Showing posts from March, 2013

Just gonna leave this here.

Go Blue!

Becoming an Ally

This week being Holy Week, Christians have certain themes on their minds: palms, hosannas, last suppers, the cross, Easter eggs and lilies, special services to attend (or plan), and so on and so forth.

It may also be that during this particular Holy Week, Christians are thinking about other themes as well, in light of what the United States Supreme Court has been deliberating over the past few days. It should be noted, however, that people of faith in particular do not think universally about this subject: we aren't a unified voting bloc on this. That may come as a surprise to Christians and non-Christians alike, not to mention no small amount of anger and indignation.

Certain corners (again, both Christian and non-Christian, believe it or not) pointedly say to Christians who support marriage equality: "You either believe it all or you don't believe any of it!" It's incredibly simplistic, leaving no room for nuance. Such a statement doesn't allow for theolog…

A Dream

I was in a school. Perhaps a high school or a college building. There were clearly classrooms. The hallways were long and winding, lined with trophy cases or bulletin boards.

There was also a lot of activity. People around every corner, moving this way and that, chattering about  an unintelligible range of subjects while attempting to find whatever destination they were seeking.

And me? I was getting ready to perform.

I had a classroom assigned to me, and I wanted to make sure that I was on time. My guitar was already set up in the room, and I wanted to impress the judges. What was I going to play for them? Which song would I pick?

As it happened, I decided to play the song I've been working on during Lent. That seemed to be the clearest option; my best shot at winning whatever prize was at stake.

I was wearing my old navy blue United Church of Christ shirt. I needed to find another one. Sure, it was vintage, but was I really going to wear a church shirt for this performance, esp…

Vintage CC: I Don't Write Polite Church Stories

I wrote this post in May 2011 for reasons that become clear as you read. This blog isn't really a secret to anyone these days, not that I've ever taken great pains to hide it. But it seemed timely to repost this, as with a new call has come some new readers, and this is the type of post that I think serves as a good primer for what one can expect to find here.

Sometime last year, I picked up on the fact that a couple church members had found my blog. I have never really advertised it to them, for a reason that will sound very selfish to some: in the fishbowl life of a pastor, this blog was pretty much the only thing that was mine. It's not that I didn't want to share it or was afraid of their reaction. I just...didn't. Nevertheless, the cat is out of the bag, and now I have a couple church members--the few interested enough--who read.

Having quickly achieved peace with that, I decided to actively advertise my blog for the first time in a place where I knew chur…

"The Crumbs of Our Cooperation"

I probably don't write about my spiritual direction program on here enough. This is me attempting to change that.

This past Saturday, my class had an all-day workshop with Rev. Brian McDermott of Georgetown University. It was our second workshop with him, and I've found him very enjoyable both times. He's very personable and has a great sense of humor, in addition to being incredibly knowledgable about the subject matter.

This weekend, McDermott went over Ignatius' thoughts on "election." To someone like me with a Reformed background, we may jump to a certain definition of the term having more to do with who God chooses to save. But the way Ignatius uses the term is more about the choices that we make after discerning God's will for us.

For Ignatius, this process of election has a double edge. First, election is for we ourselves; we cannot discern what is right for another person. For example, one may decide that he or she is called to a particular churc…

Pop Culture Roundup

My church is looking into revamping its constitution and bylaws--and possibly its governance/committee structure--so I thought I'd pick up Dan Hotchkiss' Governance and Ministry: Rethinking Board Leadership in preparation. It came highly recommended by multiple colleagues, and I'm a bit of a church administration nerd (I know...weird), so I started reading. I'm about halfway through, and it's been quite interesting. Hotchkiss first summarizes the structures that churches of different sizes may be used to, the most prominent being variations on the "governing board and committees" model. Hotchkiss then analyzes the two main functions of any of these structures: governance (setting and maintaining policy) and ministry (anything practical: worship, mission, education, etc.), and suggests that the traditional committee structure is no longer necessary or most effective to address them. It's very informative and thought-provoking so far.

Coffeewife got th…

40 Day Creativity Check-In

As my Lenten discipline this year, I chose to take part in the 40-Day Creativity Experiment, where you're encouraged to work a little on the same art project every day for 40 days. You may recall that I chose to work on writing a song.

To be honest, I've been surprised at how well this has gone so far. I thought I'd get tripped up just on finding the melody for the first few weeks, but I came up with a nice little chord progression and the whole thing has just kind of flowed from there. I seriously am planning to share it here after Easter, whether that entails figuring out how to use Garageband on my Mac or doing something with Youtube.

Really, this song has ended up being part of a larger Lenten happening. A big part of it is musical: making it a point to strum my guitar for even just a few minutes each day has helped me rediscover a love of playing that I think I lost for a while. I approached it more as an obligation as part of ministry and didn't play a whole lot…

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