When Fading Away Becomes “Done”

“Who will officiate at my funeral?” My friend Liz asked this question during a pause in our conversation earlier this week. “I don’t have a church these days.”Other important questions were bundled within her question: What have I gained by pouring myself into church for years? Where is my community now that I’m aging, divorced, and in poor health? Who will walk beside me during this stage of my life?I first met Liz when our kids were toddlers together in the church nursery. Our friendshi … [Read more...]

Good Question: Why Is There A Menorah On The Altar?

If anything, worshipping at a liturgical church has enhanced my gratitude for years of Jewish education and synagogue attendance. Studying the two thousand years of Jewish history pre-dating Jesus' birth has helped me appreciate the structure and content of Christian liturgy as well as the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion. It has helped me understand how Confirmation could sometimes be characterized as a 'sacrament in search of a theology.' And it certainly enhances my worship experience … [Read more...]

Post-church church leaders: Now what?

What do these people have in common?The single woman in her mid-thirties with $40,000 worth of seminary debt now working as an office manager for a software vendor.The former youth pastor now installing replacement windows for a home-improvement company.The veteran minister with 20 years of pastoral experience now an anonymous attender at another congregation after losing his job when a nasty split took place in his old church.Each aimed at vocational ministry, believing … [Read more...]

Unintended Consequences Of The Jesus Movement: Voting Republican

Remember when we were gonna not only change the world, but completely rearrange it?The Jesus Movement was seeded by the Spirit in the soil of the massive social unrest of the 1960's. Many Boomers who came of age during this era learned that the military-industrial cabal responsible for U.S. involvement in Viet Nam, the Cold War, Agent Orange, and Wonder Bread needed to be dismantled. Young people discovered their voices as they questioned authority in the form of dissent, protest, and in … [Read more...]

Can Two-Dimensional Non-Community Be Church?

In a world where many large Protestant churches livestream their services online, where both Catholic and Evangelicals/Charismatics have their own basic cable networks, why show up in person at a local church when you can watch a much slicker version of church on your computer or TV? Why show up at a local church when the "quality" of the worship service may seem like a low-budget version of old school TV talent show Ted Mack's Amateur Hour and the group dynamics scream middle school instead of … [Read more...]

Communion: Remembering To Remember

The church we currently attend* offers communion once-a-month-ish during its worship services. If a special event or speaker is slated, communion isn't offered that month. Though I've spent four decades worshipping in mostly Evangelical churches, I've never bought in to the idea is a communion once-a-month post-script to the "real" worship service (sung worship, announcements, offering, and sermon). Passover Seders formed my context for communion, and time in Lutheran and Anglican congregations … [Read more...]

#AdventWord 2015

I've enjoyed participating in this year's #AdventWord Instagram journey with the online community connected with St. John the Evangelist. Each day, the brothers of the order gave us a word we could use for contemplation. We were invited to share our Instagrammed images inspired by that word with others. Here are mine. Blessings as you make your way to the manger this … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X