I was walking through an unfamiliar residential neighborhood to get some exercise, going at a good clip when I was brought to a sudden halt because the sidewalk disappeared. A certain establishment had not installed sidewalks along its considerable property line. The name of the establishment? … [Read more...] about Signs vs. Sidewalk: Which Speaks Louder?
The Pentecost story is so familiar that I picture it easily. But I've just come to realize that I've been wrong about a detail. I'm wondering if that detail matters. Acts 2:1-21. The Pentecost story takes place on a feast day roughly ten days after Jesus ascended to heaven. As I've always … [Read more...] about Pentecost: Crowd-sourcing a Question about the Crowd
I’m a woman and have spent a good portion of my career occupying pulpits. In some circles a preaching woman is seen as a problem. Now comes a book that normalizes my life: "There's a Woman in the Pulpit." What a gift! I’ve always wanted to feel normal. There’s a Woman in the Pulpit: Christian … [Read more...] about I’ve Always Wanted to Be Normal
I submit that there are two kinds of ministers: ministers who've been hurt by the church, and ministers who haven't been hurt by the church, yet. I suppose you could apply this bifurcation to any group of persons. There are two kinds of spouses: those who have disappointed their mate, and those … [Read more...] about Two Kinds of Ministers
Everyone likes to eat. What do you like to eat? On Sunday I'm preaching the Acts 10 text, about Peter's vision, and so I'm pondering food choices. In the text, Peter, a law-abiding Jew, encounters a Roman named Cornelius and dreams of a sheet filled with food that he considers to be unclean. In the … [Read more...] about Indiscriminate Tastes
I have just returned from a pilgrimage to the UK where I was on the receiving end of so much hospitality! I led a 3-day conference called The Pilgrim Way for 18 clergywomen in Edinburgh, Scotland. The woman who originally envisioned this international event, and organized it, was Julie Woods. … [Read more...] about Pilgrim Hospitality
If you're looking for a special gift for a graduating seminarian, how about this one: a portable communion set handcrafted from beautiful wood. Imagine using a gorgeous item like this to bring the sacrament to the bedside of someone hospitalized, or homebound. The carrier is worthy of its … [Read more...] about Do You Love a Graduating Seminarian?
Hospitality is important to me. I grew up in a home where it was common to have guests for dinner, even though we were a family of seven without a formal dining room. Simply getting everyone around the table could be a squeeze, but I don't remember a person ever complaining. We were happy to sit … [Read more...] about Superhost!
Then Jesus took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you.” ~Luke 22:19 The Upper Room on the Via Dolorosa was built by the Crusaders in the 11th century, so it is not "authentic" to the Holy Week story. The … [Read more...] about #38 Lent Pilgrimage, The Upper Room
“Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.” ~Luke 22:46 The roots of the olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane are purportedly 2,000 years old. Olive trees are known to live a long time, and these particular trees have been lovingly tended since … [Read more...] about #35 Lent Pilgrimage, Ancient Roots
So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel!” ~John 12:13 The Palm Sunday Chapel marks the place where Jesus is believed to have begun his triumphal journey on a donkey. Inside, the … [Read more...] about Lent Pilgrimage, Palm Sunday
Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them. ~Mark 9:2 Mount Tabor, which is believed to be the site of Jesus’ transfiguration, rises from a flat plain. The road to the top is a series of hairpin curves … [Read more...] about #31 Lent Pilgrimage, Shortcut to Glory