Being Born Again Again

This morning at Grace, we heard two gospel readings: the one assigned for the day from the 13th chapter of Luke’s Gospel and, by a series of fortunate (for me, at least) events, another from John’s Gospel. I heard the passage from John’s Gospel often in the church of...

Life is Now in Session

Just before New Year’s Day, I was walking along A1A in Flagler Beach, with a clear view of the ocean to one side and of various homes and businesses on the other.  I was in a reflective mood: pondering what has been and what might be, clarifying what matters most...

A Lot of Recovering to Do

Credit: Pixbay We’ve got a lot of recovering to do, don’t we? We’re trying to move toward healthier and more whole lives in the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic; unveilings of entrenched racism, growing income inequality, and inadequacies in our healthcare...

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...

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...