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Posts tagged "Church"


“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 […]

The Living Christ and the Principle of Grace

An astute reflection by Jared Jones: There is a bustling market for “principles” in the world today. “Timeless truths to live your life by.” “7 Principles of Health.” “376 Different Things to Try in Bed that You’ll Try to Remember for the Next Time You’re in a Relationship Because the Only People Who Pick Up […]

The Ash Wednesday Immortality Bus

From our archives, the following piece by Ethan Richardson was originally published in 2017 — but the Immortality Bus is ageless. Buckle up… There was a dark horse in the 2016 presidential campaign that you missed. And what a shame! This gentleman really promised to turn things around, in ways no one else was talking about. […]

Here’s To You, Fellow Introverts

Every now and then, I let myself think that I’ve left behind my introverted tendencies and moved into the (seemingly) glorious land of extroverted, outgoing people—they have it so much easier, right, being able to strike up a conversation with anyone about anything? But then I find myself in a situation where that introvert makes […]

All Are One in Thee for All Are Thine

For reasons that were not clear to me at the time, and are still a little fuzzy, my family of origin hosted a stream of long-term houseguests when I was a child. If someone needed a guest room because of a poor choice in his marriage, or because she didn’t have a job that could […]

God Does Not Love Me Because I Am a Christian

In Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis poignantly observes that all of history is “the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.” He’s making a sweeping macro-scale statement (and he’s right), but even ignoring the broad narrative, we see it play out in our own lives […]

Suburbia at the Mid-Century: Church

Two thousand years of Jesus in our lives had a crest when The American Dream was real. It was Mid-Century: after America rose from the fugue state of The Great Depression to wrest control of the globe from evil. The extreme, violent and costly effort changed the world – but especially America. Millions had died, […]

Riding Shotgun: On Being the Clergy-Adjacent

I was hauling a giant luggage container, the kind that attaches to a car roof, across my driveway with the woman who bought it from me on craigslist. It wasn’t heavy, but it was awkward and large, and we were having a bit of a hard time maneuvering it. It was dark outside, and we […]

Lenten Soup Supper in the Church Basement

A wonderful piece by Rebecca Florence Miller. More of her writing can be found here.  The Lenten soup supper in the church basement. A staple of the Lutheran tradition of which I am a part—and because we are Lutheran (grace!), rather than being meager, fast-like meals, we sustain ourselves for the hard truths of Lent […]