A (Very) Brief Response to Tim Keller and Nicholas Kristof
Dec24

A (Very) Brief Response to Tim Keller and Nicholas Kristof

Here we are, on the eve of Christmas 2016.  This holiday season has inarguably been filled with the least hope and the least wonder for me personally that I can ever remember.  No doubt, I am still smarting from a grossly toxic election season and an outcome that is vexing and difficult to fathom, as well as the implications that outcome has had in shattering what remaining illusions I apparently had about the world, and these United...

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Parker Palmer: Interviews with Spiritual Heroes
Apr08

Parker Palmer: Interviews with Spiritual Heroes

Parker J. Palmer is an author, educator, and activist who focuses on issues in education, community, leadership, spirituality and social change, with nearly 10 books and countless articles to his credit.  He is also the founder of the Seattle, WA-based Center for Courage and Renewal, whose mission “is to create a more just, compassionate and healthy world by nurturing personal and professional integrity and the courage to act on...

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Father Richard Rohr: Interviews with Spiritual Heroes
Feb02

Father Richard Rohr: Interviews with Spiritual Heroes

Father Richard Rohr (OFM), is a Roman Catholic, Franciscan priest, ordained in 1970. He is the founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albquerque, New Mexico, and the author of more than 25 books about Christian spirituality.   Rohr is a contributing author to the CAC’s journal, Onening, as well as the progressive Christian publication, Sojourners. He is a proponent of the Perennial Tradition (a subject we discuss...

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Brother Alois of Taizé: Interviews with Spiritual Heroes
Dec22

Brother Alois of Taizé: Interviews with Spiritual Heroes

Welcome to the first post in the ongoing series, Interviews with Spiritual Heroes! Taizé is an ecumenical monastic order in Taizé, Saône-et-Loire, Burgundy, France, founded in 1940 by Brother Roger Schütz, consisting of over one hundred brothers from Protestant and Catholic traditions and about thirty countries across the world. According to Wikipedia, “The community has become one of the world’s most important sites of...

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Keeping My Lamp Full
Nov11

Keeping My Lamp Full

I am a pastor. Church is my job. If everyone stopped going to church, I would lose my job. Sometimes I get angry about the fact that my job performance is measured by whether or not other people show up. My higher-ups look at the numbers that represent a complex amalgam of other peoples’ fickle choices to decide whether I get to keep my job. For four years, I led a struggling contemporary worship service in a suburban church....

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I Go to Church Because I Belong to the Church
Nov04

I Go to Church Because I Belong to the Church

I go to church, religiously. That’s a pun, but it is true. I go to church almost every week, sometimes multiple times. When I was growing up, my mother was in the process of becoming an Episcopal priest. Not going to church wasn’t an option. We went. I kept going, and eventually found myself in the ordination process. Three years ago, I was ordained. It helps that I work for the church, as often I am paid to be present (but not...

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Risking Justice: Leaving Our Churches to Find the Church
Oct21

Risking Justice: Leaving Our Churches to Find the Church

Around this time last year, I decided I needed a break from my church. You’d have to sit down and buy me a couple of beers to get the whole story, but, suffice it to say, it was warranted. It felt like the right thing to do despite what many clergy and church leaders were telling me. I felt a growing and bitter heaviness inside of me. My concerns about the direction of my church were being ignored while the denomination was praising...

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Humanity, Belonging, and Response: 3 Purposes for the Church
Oct13

Humanity, Belonging, and Response: 3 Purposes for the Church

As pastor of a mainstream denominational church, my congregation has experienced a slow and steady decline for decades. Each year, the congregation gets older and smaller as more people choose brunch over Holy Communion and soccer matches over passing the peace. But more disturbing than the attendance decline is the increasingly homogeneous nature of our congregations. So, understanding the relevance of church has everything to do...

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No Longer Afraid to Be Religious: Recovering from ‘It’s All About a Relationship’
Oct01

No Longer Afraid to Be Religious: Recovering from ‘It’s All About a Relationship’

I am delighted to have the opportunity to write for UMC Lead, and to have my first contribution there be a piece that’s so close to my heart.  You can view it here.  Please be sure to follow the UMC Lead blog for high quality and challenging content. Leave Blank:Do Not Change:Your email:  Header Image Credit to...

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The Church is a Whore: Confessions of an Ecclesial Bastard Child
Sep30

The Church is a Whore: Confessions of an Ecclesial Bastard Child

“The church is a whore; but she is our mother.” This phrase is unofficially credited to St. Augustine but it is widely debated as to whether he would have said such a thing or not. Whatever the case may be, it has been a saying that has framed my internal theological dialogue for many years now. How much credit does the church get? Is the church even “the point?” If she (the church) is a “whore,”...

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