What Camp taught me about Rules, the Great Commandment, and Priorities

There are few universal rules, especially at Camp. A person is running. Running can lead to falling—especially in a world of unpaved paths, gravel, roots, large rocks, and done in an often ungainly body. So we don’t run. Except when we do (some games and activities, and in the case of emergencies). So we can’t […]

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Leaning

I wrote the last post when I should have been packing. I haven’t written since because I’ve been trying to keep up with those things I should have and need to do. But also, I’ve feared, because right now all of the words are hard to write. It is still easy to slip out of […]

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At Deathbeds: On Closing Churches

In the last 18 month I’ve been present at the closing of three Churches. I was their priest; they had been a cluster when I was called. In each case it was excruciating and sad. In each case it was the right choice. Churches, the actual communities, the buildings located in towns and cities, are […]

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Alleluias, joyous and wilted

Somewhere around the 4th or 5th week of Easter, I find myself remembering my friend, classmate, and colleague the Rev Cody Unterseher. I think about Cody not because the anniversary of his death is around this time of the year (April 25). I remember Cody because of what happened on Facebook in 2010. Cody and […]

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Practicing

This week has been bad.  I don’t know the adjectives to describe how bad.  It started with tragedy for too many people as the rest of the nation watched with horror, prayed in sympathy, and helped in kindness.  But the week refused to stop there. Monday’s bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon […]

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120 Books, 40 Days

The year I bought the most (non-school) books was my senior year of college. I was six or seven when I discovered books so I’ve spent almost a quarter century reading, buying, and accumulating books. One of the six bookshelves (yes, six) in my apartment is dedicated to books that I have found and anticipate […]

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More than Jesus is Awesome

I am a Christian. I am not always sure if it is okay to call myself one. A week ago Marcus Mumford, whose music I enjoy, had an interview published in Rolling Stone where he said, “I don’t really like that [the word Christian]… I wouldn’t call myself a Christian. I think the word just […]

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Cotton Candy Dreams

I remember being not that little and watching the concession-person at the carnival magically spin the cotton candy into a fluffy pink ball to carry as we went home. Well, at least as we started home. I don’t think the cotton candy ever made it all the way home. Once I started eating my ball […]

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Going Meta: Reviewing Sermon Reviews, part 2

Part 2: Did it Work and What I’ve learned? Did it work? I think so? Or, rather, I can’t fully answer. Is my preaching better now than it was nine months ago? Maybe. Go listen and let me know what you think. When I started this I wrote, “I believe I am a good preacher. […]

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Going Meta: Reviewing Sermon Reviews, part 1

Part 1: The what and the way At the end of July I set out to not only preach nearly every week, but to take time to review my own sermon. Inspired by something a friend said (and knowing that it isn’t reasonable to attend a preaching conference every year), I decided that this was […]

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