Your Church Does Not Need Volunteers

I was writing my weekly note to the congregation  (a few days late, because I took Monday off and it's all downhill from there). Usually in this note, I share a few words about the message for Sunday so that we can all be reflecting on the same topic throughout the week. It makes the sermon more of an ongoing conversation. I sometimes discuss something that's going on in the life of the church, as well. But this week, it was more of a thank you note. Because when I think about how much work my ch … [Read more...]

For 30 Pieces of Silver, and a Piece of Chocolate Cake

And Jesus gathered his disciples, those he loved best. A fresh loaf of bread on the table between them, like a thousand times before. He broke it and saideverything is about to change, so I'm going to give you something.This bread--this is the bread of life. A living sacrifice of simple grace. As often as you are hungry, remember me. Remember my words as the thing that gives you life; remember my compassion, walk in the ways of grace and peace, and I will be with you.Then he poured … [Read more...]

Not Our Own People: What We’re Missing About The (Latest) Sean Spicer Gaffe

For the love, America. Can we not keep it together for A MINUTE? Me and my people have stuff to do this week.I'll be quick. When Sean Spicer said, out loud and on real tv, that Hitler never used chemical weapons, that was bad. Deplorable. Inexcusably ignorant, tone-deaf, and revealing the depths of this administration's ignorance in regards to history. And diplomacy. And the history of diplomacy.He was wrong, and he apologized. Which is, whatever, I guess better than nothing? But we seem … [Read more...]

The Stories We Tell Ourselves: Holy Week Clergy Burnout

There's this story we clergy tell religiously around this time every year.Not the thing about the Last Supper. Not the cross, and the empty tomb. I mean, those are good too, but we have this other one that is really our favorite. It's this story about how BUSY we are; how long the list of details, how impossible the expectations, and how exhausted we are just thinking about it.Stop me if you've heard it.Where did we learn that story? I believed for a long time that it was in one of … [Read more...]

Wars of Convenience

Just to recap...The current administration put a ban on Syrian refugees (among others) entering our country. Because they "might" be dangerous extremists; they "might" have ulterior motives, like recruiting innocent American teenagers as terrorists, and infiltrating our government; they "might" just be jealous of our amazing American lifestyle; probably some of them just want cable.Opportunistic scapegoating, every bit of it. Trump and his minions know, and have always known, exactly how … [Read more...]

From a Small Circle

Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out … [Read more...]

We Should Not Be Alone: What Mike Pence Is Really Saying About Women

This just in: men cannot be trusted with women.This is not fake news, or snarky commentary from Slate or Salon. I’m not pulling from liberal alarmist news sites, or feminist click bait. It came from their king, their poster guy, the bro of bros. Yes, Mike Pence himself announced that men cannot be trusted alone with women.In a Washington Post feature this week, the VP revealed that Karen Pence serves as his “gut check, and shield...” and that he makes it a point to never be alone with a … [Read more...]

Stories Untold: Saving Sesame Street from the America First Budget

Guest post: Rev. Elizabeth GrashamI won’t bury the lede: I vehemently oppose President Trump’s “America First” budget for innumerable reasons.  But one of the big reasons I oppose it is because he’s threatening Sesame Street.Before my divorce was final, I took my son to see his incarcerated father on a once-a-month schedule.  Our visits were always the same: the car would be searched at the entrance gate, we would take a Ziploc bag of quarters, my keys and ID inside, we would go through a … [Read more...]

Coal is Not Coming Back: And Nostalgia May Kill Us

I could hear the trains from my bedroom. All hours of the day or night. The sound was such a part of the backdrop of my childhood, I feel a little disoriented now if I find myself too far from the tracks.Any tracks will do. Luckily, in America, trains are everywhere.My dad worked for the coal company for the better part of my first 20 years. He worked in the office, not underground, so I won't try to pretend I'm Loretta Lynn. But I do watch that movie whenever I'm homesick... because she … [Read more...]