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Trying to be Both a Disciple & Parent of Young Children

This past weekend I missed an opportunity to participate in a local ministry I’ve been hoping to engage for sometime now: sharing in a meal and fellowship with others facing food insecurities. Who knows if it’s a worthy excuse, but I had my hands full with the kids. Someone will inevitably say, You should’ve gotten […]

Easter Bombings in Sri Lanka: The Tension of Death and Resurrection

Before the sun rose here on the western side of the world. As, perhaps, some were finishing vigil and going to bed to catch some zzz’s before an eventful day. While Easter festivities were little more than a restless stirring in the midnight dreams of exhausted clergy. Men, women, and children were gathering together, halfway […]

A Reminder that All is Not Holy this Week

Being a downtown church means that each week among our community there are people of all walks of life—some more frequent visitors, others only once. It’s not uncommon for us to come face-to-face, any given Sunday, with those who are suffering from addiction, mental disorders, or horrendous trauma. People down on their luck. Individuals who […]

Terminally Blessed

If I didn’t know any better, I might think I was terminal. Over the past couple weeks, a fair amount of people have come to me in passing and asked how I’m doing. Are you ok, Pastor? How’s it going—everything alright? Did you survive last week? I’ve been keeping you in my prayers. In any other situation, […]

In Gratitude, For my Retiring Colleague

As a Scout, whenever we went on a campout, we were always reminded to pick up behind ourselves. This means not only collecting any clutter we made, but also taking out whatever trash found left by others. Leave the site in better shape than how we found it. The motto was: leave only your footprints […]

Christchurch: Mourning the Suffering of our Muslim Sisters and Brothers

When I was teaching Confirmation in my first call, I made it a point for students to encounter and engage others who did not share our particular faith tradition. As part of the 8th grade curriculum, the students would read about various denominations and religions and each month we would do a different worship visit. […]

Ashes on the Forehead of a Dying Church

Most all signs point towards the impending death of the church. Declining attendance. Increasing congregation closures. Reactionary, anxiety-laden decisions made by leadership. Growing irrelevance in the public eye. For better or for worse, the picture is not as it was 50, 100, or even 500 years ago. If anything, we today resemble the earliest roots […]

Loss & Grief in the Church

We experience loss and grief in every aspect of life. The unexpected death of a family member or friend. Financial strains or unforeseeable natural disasters suddenly sweeping in, taking away one’s home and other possessions. Illness robbing a person of their identity and independence. Change of any kind calling into question what has been held […]

Amidst the Fog

From behind me, strapped into his carseat, came the question: “Where do God and Jesus live?” Never a dull moment with this kid. Can’t say this is the most spontaneous conversation he’s sparked heading south on 183. “Everywhere,” I hastily responded. “They live in Heaven—I mean I know they live in my heart—where’s Heaven?” Satisfied […]

Playfulness in the Church

Have we made the church so sterile and serious as to function less or other than God intends? Can the rigidity of a congregation—like that of a wineskin that has dried out and hardened, no longer pliable—ever fully hinder the Spirit from coming in and expanding it with fresh festivity? We wonder why younger generations […]

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