The Festival of Faith and Writing 2014

Program cover

"If you find the right word, it paints a thousand pictures." - Richard Foster, from his session entitled "The Humiliation of the Word in our Day" at Calvin College's Festival of Faith and Writing.I heard dozens of "right words" during the last few days. Some of them came from speakers like Anne Lamott, Richard Foster, Luci Shaw, Bret Lott, Neil Plantinga, Edward Gilbreath, Marlena Graves, Al Hsu and Helen Lee. Even that one session - and there's always one that hits an off-note at an event … [Read more...]

Me ‘n N.T. (Wright)

PFG

Part of the delight of my seminary experience so far (I've completed two classes and am enrolled in a church history course this quarter) has been gaining new thinking partners. The promise that seminary would introduce me to new thinking partners was alluring bait for me when I first spoke with an admissions officer at the school last summer. So far, the classroom has indeed fulfilled that promise.Some of those new thinking partners have been other students. It's a rush to be in a room full … [Read more...]

Why The Church Took a Pass on Boomers

“Even after several years, I’m still a guest here.” It wasn’t the first time I’d had this thought on a Sunday morning at church.God knows I’d tried to plug into the life of the nondenominational church my husband and I had attended for more than three years. But one Sunday I had an epiphany about why I felt like a perpetual visitor. The insight came as I read the announcements for coming events. These included:A Mothers of Preschoolers year-end luncheon Information about a family campo … [Read more...]

Aged Out Of Church

As anyone who's hit midlife and they'll tell you: this stage is no joke for us.The emotional, spiritual, physical, and relational shifts that occur at midlife can lead to disconnection from old social networks and a profound sense of loneliness, which brings with it serious health risks. At this point, many also feel drained by the increasingly common occurrence of death, disease, divorce, and the changes that redefine old friendships.And yet, rather than engage these important but unc … [Read more...]

4-H Fail – or The Green Acres Effect

4-H

File this story under "4-H Fail" or perhaps "The Green Acres Effect". Here's a post just for fun today. Enjoy.When my family moved to the far edge of Waukesha, WI in 1995, I was determined to help our family acclimate to our new zip code as quickly as possible. Several new friends told me their kids were active in various local 4-H clubs. We'd been to the county fair. We'd seen the blue ribbons given to goats, fruit pies and macrame projects. The whole thing seemed fairly self-explanatory. … [Read more...]

40+ And The Church / Creating A Culture Of Maturity

coffee hour

In my earlier posts in this series, I queried pastors and church leaders about their experience pastoring those over 40. (Click here if you'd like to have a peek at those posts.) Those responsible for shepherding their congregations are stretched in dozens of different directions on any given day. A discussion about how to effectively minister to older congregants may sound as though I'm suggesting adding another half-dozen tasks to that impossible to-do list.As several respondents to that … [Read more...]

Review: Forgiving Our Fathers And Mothers

forgiving

I can count on one hand the number of adults I've known who have not had to work through some level of hurt, neglect, abuse, or emotional disconnect they're carrying with them from childhood. Even the most well-intentioned, fully-present parents don't always get it right with their kids. (Hand raised.) However, the notion of children forgiving mothers and fathers whose issues suffocated their ability to parent those children responsibly may seem both excruciating and foolish. Unforgiveness can … [Read more...]


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