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 appreciate … [Read more...] about Is That You, Jesus? Thoughts on Immigration
My husband and I have been Air Bnb hosts for more than a year. In addition to providing income, hosting brings emotional rewards. It feels good to offer hospitality to people who need a place to stay. (I've blogged about hospitality in relationship to ministry here and here and here.) This summer … [Read more...] about Hospitality Makes A Happy Heart: Oslo Norway
On Sunday Doug and I visited a Greek Orthodox church. We sought a change of pace and wanted to participate in a worship tradition that is sacrament-based rather than word-based. Our local Greek Orthodox Parish meets in warehouse space in a business park. We arrived a few minutes early since it was … [Read more...] about Warehouse into Worship: Transforming Space
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
When I was staying with my parents last week, we worked out together at their gym a number of times. It was noteworthy for two reasons: 1) my parents are in their eighties, so I'm very grateful they are fit enough to stay fit! 2) we didn't attend a gym when I was growing up, so this is new … [Read more...] about Learning to Welcome: Lessons a Church Can Learn from a Gym
One of our family's favorite haunts in downtown DC is an often-overlooked Smithsonian museum: the National Postal Museum. It's located in the old post office building next to Union Station. The building itself has echoing hallways, grand in scale, and lined with gold post office boxes. Walking in, a … [Read more...] about The Post Office, The Church, and Obsolescence
Driving through the countryside yesterday, Labor Day, we drove past a large banner outside a Catholic Church that proclaimed "Catholics Returning Home." Beyond the banner spread the church's graveyard. I should have snapped a picture, but I was too busy laughing. … [Read more...] about Unintentional Church Humor
Sometimes when I'm working out at my Bodypump class, the comparison to church is staggering. Here are a few tidbits that I gleaned today through my sweat: ~ Today I didn't really want to workout, but I showed up. It was annoying that the leader was so perky, so "into it" and so intent on getting … [Read more...] about What the Gym Teaches Me About the Church
I'm not currently serving a church, which means I've been church-hopping. It's fascinating to see our beloved Presbyterian churches with the eyes of an outsider. Every clergyperson should get the time and distance to do this. We would quit saying things like: Why don't people go to church? Because … [Read more...] about Church Shopping: How Many Stars Would Your Church Receive?
Picture this: a fifty-something couple side by side in a crowded gym, sweating as they lift barbells to music from the 90s, played at head-pounding volume. I suppose I could post an actual picture, but trust me, it would not be inspiring. And I may have to leave town. Yep, my husband and I have … [Read more...] about Fitness Routines & Change-ups for Body & Soul
My husband has taken up kiteboarding, which is the sport of using a "power kite" (i.e. a 2-string kite big enough to generate power) to be pulled along on a board (skateboard or surfboard, depending of course if you're on land or water). I think it's very cool that he's doing this. It makes him … [Read more...] about Who Owns the Wind? thoughts on hospitality
As our church moves ahead on a ConnectCafe ministry, I'm pondering what it means to offer hospitality. It's more than offering coffee and internet access, I'm sure of that. Our culture has reduced the concept of hospitality to having really nice cookware. Then we can all pretend we're food critics. … [Read more...] about Hospitality, What Is It?