October 29, 2015

Room isn’t just an enthralling and moving film that undeniably boasts two of the best performances of the year, if not the decade. It’s also an important movie. Without a doubt, much can be said about the performances of Brie Larson as Ma and of Jacob Tremblay as her son, Jack. Both deliver two of the most emotionally powerful and believable performances I’ve ever seen.  The range and depth of emotion in Room are rare in a film. Viewers travel… Read more

October 27, 2015

For the past two Halloweens, both of my young sons have chosen to dress up as female characters instead of male ones. Last year, my youngest went as Sabine Wren, the artist provocateur from Star Wars Rebels, and this year my oldest is dressing up as Valka, the mother of Hiccup in How to Train Your Dragon 2. And to be honest, I never gave either costume a second thought even though every Halloween there seems to be a debate about whether boys should… Read more

October 23, 2015

I love Halloween. Always have. I loved Halloween as a teenager so much that I continued to dress up and Trick or Treat throughout high school and drag my friends along with me.  As an adult, taking my kids out on Halloween night, it has become even more magical. There is something special to me, in our sectioned off, walled off, individualized culture, about dressing up and going door to door. On a night in which we dress up in our… Read more

October 18, 2015

This is really heartwarming. I love that this church did this. If someone handed me $1,050 it would make a massive difference and I’d probably have the same reaction. Honestly? I had the same reaction when a stranger anonymously paid for my new dress shoes recently. It really did send ripples of goodwill out into my life, and that generosity left a mark on my soul. Here’s my hope, though: That this church, if it’s not already, extends its teaching of generosity to a… Read more

October 15, 2015

Proper 24 — Job 38 — Year B Earlier this month, a gunman went on a shooting rampage at a community college in Oregon, millions of Syrian refugees fled a bloody civil war where thousands have been killed, and we were reminded again that there have been more gun deaths in the United States since 1968 than in all U.S. wars combined. These are all sobering facts. But it is also true that we are living in the most peaceful… Read more

October 5, 2015

  A movie about a school shooting hits theaters this week, a tragically timely release. The film documents the aftermath of a school bus shooting in which three girls were wounded and one of whom almost died. But this crime didn’t occur in the United States. It happened in Pakistan. The shooters were from the Taliban. And the girl who almost died was named Malala. By now, you are probably familiar with the story of Malala Yousafzai, the young girl who spoke out against… Read more

October 3, 2015

Step 1: Buy Diana Butler Bass’ new book Grounded: Finding God in the World — A Spiritual Revolution. Step 2: Buy Kleenex. I’ll be honest: I’m having an unexpectedly emotional reaction to this book. I can’t seem to get more than a handful of pages without my eyes inexplicably leaking. One minute I’m reading this gorgeous and profound prose and then next minute the pages are splattered with tear drops. There are two possible explanations for this. Either I might need to see… Read more

September 28, 2015

Jesus was a radical.  Christians love this idea, almost universally. It doesn’t really matter if you are conservative, progressive, anarchist or something else. All manner of Christians have laid claim to this notion of how radical Jesus was. As if being radical somehow makes Jesus and his teachings more worthwhile, revolutionary, or important. But what if they aren’t? A number of scholars and historians have argued for some time that Jesus’ teachings weren’t necessarily unique or even that out of the ordinary. Instead, they… Read more

September 23, 2015

Year B — Proper 21 — Mark 9:38-50 If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. — Jesus Like many who grew up in the evangelical Protestant church, I lived out my faith as a young man with a Bible in one hand and an ax in the other. My tradition taught me that faith was… Read more

September 10, 2015

This past week, I’ve read so many brilliant sermons on Jesus and Syrophoenician woman, most of them online (here from the Rev. Alissabeth Newton), (here from the Rev. Erik Parker), and (here from the Rev. C. Eric Funston). But this one, from the Rev. Erin Phillips, a priest in Canada, was the first I’d read last week that so forcefully and prophetically connected the story to the refugee crisis. So I’m honored she has allowed me to share her words here. + + + By… Read more


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