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...]

For the Turning: A Progressive Year in Review

Dear Friends and citizens of the internet,I know I'm not  alone in feeling that the year has been a heavy one. From acts of terror on the global stage to police brutality and toxic racism at home; from an increasingly grotesque scene on the political stage to the growing effects of climate change (December is freaking me out, y'all, with the blizzards in Texas and flooding in Missouri while it is 75-degrees in Kentucky...); from rising and vocal Islamaphobia to the continued decline of the … [Read more...]

Hope, Healing, and Multiple Drafts: A Conversation with Author Reba Riley

I recently posted a review of the new book “Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome.” Since then, I’ve had the privilege of a conversation with author Reba Riley. Here’s some of our discussion about writing, family, and what’s next. It’s the abridged version so YOU’RE WELCOME, because we both really love to chat. If you don’t already have this book on your ‘to-read’ pile, get on it. This is the book your nightstand has been waiting for…E: This book has got to be resonating with so many people… I know … [Read more...]

Clean Hands, Full Hearts (Can’t Lose): A Sermon About Purity and Tradition

7Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, 2they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them.3(For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; 4and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze k … [Read more...]

The Naked Truth About Dress Codes

Women's bodies sure are controversial these days.And not just in the political/ideological sense regarding reproductive rights and healthcare. I mean just--there is fundamentally something offensive and confusing about curves, cleavage and knees. And I guess now, bones. A girl at a Kentucky High School was sent home for wearing a top that was very, very revealing... of her collar bones.   The Missouri Legislature figured that maybe a stricter dress code would cut down on sexual harassment c … [Read more...]

Healing and Hilarity in “Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome”

If David Sedaris and Anne Lamott had a baby together... it would be this book. And I mean that in the best possible way.Sometimes the market seems saturated with spiritual memoirs. (I know, because I want to write one and editors tell me as much...) They range in tone from super feels-y to very jaded; and in creed from the ultra-conservative-gone-athiest to the other-way-around. Some speak to the spiritual-but-not religious crowed, and some address the r … [Read more...]

More than Half Enough

Guest post, by Rev. Ryan Motter“Well, look at you.  You’re half the man you used to be.”It was in the line after worship, standing at the back door as we shook hands and exchanged pleasantries.  The other congregation members were offering gentle reminders: “Don’t forget the Youth meeting on Wednesday,”  “Please remember that I’m having that procedure tomorrow morning,”  “I’ll be out of town for the next three weeks.  Pray for me.”From these folks, she comes up and places her hands on … [Read more...]

Thin Pink Line: Teaching My Daughter About a Woman’s Place

The poorly applied fuchsia lipstick. The nervous stage mothers pounding Starbucks. (The GLITTER SPRAY. God as my witness, there will still be glitter spray eons after the apocalypse. It will outlive the cockroaches and Ted Cruz...) The piles and piles of bobby pins. Strains of Katy Perry lurking around every corner…It must be recital season. Mercy.I used to be a dancer. Then I was a dance teacher. Making the leap from performer/choreographer to dance mom has been a stretch for me. No … [Read more...]

Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist

I cringe when an article begins “Dear White People…” It lacks nuance, among other things. So I am resisting my urge to start there, even though it’s exactly how this note goes, in my head. How about this:To all y’all who, like me, are not people of color, and/or, all who identify as ‘Caucasian’ when we check the little box on a survey or job application:   We have no idea. And maybe we should stop talking.  From a distance, the rioting in Baltimore looks like senseless, barbaric d … [Read more...]