. Read other perspectives here. The toxic commercials. The clutter of yard signs. The sensory assault of angry billboards and radio spots… To quote a friend: Bring on the ridiculously early Christmas music and gaudy decorations. Anything is better than this!! In fact, the only thing worse than the sensory overload of election season is the tense, carefully guarded environments that many of us navigate dai … [Read more...]

In All Kinds of Weather

Harry was finally talking to Cho Chang. Stars aligned. Fireworks started. The orchestra keyed up in the background.Enter: the awkward clang of Ron Weasley… who saw Cho sporting a Tutshill Tornadoes badge, and immediately got confrontational with her about her loyalty as a sports fan. “How long have you supported them?” he demanded. His implication is that she, like the common masses, hopped on the bandwagon only after “they started winning” and “became fashionable.”“I’ve been a fan since … [Read more...]

Dear Millennials: Sorry We’re So Obsessed With You

Dear Millennials,I know it’s kind of creepy. We want to know where you live, and what classes you take in school (and how much you pay for it). We want to know where you drink coffee; who you date and for how long; what you read, where you spend your money, and what you GIVE your money to; what kind of relationship you have with your parents, how far you wander from home, and how often you go back there. We want to see the depths of your soul, and then we want to take you out for a local c … [Read more...]

Talking About Real Life and Faith: A Review of the Animate DVD Series for Small Groups

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Leaders in the progressive church-y world are always looking for ‘The Thing.’ You know, the perfect curriculum, book, or teaching tool for that one group, or this one season. What we often fine is that ‘the thing’ with the most engaging activities, the colorful promo materials, and the user-friendly leader guide—has terrible theology. No depth, lots of bloody Jesus language, and heavy on patriarchy and/or prosperity gospel.On the flip-side: ‘the thing’ with layers of meaning, challenging ques … [Read more...]

The One Where We Can’t Go Home Again

20 years ago today, the pilot episode of Friends aired in primetime on NBC. 20 YEARS, you guys. Seriously. This article says the show is as popular today, in re-runs, as it was back then. I’d believe it, too. Even though you watch and go, ‘wow, it’s weird that they don't have cell phones,’ or ‘dang, Rachel’s jeans always seemed cool at the time…what happened?’ the show has joined the ranks of Truly Timeless Televiewing.Many will say it’s because that cast of 6 had such impeccable chemistry. O … [Read more...]

How to Do It All

Sometimes other clergy ask for advice on how to balance being a pastor and a parent. So here, I’m going to give you 10 never-fail secrets to getting it all right at church and at home, keeping up your self-care and personal appearance, while having a smile on your face at all times.Lol, people. L.O.L.The truth is, there is no such list, and if anybody tells you they have one, they’re a lying *#%&^$#@!. When people ask how I do it, I answer, “sometimes, not very well.” And that’s the d … [Read more...]

Sex, Death, and the Same Old Tree

I just keep thinking about that tree.You know the one. It stood in the center of the garden. Everything else seemed to grow out from its center, and lean in towards it at the same time. Drawn to its vibrant color, its fragrance, the life that seemed to hum from within. Everything else in the garden depended on that one tree for air and light.So the gardener told the tourists not to touch it. To please not pluck its leaves, or eat its fruit, or spray it with pesticide or put a fence … [Read more...]


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