Mercy and Justice for All

People’s United Methodist Church has a year-long theme for 2022 – Mercy and Justice for All. At one level, this is self-explanatory; at another it involves some complex unpacking. It is hard to imagine that any Christian believer would find fault with such a sentiment and theme, yet we see […]

Imposturing

What makes a Christian a Christian? Does going to church make one a Christian? Does simply calling oneself a Christian make it so? Is it merely a matter of believing that Jesus is the Son of God? Or is there anything more? Does being a Christian demand any kind of […]

Getting It

Holy and wonderful is this season of Advent waiting, because we know how it all turns out. A healthy and beautiful baby is born against incredible odds to incarnate God into our daily lived reality. We don’t treat this child to well as an adult, and end up wrongly putting […]

Naughty or Nice

As Christmas comes rocketing toward us one more time, it is wonderful to reflect on this “most wonderful time of the year,” but it always raises a few questions for me: why is it so hard to maintain “Christmas cheer” and “goodwill” the rest of the year? Why does hatred […]

Owning It

One of the clearest signs of maturity is the ability to take responsibility for one’s own thoughts, words, and actions. In our current cultural climate, it has become painfully obvious that maturity is NOT one of our defining qualities and taking responsibility is not one of our guiding values. And […]

Church Zero

Have you noticed all the “zero sugar” sodas out now? Not “diet,” but “zero sugar.” All the flavor, none of the calories? I am seeing some unpleasant parallels with today’s church… All the pretense, none of the commitment All the judgment, none of the compassion All of the benefits, none […]

Excise Task

I was talking with a woman in our community about church. She told me, “I used to love coming to Christmas Eve services, but I just got fed up with all the religious baggage.” I asked her to explain what she meant, so she went on, “I love the music, […]

Ergo Ego

I was watching a report on the economic impacts of the pandemic on people in the United States, especially on employment as we are finding ourselves in a place of contradictions and paradoxes. We are seeing high unemployment numbers at the same time we are seeing a steep increase in […]

Midwest Stuffing

I am a product of the Midwestern attitude that “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” There is some deep, substantial wisdom in this thinking, but also a danger. There are so many nice things to say, and so many nice things to point to and […]

Idiotelia

I love the fact that one Greek word for “selfishness” is “idiotelia” or, “being an idiot.” Now, I understand that this focuses on the etymology of “id” as that primal, hunger driven part of the psyche that puts animal needs ahead of anything else. But there are so many ways […]