July to December 2018

Navigating Our Worlds

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For the past several years, I’ve worked with church-affiliated organizations. I’m now working with a non-profit that is not religiously or church affiliated. It is a great non-profit that has multi-faceted programming and empowerment activities for girls, but simply not a religious-based organization. In my new world, we have gone to lunch a couple times […]

July to Dec 2017

A Home

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The house I grew up in was a parsonage. Which means the church provides a home to their pastor and is where the family lives. Today there are size standards and other requirements. Our house would fit in the garage of most other parsonages today. This house is the cover photo on my book Parsonage […]

Jan to June 2017

Be a Bridge

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Human sexuality and the church isn’t something I really thought I’d write about or frankly even want to write about. I spent a few days in San Francisco for a seminar, a city that sort of makes you deal with the issue. On Sunday, I attended worship at Glide Memorial Church. They have a long […]

Jan to June 2017

Face-to-Face

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I attended a meeting in Chicago and we had an evening meal with a local church that has seen its neighborhood change.  Like many congregations, the choices are adapt or fail.  This small congregation has decided to embrace refugee and immigrant families and reformat its future. After sharing a meal together, families from different continents […]

Jan to June 2017

We are Chosen for Joy

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John 15: 11 NRSV – I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. I have often wondered if we should post this over every entrance to every church building – This is a place of joy, so change your frown or […]

Jan to June 2017

Weeds or Wheat?

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As I have begun to read parables and read about parables, I have a couple observations.  First, that Jesus guy was one smart dude.  He made the stories simple enough to be understood by children and profound enough that they’ve been studied for centuries. Second, my understanding of parables is more at the children end […]

July to Dec 2016

What The Future Holds for Churches

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Traveled into Mississippi for the first time.  It’s a lot like South Dakota where I live, except they have trees and hills and funny accents. What surprised me more than anything was the number of churches. It’s not only the Bible belt, it’s the church belt.  Wow,  there are really a lot of churches.  And […]

July to Dec 2016

Planning or Doing?

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“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” Allen Sauders and in a song by John Lennon. Our oldest son has always been a planner. Even as a little kid he would spend HOURS planning. He’d take cars and line them up, decide how to group them, or plan future purchases. […]

Jan to June 2016

Brushes with Death

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I’ve had some different relationships with death. Growing up, we rarely would go out to eat. If dad had a funeral and received an honorarium, he’d take the family to a restaurant. While I can’t say I hoped for people to die, it sure was nice to go out to eat every once in a […]

Jan to June 2016

From the Other Side

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Over the years, I’ve preached in at least 30 different churches. Most have the traditional set-up with the pulpit or lectern in the front of the congregation. Often there is a cloth on the alter and pulpit with colors indicating the liturgical season like Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, or Pentecost. What a person sees and […]