Whose Church Is This? Mine, Yours, Theirs, or God’s?


House for all Sinners and Saints, the congregation I serve in Denver, Colorado, started with 8 people in my living room in the Fall of 2007. (I hereby proclaim the living room of a church planter to be the iconic equivalent to the garage of a tech start-up’s founder) Someone asked me early on what’s your [Read More...]

Are Gen Xers: the New Baby Boomers?

Me, in 1991

I recently realized that someday I too will be a baby boomer. It’s not that the year of my birth will mysteriously jump to 1959 but that culturally I will become (or realistically I have already become) that which I criticize. Complaining about Baby Boomers is a part time job for Gen Xers in church [Read More...]

Liturgical Naming Rite for a Transgender Church Member

This week one of my parishioners, Asher O’Callaghan wrote a post for the Fund for Theological Education about his experience as a transgender man at House for All Sinners and Saints.  You can read his lovely reflection here. After posting this link on Facebook and Twitter this morning  several people have asked to see what [Read More...]

Book Review: Simplifying the Soul: Lenten Practices to Renew Your Spirit by Paula Huston


  Simplifying the Soul: Lenten Practices to Renew Your Spirit by Paula Huston (Ave Maria Press:2101) Paula Huston suggests that humility is the key to Lenten practices and the grime hidden behind my otherwise clean refrigerator might, just might, be a metaphor for what is deep and hidden in my own spiritual life.  My first [Read More...]

Sermon on Psalm 139 and the Spirituality of Having a Human Body.

Epiphany 8A

This week a video went viral on the Internet. Not some cloyingly cute thing with kittens and not the Why I Hate Religion but Love Jesus video.  It was much more disturbing than that.  No, this video was of American soldiers urinating on the dead bodies of supposed Taliban soldiers. Mohsin Naquvi, a director of [Read More...]

Why I hate Religion, But Love Jesus – A Response

This video went viral this week and I’ve been asked by the ELCA office for my response (to be posted on their website.) Here it is: I totally get it.  I hate the way in which the church is more of a behavior modification program and a purity system than a place where we hear [Read More...]

Adult Confirmation


Tuesday morning as we walked out of a meeting at Augustana Lutheran Church, I turned to Pastor Justin Nickel (who is basically the little brother I never had) and said “Hey Justin, your girlfriend is in my confirmation class that starts tonight” Looking over his shoulder he said loudly “ADULT confirmation for anyone who might [Read More...]

Wild Beasts and Sheet Cake: A Sermon for Baptism of Our Lord


  Mark 1:4-13 4John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, [Read More...]

The Problem With Pews


For the first 1,300 + years of the church there was no seating in churches.  (with the exception of stone benches along the back wall for the elderly or infirmed) The Protestant Reformation saw to it that the sermon would now be the primary focus of Christian worship and, well, folks are gonna need to [Read More...]

What should we do with dying urban churches?


This last week I briefly visited a mainline church in the neighborhood House for All Sinners and Saints would like to move back into.  They have an urban historic building which seats 350-400 people.  There were 18 people at worship. 18.  This is not an unusual situation. Much has been written about the decline of [Read More...]