Within The Trauma, A Blessing: Reba Riley’s “Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome”

Biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann describes three interconnected moods in the Psalms – psalms of orientation, celebration of the goodness of life and our current blessed personal and social location; psalms of disorientation, lamentations when things fall apart and the future is dim; and new orientation, the joy of healing and recovery, in which things never [Read More…]

The Heroine’s Journey: On Jody Gentian Bower’s “Jane Eyre’s Sisters”

On my study desk sits a paperweight that announces “solvitur ambulando,” or “it will be solved in the walking.” Jody Gentian Bower’s Jane Eyre’s Sisters: How Women Live and Write the Heroine’s Story could easily be described as “it will be solved in the wandering.” As I read this insightful text, transformative for both women and [Read More…]

The Healing Power of Doubt: Responding to ‘Runaway Radical’

Amy and Jonathan Holligsworth’s Runaway Radical is a disturbing text. I was angry as I read about how religious leaders destroyed a young man’s spiritual idealism by manipulation, authoritarianism, and absolutism. As I prepare for next week’s sermon, I’ve been reading the story of Thomas the disciple. Thomas gets a bad rap for his willingness to [Read More…]

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

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…]

The Adventurous Lectionary – August 24, 2014

The Adventurous Lectionary – August 24, 2014- Eleventh Sunday after the Pentecost Exodus 1:8-2:10 Psalm 124 Romans 12:1-8 Matthew 16:13-20 Today’s readings invite us to ponder our unique vocations and relationship with God. Our gifts shape and are shaped by the community of Christ. In living out our gifts, we share in God’s vision of [Read More…]

The Adventurous Lectionary – August 10, 2014

Lectionary Reflections for  August 10, 2014  Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28 Psalm 105:1-6, 16-22, 45b Romans 10:5-15 Matthew 14:22-33 This week’s readings are about God’s safekeeping of fallible, wayward, and mortal humanity. God responds to all who call upon God. God wishes to save persons in distress; in this we can have faith. Still, we must ponder [Read More…]

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

“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…]


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