Joy and Affliction

In this third week of Advent we are reminded of the joy that comes with understanding the significance of Jesus’ birth. It is with a fair bit of disorientation, however, that I approach this meditation as the week has issued circumstances that are far from joyful: An Aunt who is close to death; a beautiful,… Continue reading Joy and Affliction

Hope: Holding Together

On Sunday, the first of Advent, our family sat at the dinner table after church for a meal. I was still trying to assemble our Advent wreath while we talked about the meaning of lighting the first candle: hope. We began discussing the reasons Jesus came to be born as a person and what hope… Continue reading Hope: Holding Together

Oration and Power and Ignoring the Rest

  In the past few weeks, I have been researching discourse in antiquity (approximately 2nd century BCE to 3rd century CE). One particular source by Caroline Vander Stichele and Todd Penner focuses on the role of appearance and outward characteristics that signify one’s class. One technique of the time was the use of oration as… Continue reading Oration and Power and Ignoring the Rest

Slow Ideas: Reimagining Church

  I just read an article by, Atul Gawande, entitled, “Slow Ideas”-   (   Atul Gawande says, “We yearn for frictionless, technological solutions. But people talking to people is still the way that norms and standards change.” This is slow. It is a process. Gawande begins by describing the case of the need for,… Continue reading Slow Ideas: Reimagining Church

Tending Gardens

I just read a beautiful description of the mission of Christ (though, not explicit) from a postmodern marketing guru, Seth Godin: Gardens, not buildings Great projects start out feeling like buildings. There are architects, materials, staff, rigid timelines, permits, engineers, a structure. It works or it doesn’t. Build something that doesn’t fall down. On time.… Continue reading Tending Gardens

The Matter of Matter and How it Matters

  A short preface: recently, there have been a number of articles published that include the cute phrase, “matter matters” and the like. Full disclosure: I have such an article in the archives of my blog—while preceding these by some fair measure . . . . But, since so few seem to read my blog… Continue reading The Matter of Matter and How it Matters

Glory and the Ottawa People

The Ottawa people (Odawa), the name meaning, “to trade,” are a First Nations people. The name Trader was extended to the Ottawa because they were known as intertribal traders and barterers. This office continued as Europeans and others arrived exploring the land. The Ottawa were mediators, easily moving among and between tribes—and, then, the European settlers that… Continue reading Glory and the Ottawa People

Deep Church and the Courage to Not Lose Nerve

When recently doing a word study at the bequest of my mother, I had a bit of an epiphany regarding my relationship to the Spirit. I found that there were no instances, in either testament, of any person asking for the Holy Spirit to come. There are, however, multitudinous occurrences of the Spirit falling upon,… Continue reading Deep Church and the Courage to Not Lose Nerve

Sifted to be Strengthened

I love this insight from Richard Rohr on spiritual authority: “Loving servanthood and foundational surrender are the true basis for teaching authority in the Church, much more than title, vestment, role, or office. Such lives have the living authority of Jesus himself, and need no special ordination or public validation. Jesus says to Simon Peter… Continue reading Sifted to be Strengthened