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...]

“This is Us,” and How Rape Culture Ruins Everything

Remember the good old days when people used to talk about TV shows they were watching? Fun times. How about a throw-back to the good old days...And speaking of good old days, I love This is Us. I love the flashbacks to the 80s, and the house that is full of things I had in my childhood home (I literally saw my parents' old bedspread on this week's episode.) I love the occasional twists and turns that make you sit up on the edge of the couch and go "WHAAAAA??? I did NOT see that coming!" I l … [Read more...]

In the Age of “Alternative Facts,” Truth Telling is an Act of Resistance

Our new President has been busy. His tiny hands must be tired from signing all those executive orders.First there was the action affecting women's reproductive rights on a global scale--which he signed, surrounded by a covey of white men, creating the most nauseating photo opp since that pic of the Trump family in the golden tower. (You know the one, with the giant lion thing? What even IS that??) In the same swipe of the pen, he rolled back regulations of the ACA and withdrew us from the Tr … [Read more...]

10 Words From Obama’s Farewell Speech (That You Won’t Hear Again For Awhile)

In 2005, I attended a Sojourner's conference in D.C. The theme was ending poverty, and the gathering was mostly young clergy, social workers and community organizers. My friends and I had a series of misadventures getting there--everything from terrible weather to airline incompetence--and by the time we arrived, we were soaking wet, a day late and SEVERAL dollars short, and had no clothes but the ones we were wearing. We rolled through our first day grumbling that no way was this worth … [Read more...]

The Difference Between Celebrity and Authority: Meryl Streep Gets It, Trump Never Will

Her Highness Meryl Streep preached a sermon at the Golden Globes last night.As she accepted the Cecile B. deMille award, she did not use her moment at the microphone to selfishly reflect on her career, or to thank her mama. As one of the most decorated performers of all time, she has had plenty of other occasions to do that.Instead, she took a moment to express her concern about the behavior and temperament of the incoming President; she called him out on his mocking of a disabled … [Read more...]

10 Ways to Care for Someone (When Nothing Will Fix It)

You just can't imagine what they must be going through. You don't know what you could possibly do to help. You have no idea what to say.Thing is... No one does. There is no magic formula of care and concern, words and deeds that will make this terrible thing better for this person you love. The death of a spouse, the cancer diagnosis, the divorce, the job loss, the debilitating accident, the incarcerated daughter... You can't fix it. Very often, not even a professional can fix it--not a d … [Read more...]

Moana, the “Other” Princess: Thoughts on Identity and Belonging

Guest post: by Rev. Allison RuariWhen I was three, I learned the words to “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” After hearing “Red and Yellow, Black and White/They are precious in his sight,” I had to reconcile that I was none of those colors (nor was my Samoan father). Still, I knew Jesus loved me (and my father). So what did I do? I asked questions and made the music director change the words. The new words weren’t perfect, but they served my purpose and the conversation encouraged others to t … [Read more...]

What Were You Expecting?

What were you expecting?If your childhood pre-dates the digital age and the magic of Amazon.com, then you have memories of spending December pouring over that sacred text, the Sear's Wish Book. That's how you KNEW for sure it was Christmas, when that thing showed up in the mailbox.These days, the retail world has other ways of getting our expectations up. They tell us to anticipate everything from diamonds to dazzling technology to a Lexus in the driveway with a giant bow on top. … [Read more...]