One last piece of poetry for Advent, this one inspired just a bit by a story Ann Kansfield, intrepid co-pastor at Greenpoint Reformed Church, Brooklyn, told yesterday and today. Sitting on the hillside one cold, dark night, passing the wineskin to stave off the cold, watching the sheep, hoping to get it right (because what […]Read More Christmas Eve With a Nod Toward Milton Street
I wasn’t going to write this post. Or I should say, I wasn’t going to rewrite this post. I lost it when my trusty laptop-from-seminary-days finally decided to kick the bucket. I wrote the original on Tuesday when I was sitting in the church that I attend here in Bakersfield. I spent a good chunk […]Read More Is It This Hard For Everyone Else?
There has been a lot of conversation among educators, in the face of Common Core Curriculum becoming the latest educational fad, about how their profession is being de-valued. More and more, success and failure for education is quantified in raw test scores. Educators I know are quite adamant about the fact that all sorts of […]Read More Reflections on Professions and Vocations in a Results-Obsessed Time
I’m reading a book right now that’s making me angry. The subject matter is one of those “hot button” issues in Christianity right now, and the way I feel reminds me of a quote from a book I read back in college. In Richard J. Mouw’s Uncommon Decency, he writes: “There they all stand, bumper-to-bumper, […]Read More Living Faithfully
When I set about writing a blog post on today’s Gospel lectionary passage, John 20:1-18, I thought “Oh yea! The resurrection passage on Easter – piece of cake!” Yea, right. So, six days in, and I’m still staring at my computer with nothing. Nada. Part of my problem is that when I blog, I put […]Read More It’s Not About the Bunny
Today’s lectionary Gospel reading is John 11: 1-44 – the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. For those of us who’ve spent any time in Christian circles, we’ve heard it all before; this is a familiar story, and sometimes when stories are familiar, we tend to tune them out. You may be thinking, […]Read More Jesus and the Walking Dead
In the sanctuary at the church where my husband and I serve as co-pastors, the back two pews have a sign on them that reads “Reserved for Families with Small Children.” These pews were set aside as an act of hospitality to families who may find themselves needing quick access to a bathroom to change […]Read More If the Sanctuary Could Speak…
My life seems to be a study in these verses lately: I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good […]Read More The Balancing Act
World Communion Sunday seems to me a good day to revisit what we mean when we talk about celebrating the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. In Reformed communities this has been the subject of a good deal of internal debate. In 1846 John Williamson Nevin published his magnum opus, The Mystical Presence: A vindication of […]Read More Revivalism, Rationalism or Real Union?
I’m one of the liturgical nuts who gets chills on my spine when I have the opportunity to be in a large cathedral, where the procession is a big, grand affair, and the pomp and circumstance of things conspire to remind us of the big, majestic, holy God we worship. I like processions, from parades […]Read More Processional