How Are We To Learn To Love God With Our Minds?

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I've been pondering the words of Deuteronomy 6:4-9, along with Jesus' words in Matthew 22:36-40 emphasizing that the two greatest commandments are loving God heart, soul, and mind; and loving my neighbor as myself. My husband and I have been part of many different kinds of churches - large, small, formal, informal, focused on preaching, focused on sung and prayed worship, focused on the sacraments. As I reflect on my experience, it has occurred to me more than once since I've been a part-time … [Read more...]

What Are You Really Doing This Season?

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The language of "seasons" in our lives is a familiar and useful, if tired, metaphor. If familiarity doesn't breed contempt, it certainly does cause us to stop thinking about what we might really be saying when we throw it out there. When we talk about the seasons of our lives, it is a way in which we talk about life stages. Season talk typically means something like:Spring = childhood and adolescence Summer = young adulthood (to age 40 or so) Autumn = midlife and second adulthood … [Read more...]

How Do You Spend Your Social Capital At Church?

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How do you spend your social capital in your church? Have you ever stopped to take stock of your relationships and influence? I've found few with positional or social authority in a church ever consider what they possess. Instead, we count what we lack. I've known pastors who believe they're outsiders in their own church. I've known members of cliques in a congregation who are tone-deaf to the way in which their closed circle excludes others. Too many of us measure our network of relationships a … [Read more...]

How’s Your Soul? Check Your Facebook Feed.

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It's the day after a holiday weekend, and I check in on Facebook. I scroll through my newsfeed and see pictures of a gathering of some of my old friends at a beach house, baby pictures from a former coworker, blurry shots of smiling faces at a family reunion, and a few random selfies of people I barely know atttending a concert. Journalist H.L. Mencken once defined Puritanism as the suspicion that someone, somewhere is having a good time.Neither Puritans nor the rest of us need wonder if … [Read more...]

Selling Vacuums, Giving Away Parting Gifts, and Pantomiming The Gospel

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A book by a Catholic priest who journeyed to Tanzania to bring the gospel to the Masai gave me a new way to think about evangelism that goes beyond the models I've seen in action. These models have borne a passing resemblance to either 1950's door-to-door vacuum cleaner sales, game shows featuring lovely parting gifts, or encoded Christian mime performances.Father Vincent J. Donavan journeyed to Tanzania to during the 1960's and 1970's bring the gospel to the Masai people. Encamped in the … [Read more...]

#1, #2, Me, You

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When my husband came to faith in Jesus, he got the idea that really good Christians didn't poop. Or pee.You have to know he was 18 at the time. He was a member in good standing of his high school's audio-visual team, student council and chess club. I say this to highlight the fact that he was (and is) a very bright guy. He attended a Unitarian church for a while during his childhood, but had no first-hand experience with evangelicals to that point in his life. In fact, no one ever shared … [Read more...]

Burying My Alleluia?

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At church the Sunday prior to Ash Wednesday, the Rector told us that this would be the last time we’d be saying the word “Alleluia” in any form as a congregation until Easter. He explained that this was another form of Lenten fasting. I did a little research, as this custom was unfamiliar to me. I learned many liturgical traditions “buried the alleluia” in some form during Lent.Jamie Martin-Currie offered a concise explanation of this practice: The omission of alleluia during Lent goes back … [Read more...]


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