Churches don't need unflappable CEOs. They need non-anxious parents.

Churches don't need unflappable CEOs. They need non-anxious parents.

At no other point in our lives than when we’re emphatically staring down a hurricane force meltdown by something we inexplicably love on a cellular level can we know more about what it means when the scriptures remind us that God isn’t an unflappable CEO, but is our Parent and our Partner and our Priest and our Prophet and our Spirit and our Soul and our Strength and our Savior and our Friend and the one thing that refuses to give up on us, even when we’ve soiled ourselves yet again.

Read More

Contrary to the view of Triumphant Christianity, Easter is for Failures

Contrary to the view of Triumphant Christianity, Easter is for Failures

“If we read forwards rather than backwards, we find that the season of Easter is about how, at the core, Christianity is a way of seeing everything for people who never got what they wanted from God, from life, from their families and friends and even from the very religion founded in the name of Jesus and his resurrection. Christianity isn’t a religion that saves us by finally bringing our dreams to life; it’s one that sustains us by keeping us afloat even when those dreams die again and again. “

Read More

how (not) to be friends.

how (not) to be friends.

Things like Facebook and Instagram have trained us to relate to one another according to the strictures of digital life: as it relegates irrelevant and anomalous data to the nether-regions of the web, and heightens false binaries and limited drop-down options as a way of answering existential questions about how one dates, sleeps, believes, votes, thinks, feels, and furnishes a bonus room.

Read More

For my Methodist friends (and others): how to survive the death of your denominational home. Or not.

For my Methodist friends (and others): how to survive the death of your denominational home. Or not.

“At the end of the day, it took leaving my tradition, my calling, the whole of my identity and religious upbringing; it took leaving God in order to find God. It took leaving my tradition to find my tradition, to find my calling and the whole of what it means to believe in something, on purpose, because you choose to, and not because you have to or even because you always want to. “

Read More

How to Talk More About Sin

How to Talk More About Sin

What if we’ve been misunderstanding the point of sin? What if this concept, instead of inviting normal people with long commutes and weird family baggage to blame themselves on a cosmic scale for coming up short, is actually about giving people a way of externalizing their failure and pain onto something we can universally struggle against, together?

Read More

Does God call the minister - or does the church, a committee, or a few well-placed influencers?

Does God call the minister - or does the church, a committee, or a few well-placed influencers?

Pastors and other ministers, you aren’t the problem; the story is the problem. So let’s put this story to death. Because this story, like the one about the quality of your sermons that is keeping you up at night and emailing you in ALL CAPS on the weekend, has nothing to do with what the homeless, crucified, 1st-century rabbi probably invited you to do with the whole of your life. Arguably, the thing to which that rabbi called you, however long ago, was to resist this kind of story with the whole of your being, to sacrifice it (and not you) on the altar of liberation and to invite others into that same kind of resistance.

Read More

how to find miracles.

how to find miracles.

Miracles feed the hungry, they heal the sick, they lighten the load of the burdened, and they keep your kid sleeping past 8:00am for no reason other than you are the definition of someone at their wit's end. Miracles and their definitions are possessed solely by those experiencing them, and not by those of us tone-policing from the cheap seats. My son taught me that, because for him, almost everything (except loud hand-dryers in public restrooms) is miraculous and worthy of your wonder and your gratitude and your buoyant, exuberant, cacophonous praise. 

Read More

communing.

communing.

To commune together, even when there’s good reason for withdrawn civility and hostile incivility, seems a miraculously unlikely experience. Which is probably why the Church has spent the majority of its life protecting the metaphor of Communion instead of practicing its meaning. 

Read More

depressing.

depressing.

Depression is the light on our dashboard warning us that our soul is leaking coolant, and that if we don’t pull over and call for help things will only get worse from here on out. Maybe to a point where we can’t fix what’s wrong.

Read More