Theological Reflections on Suicide: A Conversation with Karen Mason’s “Preventing Suicide”

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A number of months ago, a bereaved mother asked me, “Where is Susie now?” Her question was far from academic. When her daughter committed suicide, one of the first pastoral responses she received was, “Suicide is an unforgiveable sin. Your daughter has cut herself off from God entirely, and is now paying the price, forever!” [Read More...]

Refreshing the Pastor’s Soul: In Conversation with Michael Voss’s Reviving the Congregation

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Leadership is a spiritual issue, especially in congregational life. As Michael Voss notes in his Reviving the Congregation, pastoral leadership involves not only a pastor’s skills but also her or his personal well-being and spiritual life. Pastoral excellence is skill centered and we should always aim at excellence, as Voss notes. But, this excellence ultimately [Read More...]

Letting Go of Limits and Opening to Divine Possibilities: A Dialogue with Sarah Jakes

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Every morning as I take my prayer walk along the beaches of Cape Cod, I repeat spiritual affirmations. These affirmations have transformed my mind and approach to the events of my life. They have also opened up new possibilities in terms of creativity and relationships. One particular affirmation I regularly use is: “I let go [Read More...]

Faith and Failure: Reflections on J.R. Briggs new book “Fail”

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Book Review:  Fail: Finding Hope and Grace in the Midst of Ministry Failure, by J.R. Briggs The phrase “too big to fail” emerged during the banking crisis of 2008. Banks were bailed out, despite the fact that their own greed led to the economic collapse that threatened the livelihood of millions of Americans, depleted retirement accounts, [Read More...]

Listening for the Still, Small Voice: Reflections on Kristen Vincent’s book “A Bead and a Prayer”

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“God was not in the wind…God was not in the earthquake…God was not in the fire; and after the fire, the sound of sheer silence.” (I Kings 19:11-12) We are people, used to noise and constant communication that often fragments and distracts rather than unites and focuses. At my local Cape Cod market, I sing [Read More...]

Big Enough Desires? Reflections on Jen Pollock Michel’s “Teach Us to Want”

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Jen Pollock Michel’s Teach Us to Want: Longing, Ambition, and the Life of Faith is an honest and insightful book, born of her own experience of responding to the legion of desires characteristic of daily life as a mother, spouse, and professional seeking to be faithful to God’s call. She invites us to explore the [Read More...]

On Families and Faith: A Response to Mary Eberstadt’s “How the West Really Lost God”

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Our congregations should make families key to our ministries, but we should support the health of families regardless of their constitution. [Read more...]


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