Step back in time with me, won't you? Imagine a church constructed of logs, filled to the brim with 250 people singing hymns without accompaniment. The majority of those people are Old Order Mennonite, dressed in their Sunday go-to-meeting clothes. Balconies on either side of the meetinghouse burst … [Read more...] about Hymns, Heat & Heaven — Can Women Be Ordained?
When I was growing up we didn't have any extra money, so every book I read came from the library. I remember winning a couple of books through book-reading challenges at the library; those were precious. Buying textbooks in college was a stretch financially, and I never bought books for pleasure. … [Read more...] about Uncluttering Books
I acted like a groupie at a U2 concert and had a blast. I wrote more about the experience (here). Here's the set list including the opening act, Florence and the Machine: … [Read more...] about U2 Concert
All of my life I have been "deep." When I was in high school, people would say to me, "You're really deep" and I took that as a compliment. Then I went to college and seminary and became a minister. Being a minister is a deep profession. You deal with the serious, the profound. You attend to the … [Read more...] about The Year of Living Superficially
This is a detailed account of saying farewell to a church I served for nearly a decade -- on a very fitting day, Pentecost Sunday. Includes a farewell liturgy that might be helpful to others. When I arrived the parking lot was already lined with cars, which felt highly unusual. Inside the church … [Read more...] about Farewell to My Church on Pentecost
After almost a decade at my church, I am leaving to pursue writing full time, at least for a season. This coming Sunday is my last day in the pulpit! Here are just a few of the things that I'm going to miss . . . I'll miss my place in the sanctuary, the red velvet throne that's lost its springs. … [Read more...] about What I’ll Miss: a pastor’s thoughts on leaving her church
After reading A.J. Jacob's book,?The Year of Living Biblically, I decided to follow a friend's recommendation and read Ed Dobson's book The Year of Living Like Jesus. The two books are quite different. Jacobs was raised as a secular Jew, and his book feels a bit like a stunt, a follow-up to spending … [Read more...] about The Year of Living . . . with a Beard
Tonight I'm remembering a valuable dish that broke, the most valuable dish I ever owned, and I'm feeling glad that it broke. The dish was a gift from one of the sainted widows in my congregation, a token of her esteem for me. She called it "Kitchen Ming" because it was from the Ming dynasty, but … [Read more...] about What Breaks
Yesterday was a historic day in the Presbyterian Church (USA). A majority of presbyteries have voted to ratify the decision by General Assembly last July, which changes the language of our Book of Order (text below). The language replaces a paragraph known as "Fidelity and Chastity clause" which had … [Read more...] about Swinging to Inclusion
I just finished reading Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer. I found it quite captivating, as the narrative moves back and forth between two interesting true stories: the early history of the Mormon church, and a recent double murder committed by two brothers who thought they were fulfilling … [Read more...] about Under the Banner of Heaven, by Jon Krakauer, a book review
Jan, over at RevGalBlogPals posted this Friday Five about birthdays: 1. What are your feelings about celebrating birthdays, especially your own? I enjoy being "the birthday girl." Our celebrations are very low-key, but I enjoy marking the milestone. Gifts don't matter much to me, they are always a … [Read more...] about Friday Five: Birthdays
Today was the first very very warm spring day, so warm you realize that spring wll be over soon. As my husband and I were returning from the gym this evening, we noticed a lot of people standing in the middle of our street, around a large black lump that looked like somebody's overcoat. "Turtle!" … [Read more...] about A Snapping Turtle in Suburbia!