I have a lectionary essay on the gospel text for February 5, over at Journey with Jesus. … [Read more...] about Would Jesus Have Marched? Salt & Light
Clutter-free spaces communicate hospitality. The hotel industry understands this. Unfortunately, many churches don't. I'm on my way to a "Clean Up Day" at my church. I'm still quite new there -- since Labor Day -- and the church basement is in reasonably good shape. Still, it's always good to … [Read more...] about Church Clutter
One of the joys in my life is being a "Matriarch" AKA "Mentor of Clergywomen Everywhere." Over at RevGalBlogPals, I and a number of other matriarchs respond to a classic question -- what to do when parishioners make snide comments in the presence of others? Unfortunately, it is a very common … [Read more...] about Women Pastors Unite!
Are you looking for ways to "walk with Jesus" during this season of Lent? I invite you to check out the videos produced by Eran Frenkel in Jerusalem. His most recent video takes us through the Western Wall Tunnels. This is a place I wasn't able to see on my pilgrimage, and I so enjoyed "being there" … [Read more...] about Virtual Pilgrim: Underneath Jerusalem’s Western Wall
Ashes & Valentines collide this year, which remind me of a book our kids loved when they were little: "Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch. This picture book revolves around a song, which a parent sings to their child: “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my … [Read more...] about Ashes & Valentines
Over the holiday weekend, my husband and I went on a road trip into the Shenandoah. We've explored Staunton before, so this time we headed a bit further south, to Lexington. Those thirty extra miles made a huge difference, dropping us from northern Virginia into southern Virginia. Or perhaps it was … [Read more...] about Preachers, Please State the Obvious
My footsteps echoed in the marble chamber so I lifted my heels to keep them from hitting the tile floor. In the transept, the "great choir" was singing Evensong. The unaccompanied voices drifted through the nave like wisps of pure music, beyond words. I was in the National Cathedral to attend an … [Read more...] about Benediction: Christian, Jew & Muslim
When I was in seminary I was taught: Small churches are tough. You can't beat them to death with a stick! I believed that truism, and repeated it to others. Now I have fresh experience that allows me to see the backside of that truism, which is also true: Small churches are fragile. So far in … [Read more...] about The Body of Christ: Tough & Fragile
Next Sunday, this church door will close. After 130 years of ministry, Faith Chapel Presbyterian Church (Lucketts, VA) is closing. I've been filling the pulpit for a brief time and will preach the final service on December 20. I anticipate a modestly sized gathering that focuses on celebrating … [Read more...] about 130 Years of Ministry
Last Friday night, Jerry Falwell, Jr., president of Liberty University, addressed the recent mass shooting in San Bernardino. He said: "I've always thought that if more good people had concealed-carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in and killed them. . . . I just wanted … [Read more...] about Falwell Does Not Speak For This Christian
Why do so many Christians resist welcoming the Syrian refugees? I am baffled by this. Embracing the stranger is an essential Christian teaching. You might say that hospitality is in the Christian DNA. (A few supporting texts: here and here and here.) I am a Protestant who has learned to … [Read more...] about Is That You, Jesus?
About two months ago we celebrated my father's 90th birthday. When I arrived at my parents' home the night before the event, my mom handed me a typed page that said at the top: "Dad's Final Words." It was rather startling. I wondered if I had missed some family news! What the page contained were … [Read more...] about Final Words