Powers and Principalities: A Podcast Conversation

Here’s a link to a podcast conversation I had with Mark Ramsey, Executive Director of the Ministry Collaborative/Macedonian Ministry Foundation. It was great to talk with Mark about some of the realities churches face as we move into whatever post-pandemic (and...

Beyond Regathering

This post focuses on the life and ministry of congregations. The regathering of our churches for worship and other ministries has been a source of relief, a reason for gratitude, and a cause for celebration. During a long season of necessary isolation from one...

Thresholds, In-Between, Paradox, and Liminality

I lay down in the early afternoon of a sunny and cool Chicago Saturday. Anita and I were with our son, Eliot, and his fiancé, Tatyana. Later that day, the four of us would join several of Eliot’s and Tatyana’s friends for a relaxed informal dinner party at the home of...

Telling the Story (Stories) of the Last Year

Photo by Eugenio Mazzone on Unsplash How do we tell the story of the last year or so? One way is to focus on a series of disruptions in public health, justice, education, economics, and politics. They were earthquakes that shook our foundational confidence, and the...

Gifts We Need and Can Give

Rodin It—the deaths, other losses, and griefs of the pandemic, racial polarization, economic devastation, political division, and “Christian” nationalism—has been and is hard, really hard. We probably won’t know how difficult things have been until later, when we can...

Holy Saturday

Dead, forsaken Jesus. Eerie silence from heaven to the grave. Smug Empire. Self-satisfied religious Establishment. Horrified, hiding, denying, and betraying men break their vows to follow. Trembling, tenacious women stay true through the end.   In God’s great...

In, not of, Lent

My ways of observing Lent changed significantly in 2014. Early in that year, I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. Treatment (infusions/injections, steroids, and a daily chemo capsule) began on Ash Wednesday. Following that afternoon’s initial treatment, I went to...

Power, Greatness, and Servant-Leaders

It’s not enough to say that “leaders should be servants,” because all of us serve someone or something, even if it’s only ourselves. As the well-known Bob Dylan lyric puts it: Indeed you’re gonna have to serve somebodyWell, it may be the devil or it may be the...

Another Way

On the calendar of Christian worship, January 6 is Epiphany; it is a day to acknowledge that Jesus is the in-the-flesh manifestation of God’s dreams for the world and to celebrate that he is an embodied revelation of the Divine’s unifying and healing love....

The Opposite of a Dumpster Fire

What’s the opposite of a dumpster fire? Of doom-scrolling? Of trolling? What would the best-year-ever be like? Long ago, I drove away from a town in which I’d experienced a lot of pain. As I crossed the city limits and, a few minutes later, the county line, I looked...