New Here?
     
Posts tagged "Church"


The Weight of Advent: Speak What You Feel, Not What You Ought to Say

As Black Friday reaches further back in time each year, so as to even colonize the twilight hours of Thanksgiving Day, we in North America are no strangers to the porousness of time. Commercial interests can collapse chronology such that two times can overlap in a way purely linear calendar time can’t countenance; we can […]

When People Tell Me It’s Hard to Find a Church

People often reach out to tell us that they lean on our podcasts, sermons, and articles in lieu of church. While there’s something undeniably encouraging about the gratitude being expressed, at the same time it always makes my heart ache. I worry about who will bring them a casserole when their mother dies. I worry […]

Shaping the Future

The following was originally delivered as a keynote at the 149th Annual Episcopal Diocesan Convention in Harrisburg, PA. SHAPE is a verb and a noun. I shape buildings every day. So I verb-shape to make noun-shapes. I am a Christian, too. Over the last 40 years, I have designed and worked on worship spaces. But […]

You Can’t Be Serious

I am forever struggling to be taken seriously. Perhaps it comes from being the youngest child or perhaps it is connected to my ordination at an early age. Whatever the cause, I am desperate to be seen as a serious person doing serious things.  This desire carries over into my faith life as well. I […]

Help Kids Hear the Story: With StoryMakers

Like a lot of children raised in a denomination, I remember my Sunday school classes teaching me about my denomination. There were the seasonal colors, things about the liturgical calendar, and something to do with sheep. To be honest, I was never sure if the goal was to make me Christian or just to make […]

Never Forget: Celebrating the Memorial of Our Redemption

This week, more than any other week in America, we are reminded to “never forget.” While those words convey a broad message, they somehow recall a set of very specific images: a passenger plane flying into the South Tower; a firefighter climbing a crowded staircase; a man, upside down, in free fall. If you were […]

Back in the Habit: Creedal Faith and “Sister Act”

In my denomination, there is an official checklist of things you are supposed to say when people ask why you feel called to ordained ministry. You need a solid story about feeling a call when you were serving the poor. Or, maybe it was when you were receiving the Eucharist. I have these stories. And […]

The Church and the Whorehouse: What’s the Difference?

“The church and the whorehouse arrived in the Far West simultaneously. And each would have been horrified to think it was a different facet of the same thing. But surely they were both intended to accomplish the same thing: the singing, the devotion, the poetry of the churches took a man out of his bleakness […]

“We Are Them: Compassion as the Life-Blood of Pastoral Ministry”: A Conference Preview from Nick Lannon

This preview for our upcoming conference in Lancaster, PA, was written by Nick Lannon:

Compassion, both for our congregations and for ourselves, is perhaps the most important thing for pastors to develop, protect, and remember. It provides the medicine that will keep our ministries alive, and its absence will destroy them. It is only when we see our people—and ourselves—as basically (and always) in need that we can serve them—and ourselves—in an enlivening, Gospel-rich way.

Join us June 11-13 to discuss pastoral ministry, grace in practice, and other related themes at the fast-approaching Mockingbird conference in Lancaster, PA! You can find more information about speakers, accommodations, meals, and more by visiting the conference website here.

Note: In order to get an accurate count for meals, we need all registrations by June 7th. Hope to see you there!

The Only Places on the Streets That Understand

Way back on Christmas Eve of 2013, The Guardian ran a piece by photographer Chris Arnade under the provocative title, “The People Who Challenged My Atheism Most Were Drug Addicts and Prostitutes.” It remains one of the best and most heartening things I’ve read on that intersection. Arnade recounts how thoroughly his unbelief was challenged […]

“Grace, Peace, and Personal Survival for the Preacher”: An Mbird Conference in Lancaster, PA (6/11-13)

Excited to announce our (fast!) approaching Mockingbird conference in Lancaster, PA, hosted at the historic Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. With its theme—“Grace, Peace, and Personal Survival for the Preacher”—this intimate, impromptu conference aims to minister to those who minister. But of course all are welcome, not only preachers. Topics may include: family life, isolation/conflict, church […]

Like Framed Menus on the Wall

It’s easy for me to read headlines and observe human nature to back up my low anthropology. I only need to look in the mirror to find a human being who is selfish and who thinks too highly of herself. I’m often grouchy, and I am easily annoyed. Except. There are a few people who […]