Fittingly enough, I met Barbara Melosh at a writing week hosted by Collegeville Institute (MN) back in 2012. She joined a writing group that I had begun in 2006, and made the commitment to drive all the way from Wilmington, DE to northern VA to attend every other week. I mention that because I run … [Read more...] about A Memoir for Anyone Who Has Loved and/or Left a Church
Jesus also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain … [Read more...] about What We Plant, a sermon on Mark 4:26-34
The January issue of Christian Century includes two articles I wrote. The cover story is my #MeToo #ChurchToo story about abuse at the hands of my senior pastor. Of course I want you to read that one! But don't miss the other article, which is a list: 18 ways that churches can fight sexual … [Read more...] about How Will Your Church Fight Sexual Assault in 2018?
I'm happy -- and rather nervous -- to say that my article is on the cover of the Christian Century (January 2018). It's a deeply personal story that I have not told before: A Pastor's #MeToo Story I also wrote an accompanying list: 18 Ways Churches Can Fight Sexual Assault in 2018. As … [Read more...] about “A Pastor’s #MeToo Story” at Christian Century
This weekend I'm celebrating my anniversary of ordination, a significant date that goes unremarked by anyone but myself. On a whim I searched through a few old photos, and thought I'd share this one with you. In this photo I'm wearing a stole that my mother (left) and my aunt (right) embroidered … [Read more...] about Anniversary of Ordination
Everyone has to leave home eventually (although I do know one fella who never did, he just outlived his parents!). Perhaps what differs is the manner in which we leave. What was it like when you left home? Did you launch happily, feeling supported and connected, or did you burn rubber on your way … [Read more...] about Can You Go Home Again?
I come from a long line of coffee-drinkers. My parents drank coffee with every meal and frequently in between. At age 16 I started drinking it too, following my mother's advice to forego any sweetener. Coffee-drinking is a lifetime activity so its best to fend off those spoons-full of sugar. For … [Read more...] about Reading the News Without Caffeine
My little church experienced two unexpected deaths in two weeks -- fatal heart attacks of otherwise healthy persons. During that same period, a good friend of mine was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died within a month. I did all the things a pastor does. I visited hospitals and put … [Read more...] about When Grief Sucks Us Dry
After I got raped, one of my problems was that my thoughts were unthinkable. This problem joined other, more pressing ones. Where could I be safe? Where could I sleep? And how could I get through the impending hours of darkness? I continually felt like I was jumping out of my skin. I’ll admit … [Read more...] about When Your Thoughts Are Unthinkable
This is a guest post by my sister, the Rev. Susan Joy Huizenga. She preached this sermon on Good Friday (4/14/17) at the Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center; Saginaw, MI. Some of you know Susan from an earlier post about being a living kidney donor. One day when I was about twelve years old, my sister … [Read more...] about Blood is Thicker Than Water
Some churches wear their history like a feathered cape — with the past thrown lightly over the shoulders of the present. The past is color, context, and dramatic flair. Some churches wear their history like a shroud — with the past draped heavily over the face of the present. The past is … [Read more...] about How to Wear History
Churches have a unique tendency to become cluttered, as I have blogged about before. But never underestimate the power of energetic volunteers! The goals: 1) make items accessible; 2) create dedicated space for pulpit robe and worship … [Read more...] about Church un-Cluttered