September 21, 2023

I totally understand if you’ve moved on from Alexander Lang’s blog post “Departure: Why I Left the Church” already. But for those who are still thinking about it—or who are open to thinking about it a little more—I have a few more thoughts. Last week I wondered: What is a pastor, really? I suggested that pastors can make preaching less exhausting, and that they let go of their 24/7 sense of responsibility. This week, I’m exploring a couple different but... Read more

September 14, 2023

A friend shared Alexander Lang’s blog post “Departure: Why I Left the Church” with me recently. Like many others, I have thoughts and feelings. So many thoughts and feelings. Mostly centered around these questions: What do we expect from our pastors? What is a pastor, really? I’m fascinated by the assumptions we make around what a pastor’s role should be. (And by “we,” I mean pastors and parishioners alike, even if in different ways.) And I wonder how we can... Read more

August 29, 2023

Climate crisis, war, loneliness and despair, all the interlocking systems of oppression that dehumanize us all—these are no easy tides to shift. In the face of these challenges, we desperately need the unhindered contributions of every human being of goodwill.  But there’s a problem. For those on the underside of all those interlocking systems—I’m speaking mostly to women here, since that’s my experience, but I imagine much of this is also true for people of color, queer folks, and others—we... Read more

August 18, 2023

As the days get shorter again and kids prepare to go back to school, I wonder if this autumn will be my favorite season. What season is that? Well, the fall of the patriarchy, of course. (Okay, but how comfy does this t-shirt look? I might need one.) I don’t really expect the patriarchy to fall in the next few months. It’s not that easy. But I do appreciate that—between the Southern Baptist Convention’s shenanigans and the Barbie movie—it’s at... Read more

August 11, 2023

There was a time in my life when I found it comforting to sing a particular worship song loosely based on the Apostles’ Creed. The lyrics were meaningful to me as a way of expressing our shared beliefs as a faith community. Sometimes, if I remember right, we would even change some of the “I”s to “we”s. As in, “We believe in God our Father,” and so on. These days, though, I wonder: What does it mean to say “we... Read more

August 2, 2023

I enjoyed the Barbie movie. I mean, anytime a woman goes on a legit hero’s journey, I’m here for it. (This is still uncommon enough that it freaks some men out.) But as much as I loved the smart, powerful women and the musical-style dance numbers, I also left the theater thinking: Deprogramming from patriarchy is not that easy. (Warning: this post contains spoilers!) The Monologue That Magically Deprograms All Women For those who haven’t yet seen Barbie, or who... Read more

July 28, 2023

Once, at a work-related social event, I ran into someone I recognized. Let’s call him Nick. I remembered Nick from a week-long training I had attended a while prior. He had been invited to share his advice and experiences as part of one of the class sessions. Since I was part of the class and he was up in front of the class, I didn’t expect him to remember me. So I introduced myself and mentioned that I remembered him... Read more

July 21, 2023

Every now and then, I find myself in a one-sided “conversation.” Probably at least in part because I sometimes take a second to think before I speak.  I want to collect my thoughts, which can often be found skittering away rapidly in many directions. I tend to process internally and then say only what has been (at least a little bit) processed. I’m totally comfortable with this. But sometimes others are not.  Sometimes—whether out of discomfort, or maybe an assumption... Read more

July 11, 2023

I’m not ashamed to say it. These days, I take sermons with a grain of salt.  This has nothing to do with the wonderful preaching team at my current church. It’s more a reflection on what preaching is meant to be in general, and how we can engage with sermons in healthier ways. From Starry-Eyed in Love… When I was in college, I was part of a local campus chapter of an international campus ministry organization. And I loved our... Read more

June 30, 2023

Advocates of a “consistent ethic of life”—as Tish Harrison Warren put it in a recent NYT opinion piece, an ethic that is “antiwar, anti-abortion, anti-death penalty, anti-euthanasia and pro-gun control”—tend not to address a glaring question: What does it look like to “extend compassion” to women’s lives? (This is the second part of a 2-part post; the first part is here.) In “consistent ethic of life” thinking, concern for fetal life comes across strongly. But where is the concern for... Read more

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