Today was a beautiful day for a neighbor, as Mr. Rogers would sing, and Calvary Baptist Church has some of the finest neighbors around.Calvary is located in the most incredible neighborhood. The Penn Quarter/Chinatown neighborhood is undergoing revitalization and as a result the church, which has been here for all the ups and downs since, oh, about the time Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, is gaining some wonderful new residents, all of them our new neighbors.All the neighbors gathered tonight for… Read more

At the advice of some of my preacher friends I have been reading a very funny book by Christopher Moore called Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal. There have actually been a couple of times that I’ve been reading along and laughed. Out loud. For a long time. One of those parts of the book is when the disciples are waiting out on a boat in the middle of the Sea of Galilee: We assumed he would… Read more

My relationship with the media is rocky at best. This is usually not the fault of whichever reporter is interviewing me; rather, it’s the fault of my own inability to thoughtfully choose my words rather than trying to wax eloquent off the cuff. Since I talk for a living you would think I would have that down by now . . . such is not the case. They did not teach us about these things in seminary. With practice, though,… Read more

In my opinion . . . if you are grappling with a biblical text week in and week out, trying to articulate some truth for a community of listeners, well, there’s no way to avoid talking about the details of your life. Some colleagues of mine maintain that all folks want to hear in sermons are literary references and historical allusions, but I learn things about God most of all in my day to day life. And since I have… Read more

I fully admit I was prepared not to like it. The thing is, my personal history with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe goes back all the way to early memories of hearing my mother read the story aloud. Over the years it has taken on even more meaning as I’ve read the book myself, then read all seven of the Chronicles (starting with The Magician’s Nephew, my favorite of them all), then read them again–aloud–to my own kids…. Read more

The writer of the middle part of Isaiah spent a lot of time trying to get the Israelites to live with the expectation that their exile in Babylon would be coming to an end very soon. Remember? Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God! (Isaiah 40:9)Okay,… Read more

This blog is an invitation into the world that I see from behind the pulpit at Calvary Baptist Church in downtown Washington, D.C. We’re a congregation in the middle of a neighborhood in transition. Our faith adventure as a community is full of transition, too. We’re growing and re-exploring what faith means in a place where faithful people have been worshipping God since the 1860s.The people and experiences I encounter here at Calvary often give birth to conversations that change… Read more

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