Stewardship in Worship

Saints and the Search for Moral Presence

Today is All Saints Day, so it’s appropriate to think about the saints in our lives and world. These days, every day seems to be the opposite of saintly: national brink-of-war tactics, political partisan diatribes, hate crimes, and horrendous violence. So maybe All Saints Day is really important right now, whether we ascribe to official…

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Rest and Labor

Happy Labor Day to you! The U.S. holiday reminds me of the Bible’s commandment to rest, particularly on the Sabbath, the heart of Jewish Law. For Christians, Willy Rordorf’s book Sunday continues to be a resource from my seminary days. In it he lays out “the history of the day of rest and worship” for…

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Breathing Our Gratitude

It’s a wonderful experience when people clap and celebrate the fact that you’re alive! I got to walk the Survivors’ Lap this again weekend during our county’s Relay for Life: something I plan to do annually for the rest of my life. While I celebrated 3½ years healed from cancer, there are cancer fighters, survivors…

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Baptism, Connection, and Christ

Is interdependency a strength or a weakness? I remember hearing the old adage, “up by my own bootstraps,” as if self-sufficiency were something to be proud of. And as if it were actually possible, too. In this interconnected world it’s hard to even imagine being raised all on one’s own and finding one’s own way,…

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Epiphany — God Beyond the Boundaries

Most of us really like our comfort zones: the settings and situations in which we can feel confident in certain roles, know our neighbors or coworkers, and trust that nothing too unexpected and dangerous will catch us by surprise. But those Magi – the wise ones who followed that odd star to the Jesus’ birthplace…

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Epiphany — Stewards of the Light

January 6, this Saturday, is Epiphany: the day Christians around the globe celebrate the coming of the Magi from faraway lands, to give gifts to the Christ child in Bethlehem. It occurs to me that those Magi were the ultimate outsiders. To begin with, they were not Jews but Gentiles, coming from Egypt or the…

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Wonder All Around

“Wonder all around” is the favorite phrase of Kathryn Shields, a friend and writer. She produces beautiful videos filled with her poetry alongside photographs of God’s intricate creation. This wonder-filled phrase has kept swirling in my head ever since she first shared it with me.                                                      – And especially this Advent/Christmas season, as we hear about…

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Dec. 3 Global Migration Sunday

This Sunday, December 3, will be a special Global Migration Sunday, to raise awareness, give support, and pray for refugees and migrants around the world. Whether due to human conflict, persecution, or natural disasters, more than 65 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes. The United Nations Refugee Agency says that over 21…

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For All the Saints

I tend to feel at home in worship at any church, whatever its denomination, but particularly so on All Saints Sunday. On that day we thank God for the faithful mentors and models who have gone before us. But yesterday I was especially grateful to be invited to my friends’ Episcopal church. Some aspects of…

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Asking for a Clean Heart

Individual, arbitrary violence has been mounting increasingly in random settings across the United States. The massacre in Las Vegas last week seems like the culmination, where the shooter had a whole line of automatic weapons set up and trained on an outdoor concert crowd, and set them off, one after another. All these events couldn’t…

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