Religion in the U.S.

Remembering God in Advent

Twenty years ago, I was given a wonderful opportunity.  A Vanderbilt seminary professor took ill and I was asked to fill in for almost five weeks in a class that explored, among other things, the liturgical year.  It was one of the most freeing and enjoyable experiences of my life.  […]

De-Serving Recognition

Deserve — origin: “to devote oneself to the service of“ In the past few days I have heard people use the term “deserve/deserving” in troubling and distressing ways.  In all cases, those identified either “deserved” something bad, or were “undeserving” of something good.  In no case was the thought that […]

Baptism Is Thicker Than Water

At what point should The United Methodist Church admit its failures and simply split over the issues of human sexuality raised by LGBTQI people and those in the church unwilling or unable to accept them?  For me, the answer is simple — at the point that we admit that we […]

Taylor-Made: A Secular Age

I will move this to “best books” in a week or two, but for now, I want to add Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age to my list of books I believe every pastor should read.  This book came out in 2007 and I am embarrassed to say that it took […]

Pastiche Spirituality

I know I’ve told this story before, but it fits so well with a couple of issues I am dealing with that I share it here again. In my travels, one morning I stopped for breakfast and sat in a booth near two women.  When the waitress came to take […]

Who Matters?

My heart breaks as I see more and more statements about who “matters.”  Oh, I understand the intention to stand in solidarity with brothers and sisters who find themselves on an unpublished endangered species list because of the hidden -isms of our US culture (racism, classism, fascism, etc.).  My concern […]