Open Table

While I was in college, I asked Philosopher Nicholas Wolterstorff if I could sit in on his liturgy class. I knew I didn’t have time to do the homework, but still wanted to peek in on what he was teaching. He let me! And it was wonderful. We learned about Orthodox liturgy, in particular, and […]

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We Are the Church

When I think about Myra, I think of her as an incredibly dear friend, and a phenomenal dose of what “church” is at its best. Let me tell you about Myra. First of all, I’m ever so grateful for Myra and her family. I don’t want to “outshine” their grief or special relationship to her […]

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Hot Chocolate and Other Messes

Our pastor had just finished up his sermon on falling – on admitting we are powerless and broken – when my son dropped his entire cup of hot chocolate on the church carpet (and my new shoes). I had just heard, written down, and whispered, “Amen” to these words: “Instead of the safest place to […]

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The Sickness of Busyness

“The reason our churches are shrinking is because church has become just one option among a sea of options on Sunday mornings.” “It used to be that everything was closed on Sundays. People didn’t have all these distractions keeping them from coming to church.” “If we want to bring in young families, we need to […]

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God’s Unexpected Call

Last week’s lectionary passage (1 Samuel 3:1-10), and this week’s Gospel reading (Mark 1:14-20) share the common theme of God unexpectedly calling people. When God called Samuel in the temple, Samuel was just a boy. I imagine he was about 8 or 9 years old. He had been dedicated to the Lord by his mother […]

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All Things Being Equal

On Friday Arizona became the 31st marriage equality state. In a way it was anticlimactic; a judge stated that Arizona’s ban against same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, and the attorney general decided not to appeal further. Ta-da! Since I am a Christian pastor, many folks assume that I am (or should be) morally outraged about this […]

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“Just Make It a Good One”

One of my favorite lines from my favorite science fiction series, “Doctor Who,” is uttered by the Doctor, sure that he is about to consign himself to oblivion as he saves the universe. “We’re all stories in the end,” he tells a redheaded ten-year-old as she sleeps, and as he leaves the story of himself […]

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The Corporate Captivity of the Church

The church in the United States is in decline. There is nothing particularly earth-shattering about this. It is reported nearly everywhere on a regular basis. In my corner of the Bible-belt, the reasoning that is often given for this is the increasing cultural secularization and pluralization. This, of course, likely has something to do with […]

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