I posted this on FB and it was widely shared: As we ate supper last night, Doug and I talked about the mosque attack, and I wondered aloud if All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS), our local mosque was having a service of some kind. We checked online, and a vigil had just begun. So I quickly … [Read more...] about After the Mosque Shooting in Christchurch
Have you ever been wounded by a church, or do you know someone who has been? Have you ever wished you had the right book on your shelf, something solid and helpful you could read and pass along? That book is finally here! It is destined to become a classic. Carol Howard Merritt's book is … [Read more...] about Healing Spiritual Wounds
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
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
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
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain. ~Matthew 5:1 From the Mount of Beatitudes on the north side of Lake Galilee, a pilgrim can see a long distance. Blooming flowers are in profusion, pink and purple against the green grass. I imagine Jesus saying, “Blessed are the pure in heart” … [Read more...] about #23 Lent Pilgrimage, Word-less
Is the world coming to an end, and how do we feel about that? This weekend I saw a dystopian/utopian movie, listened to end-times texts read in church, and worked out to Radioactive at Golds Gym. (be careful about clicking that link, it's an ear worm) Welcome to the New Age! This is it, the … [Read more...] about Worlds vs. Words: Which Lasts Longer?
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 … [Read more...] about Warehouse into Worship: Transforming Space
"Cognitive Anchors" are facts we know to be true -- so that all incoming information must wrap around these facts. What are your Cognitive Anchors? Last night I went to a "Dialogue of Discovery" at Janelia Farm, a research campus funded by Howard Hughes Medical Institute, to hear a practitioner … [Read more...] about Cognitive Anchors: What Weighs You Down?
People say that denominational decisions are like law and sausage. If you love them, you don’t want to see them getting made. But I love the way we Presbyterians govern ourselves. I geek out over our historic principles. Have you heard these beautiful, high-minded words from 1788? ~ God alone is … [Read more...] about Why I Support the Presbyterian Church’s Vote
On this Maundy Thursday I wanted to share an image of Jesus at table with his disciples. The carving below shows all twelve disciples -- it's a bit hard to see John, whose head is lying in Jesus' lap. What makes this depiction of the Last Supper unique is the identity of the disciple at the center … [Read more...] about Holy Thursday — Jesus & Judas at the Table
Douglas Dicks has served the Presbyterian Church (USA) as a liaison to the Middle East for 18 years, and is now concluding his service. I found these words from his final report to be stirring, for they have inspired him: “It is not your task to complete the job of perfecting the world, but … [Read more...] about The PCUSA Reports from Jordan, Israel, Palestine