Somehow, Jesus

When I was in elementary school, I attended meetings of the John Birch Society. I can’t remember how it happened that I was, on several evenings, in a room full of adults who watched 8mm movies and filmstrips, listened to recordings, and reported on books and articles...

The Gifts of Seven Hard Years

I’m grateful and a little surprised to be alive. Since being diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in January of 2014, I’ve lived, in Raymond Carver’s words, “longer than I or anyone expected. Pure gravy.” Despite the many things cancer exacts from me, the pain and fatigue...

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...