December 17, 2018

This is the first Advent season spent in local church leadership as a clergyperson. In my previous ministry settings, this time of year, the phones tended to stop ringing as often. The traffic through the office slowed, the guests were fewer. There was still plenty to do, but things began to quiet. Things began to quiet where I was because in the local church, the noise was increasing daily. All the special events, special services, special meals … all the special… Read more

November 20, 2018

In a week where many of us are thankful … for time off of work for time with family for the opportunity to travel for time to rest It can also be a challenging time. challenging from tiredness challenging with finances challenging in relationships challenging in anticipating family squabbles around the dinner table And yet, the real challenge is also to see the both/and opportunities in this time. We can … be both thankful for what we have and mindful… Read more

November 15, 2018

You may have noticed that here on this column and on my website, my logo is an ampersand (&).  In my first column, I explained the importance of the name Always And for this column. The idea of both/and thinking is central to how I approach ministry. AND it’s even more personal than that. (See what I did there?) I was that kid. You know, the one who tended to make straight A’s. The one who got an inordinate number of… Read more

November 12, 2018

One of the most powerful experiences I’ve had in ministry was a training event I attended a few years back. All our regional clergy were required to attend this training, and you probably know what the word “mandatory” does to people. Regardless of what happened at this event, people came with attitudes that did not set anyone up for success. On top of the “M word,” this event was all about helping clergy to be more inclusive – inclusive of… Read more

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