Religion in the U.S.

What Color is Your Prayerachute?

I am still wrestling with a shock I had the other day.  A person I know and respect was asked to pray for the situation in Syria.  I consider this person to be a fair-minded, mature Christian committed to love, peace, harmony and justice.  For this reason, I was shocked […]

Parallel Universes

I sat listening to two older couples talking at my favorite coffee shop.  I was working on a presentation for an Urban Ministry Strategy seminar I will be attending next week, and I have been immersed in the demographic and ethnographic realities of poor inner city life for a few […]

Partisan Piety

Concepts of separation of church and state, the divide between science/academia and religion, faith and politics are generally muddy and misinformed.  Early attempts to guarantee religious freedom and protect against theocracy have come to mean, in some minds, that the physical and the metaphysical should have nothing in common.  And when […]

Beyond Label or Category

I sat with a table of clergy and laity leaders talking about reaching “young people.”  In frustration, I asked them to define for me who these “young people” are and what they are like.  It became apparent that the “young people” we want to reach are a generic, bland hash […]

Emerged

I love young adults.  They slap me upside the head every time I meet with them.  They are the supreme reality check.  They burst my bubble every single time I talk to them.  I NEED twenty-somethings to help me see what I am missing.  Case in point.  I met with […]

Running Out of Options

What is the greatest threat to our United Methodist Church?  Is it decline?  Is it tolerance of sin?  Is it judgmentalism?  Is it hypocrisy?  How about controversy and conflict?  Nope.  There is one, simple threat to our continued existence and that is US.  Our church has been subverted by a […]

Hate Exhaustion

I am heartbroken.  There are those in the Christian church who want to hate and call it love.  I was listening to a young, self-proclaimed evangelical preacher talking about the Bin Laden situation on a Wisconsin radio station yesterday, and the gist of his argument is this:  as Christians, we […]

The Defining Power of Our Anger

It has been an Old Testament couple of days.  We finally eye-for-an-eyed/tooth-for-a-toothed Osama Bin Laden, and it has been remarkable to see the wide array of reactions.  Vengeance, joy, relief, sorrow, anger — and the ringing proclamation “justice has been served.”  But whose justice?  Justice is about balancing the scales, […]

Holy Week-Lite

Like many things in our modern culture, Holy Week has become a muddled grey paste of a religious experience.  Lent, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter all get jumbled up together in an atheological hodge-podge that leaves the veteran confused and the novitiate clueless.  I have already sung, […]