(click above to listen along)   This sermon comes in 6 parts. Part 1: Reagan’s terrible choice for favorite Christmas song and my awesome one. Reagan and I were in perhaps our first major disagreement this week. It wasn’t a point of doctrine or a workplace squabble; it was the answer to the question “what is your favorite Christmas song?” Reagan said that as a boy growing up he was always a big Sandy Patty fan (which, for the record,… Read more

(click below to listen along)   It’s no big surprise to anyone that I was pretty wiped out a couple weeks ago when I finally came home from having been in 17 cities in 5 weeks –It’s a weird feeling to do a thing like that and it would be an understatement to say that I felt depleted and like I’d somehow been consumed whole. All the so-called “self-care” tricks didn’t seem to be helping. I slept and exercised and tried… Read more

  2016  SCHEDULE DATE EVENT LOCATION URL January 4-5 College Conference at Montreat Montreat Conference Center in Anderson Auditorium401 Assembly Drive Montreat, NC 28757   http://www.montreat.org/ January 6 National Conference of Youth Ministries Hotel Elegante2886 S Circle Drive, Colorado Springs, CO   http://ncym.org/about/welcome/ January 28-29 Discerning Vocation in a Contested Religious Tradition Georgetown College400 East College Street, Georgetown, KY 40324   http://www.georgetowncollege.edu/cdal/conferences/discerning-vocation-contested-religious-tradition/ February 23 Compass 2016 7310 Northwest Prairie View Road, Platte Woods, MO 64151   http://www.plattewoodschurch.org/ February 26-27 WomanKind… Read more

(click below to listen along) If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. 45And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell. 47And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is… Read more

“Lutheran Minister Preaches a Gospel of Love to Junkies, Drag Queens, and Outsiders” — Check out my NPR interview with Terry Gross for Fresh Air. Interview Highlights On why people are surprised she’s a pastor  NBW: Other than the fact that I tend to swear like a truck driver? … I don’t look like a pastor, I’m very heavily tattooed, I have sleeve tattoos, basically, and very short hair, and I’m, like, 6-feet-1-inch [tall]. I don’t actually act like a pastor… Read more

  Hey friends, I’m so excited that my new book, Accidental Saints; Finding God in All the Wrong People, comes out a week from today! You can pre-order and have it delivered to your door the day it comes out – just click on one of these links: Indie Bound (your local independent bookstore) Barnes & Noble Amazon Meanwhile, here’s a free preview (Chapter 11, Parlors): Accident Saints-Chapter 11-PreOrder Excerpt Read more

  Click below to listen along….. Every single year when I was growing up, sometime in late Fall, our family, like so many other families in America, would receive an enormous catalog from a department store. On the cover would be some kind of shiny image of perfect children unwrapping gifts under a Christmas tree and inside were hundreds of glossy pages of clothes and appliances and tools and home goods and finally – toys. As kids we would devote… Read more

(click above the listen along) 3 days ago, someone who, up until then I thought was my friend, tagged a super unflattering photo of me on Facebook. In which, for some reason, I looked both dim-witted and morbidly obese. And it bothered me all day because everyone knows Facebook is the place where we can all be pathologically attractive and happy and funny and have lives that are portrayed as nothing but the highlight reel. I was so bummed about… Read more

(I spent about 25 hours working on a sermon for the closing Eucharist of the ELCA’s Jubilee worship conference, Called to Be a Living Voice.  It was a huge struggle and I was too in my head about it…trying to make sure I said all the things I thought they’d want me to say and wanting it to be a “good sermon” because I knew the Presiding Bishop and lots of synodical bishops and seminary professors and people I respect… Read more

(click above to listen along) He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. A couple months back I had been in 4 different times zones in the same week, the end of which found me in New York. After I finished my last talk I walked uptown to meet some lady pastor friends, and the minute I… Read more

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