Today was the first Sunday after Christmas. You may know it by its technical name: "Supply Preacher Sunday." Since I'm currently not serving a church, I was happy to supply preach for a friend. At his church, it's a tradition to ring bells to accompany the hymn-singing on this particular … [Read more...] about Ring a Bell Sunday
Last weekend I spoke at the parish retreat for St. George's Episcopal Church in Fredericksburg, VA. St. George's is a large, thriving church that has tripled in the past decade. The retreat was held at Shrine Mont, in the Shendandoah. Fun fact: this outdoor shrine is the cathedral of the … [Read more...] about Episcopalians Do It Differently
As I blogged last time, I'm not good at goodbyes. Fortunately, the folks at Western Presbyterian Church are! They gave me a lovely farewell -- a heartfelt thank you in worship, and then a perfect picnic. Today I am experiencing the salty/sweet aftertaste of goodbye: grateful to have met people I … [Read more...] about Recalculating Pilgrim
I knew it was going to be a special worship service when I heard the Introit, a stunning rendition of I Ain't Gonna Study War No More (by our bass soloist, Bob McDonald). Last Sunday we had a guest preacher at Western Presbyterian, the Rev. Jim Atwood, who is passionate about the cause of ending … [Read more...] about Finding Myself in Church
The Pentecost story in Acts 2 begins with this sentence: They were all together in one place. The they is the disciples and other followers of Jesus, and the time is 10 days after Jesus had disappeared into the clouds. I can imagine the Jesus-followers were sad, confused, and a bit … [Read more...] about All Together: Pentecost
Consider this a post for "church geeks" which is unusual for me. But it's part of my work-in-progress, and you can feel free to read or not, as you desire! This past week I heard a talk by Dr. Joseph Small, who has spent his career at the denominational offices of the Presbyterian Church (USA). … [Read more...] about Is Church Schism a “Necessary Tragedy”?
This past weekend I did two book events about Chasing the Divine in the Holy Land. The first event was a one-day retreat for a local Presbyterian Women's group. I've led retreats for this group before -- covering subjects such as Prayer, and the story of Ruth & Naomi. But it is a very different … [Read more...] about Why I Write
Life is fragile every day, it's a fact. But there are some days that bring this fact to our mind. This afternoon a friend/colleague died of cancer. Cynthia Bolbach was a wise, witty, spiritually profound person. She made the world a better place with her common sense, her vision, and her ability … [Read more...] about Life is Fragile
That title is not absolutely true. When I was 16, my sister Beth was 12, too young to sell Avon, which she desperately wanted to do. So I signed up. And together we trundled around neighborhoods door-to-door selling cosmetics. To my memory, the main asset we acquired was a plastic turquoise box full … [Read more...] about But I’ve Never Sold Anything Before!
After 10 Sundays at Western Presbyterian, I thought I'd list 10 of my favorite things so far: 1. The neo-gothic sanctuary has stained glass windows and plenty of natural light, a nice mix of tradition with updates. 2. There are really fabulous and creative flower arrangements every week, done … [Read more...] about Ten Things I Love About Western Presbyterian Church
Self-promotion is difficult. That's probably true for anyone. It's hard for an average person to wave a flag and say, "Hey, look at me and what I did! Isn't it fabulous?" I wonder if self-promotion is more difficult for women than men, since we have been schooled in the art of modesty. (And is … [Read more...] about A Writing Group Can Wave Your Flag
How exciting it is to see a creative person's dream come to completion after years in the making! Last night I watched a production of "Becoming Calvin" which was written by a local playwright, a woman named Ann Timmons. Ann and I have met briefly and, as a fellow writer, I wanted to support her … [Read more...] about Creativity & Calvin: a review of the play “Becoming Calvin”