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
While I waited for my hair appointment, I chatted with two women over the magazines. They mentioned they were sisters, so I said, "How nice to make your hair a family affair." "It is nice, but it's not for a nice reason. Our mother died the other day." I felt surprised at this, and glanced at … [Read more...] about Conversations with Strangers
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
For the last few Sundays I've filled the pulpit for a small church that has lost its critical mass. Attendance has dwindled to a faithful few, all of whom are running out of energy. Not a happy situation. Still, when I enter the church building, I feel a sense of welcome and warmth from the folks … [Read more...] about A Peculiar Energy
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?
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
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!
Visual images are powerful. We are surrounded by images used to influence our behavior as consumers. What is the role of the church in using images? More than five years ago I wrote about the connection between computer icons and iconography. At that time I suggested using a stained glass of the … [Read more...] about Screens in Church: Eight Tips for Using Visuals in Worship
A recent article in the NYT, Learning to Love Criticism, discusses a Fortune.com study of performance reviews, which shows that women are criticized more severely, and in more personal ways, than are men. In other words: It's not our imagination! I am familiar with the dynamic described. As a … [Read more...] about Praise or Blame, All the Same: Handling Criticism
I'm a Presbyterian pastor who often talks about hospitality, sometimes in relation to one of my other passions, which is uncluttering. Last spring my husband and I took the practice of hospitality to a new level when we became Air Bnb hosts. Air Bnb is part of the sharing economy. Many people are … [Read more...] about Hospitality: What the Church Can Learn from Air Bnb
The conflict in Gaza occupies hearts and minds right now. I know you're praying for peace. But how else can a faith leader respond? So often we feel forced to choose a side. Are you pro-Israeli or pro-Palestinian? The topic always seems to boil down to this question which (reasonably enough) results … [Read more...] about 9 Things Pastors Can Do Besides Pray for Gaza
The Christian Century posted my Open Letter to the PCUSA. It's called Reading the Fifth Gospel and is in response to the Presbyterian overtures about Israel and Palestine. I hope you'll click over there and read it. Let me know your response! … [Read more...] about An Open Letter to the PCUSA