The Adventurous Lectionary for June 2, 2013: Truth, Exclusion and Violence

Today’s lectionary readings are challenging for progressive, postmodern, and pluralistic Christians. They also give pause to those who fashion clear boundaries between in and out, righteous and unrighteous, and saved and unsaved. [Read more…]

The Adventurous Lectionary – Trinity Sunday

Lectionary Reflections on Trinity Sunday – May 26, 2013 Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31; Psalm 8; Romans 5:1-5; John 16:12-15 Today’s readings speak of a lively, energizing, relational vision of the Trinity, a far cry from the disembodied, abstract, and irrelevant descriptions found in many theological tomes.  The Trinity, along with the Incarnation and the divine presence in history, is [Read More…]

A Vision but Not an Agenda: Responding to Elizabeth Scalia’s “Strange Gods”

I have recently accepted the call to be Pastor of South Congregational United Church of Christ in Centerville, Massachusetts. On a hilltop less than a mile from Craigville Beach in mid-Cape Cod, the setting of this historic congregation is just the other side of paradise.  In the course of the search and call process, I [Read More…]

Christian Formation as an Adventure in Provocative Propositions

Being a Christian means a lot of things, but a key element in the journey of faith is the exploration of provocative propositions: visions and statements that take us beyond familiar comfort zones to explore wild horizons of spiritual adventure. [Read more…]

The Adventurous Lectionary – Pentecost

On Pentecost, mysticism – and this is a communal as well as individual mysticism – inspires the community to mission. Good news can’t be sequestered or kept to ourselves. Spirit bursts forth. Everyone gets the message. [Read more…]

Pondering Thin Places: Reflections on Frank Viola’s God’s Favorite Place on Earth

Using literary license, author Frank Viola boldly asserts that Bethany, the hometown of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus was “God’s favorite place on Earth.”  Bethany was the place where Jesus found rest and companionship. In a world of controversy, Jesus could enjoy a meal, laughter, and normal conversation.  Perhaps, he could let down his guard for [Read More…]

The Adventurous Lectionary – The Sixth Sunday of Easter

Lectionary Reflections for the Sixth Sunday of Easter – May 12 Acts 16:16-34; Psalm 97; Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21; John 17:20-26 God is alive!  God is at work in our lives!  We can trust God’s loving-kindness in every life circumstance.  With the apostle Paul, we can experience joy even in the most challenging situations.  There are no guarantees [Read More…]

When Mental Illness Hits Home

Amy Simpson’s “Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission” is a wake up call to the pervasive realities of mental illness in congregations and our need to move from alienation and otherness to communion and partnership. [Read more…]

The Adventurous Lectionary – The Sixth Sunday of Easter

The Adventurous Lectionary – Sixth Sunday of Easter – May 5, 2013 Acts 16:9-15; Psalm 67; Revelation 21:10,22-22:5; John 14:23-29 The motto of the United Church of Christ is “God is still speaking” and this is the heart of today’s lectionary readings. Christ is alive, death and tomb cannot thwart the good news of salvation. Christ is not [Read More…]

Simplicity, Spirituality, and Sacrifice: Some Thoughts on Jeff Shinabarger’s “More or Less”

In Jeff Shinabarger’s new book “More or Less,” he challenges us to be persons of spiritual stature and embrace a holy consumerism that balances self-concern with care for others and this good Earth. [Read more…]