Elephantine Grace

“Who is this who even forgives sins?”  And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”  (Lk 7.49b-50) I know that this weekend is filled with tension for Reformed Church people.  How will our delegates speak to the issues at hand?  Will they be the church, allowing the grace of Christ to unite us, or will  disagreements tear us apart? … Continue reading Elephantine Grace

A Question in the Wilderness

As I approached my departure from parish ministry, people were curious.  They asked me what I will do next.  It seemed easiest to tell them that I was taking a couple of months’ sabbatical, a break from ministry before determining my next steps.  I didn’t tell them that what I was feeling God calling me to a wilderness time, and I figured the next steps … Continue reading A Question in the Wilderness

Changing Out of My Pastor Clothes

After Jesus had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. A centurion there had a slave whom he valued highly, and who was ill and close to death. When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, asking him to come and heal his slave. When they came to Jesus, they appealed to him earnestly, saying, ‘He is worthy of … Continue reading Changing Out of My Pastor Clothes

Baptismal River on Trinity Sunday

Once I stayed overnight in Omaha, Nebraska, because my flight got in late, and I don’t trust myself to drive the three-hour trip home when I am tired.  I decided to take my morning walk over the nearby Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge that connects Omaha with Council Bluffs, Iowa.  It is a graceful structure that spans the muddy Missouri River as it meanders past the … Continue reading Baptismal River on Trinity Sunday

Passion, and Passion

RUDYARD KIPLING   Photo by Roger-Viollet / Rex Features ( 443052f ) When I wrote my credo as part of my preparation for pastoral ministry, I gave it the title, “The Power and Passion of God.”  I took my theme from Psalm 62:11-12a, “Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God,    and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord.” I … Continue reading Passion, and Passion

Running on Empty

Lent.  The word creates both anticipation and dread in me every time we flip the calendar to a new year. I anticipate it because the congregation I serve participates in its ritual gatherings—Ash Wednesday, midweek Lenten worship, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday—with intention and faith.  I choose the themes carefully and enjoy this season with them.  We observe the passion of our Lord together and … Continue reading Running on Empty

Thin Places, Child Faces

I have read about “thin places,” where people go to sense God’s presence, places where it does seem God feels more palpable.  Places in nature or in old structures where people have felt a deep connection with God somehow. One of those places for me is the railing in the sanctuary.  (These are rural, practical folks.  Clergy might call it a “table” for the Eucharist, … Continue reading Thin Places, Child Faces