Christmas Presence (See what I did there?!)

Merry Christmas! I write this despite the fact that I have already seen Valentines and St. Patrick’s Day items in the stores. I write this despite the fact that many are so “done” with Christmas that they can’t wait to get their decorations down and house cleaned for the new year. I write this as…

A Season for Intersectionality

I am a strong advocate for intersectionality. I first heard the term during my time in undergrad (more specifically, my first semester in the social work program). Merriam Webster’s Dictionary says this about intersectionality: It’s been around since the late 1980’s but intersectionality is a word that’s new to many of us. It’s used to…

Bringing in the Sheaves

When I was 23 years old, I began to serve as a church minister in a small village in the Democratic Republic of Congo. My parish was very poor and small with only about 50 members. We had no building so worship was held in a shed with members and their children sitting on the…

The Screw

Ten years ago, my grandfather wrote a book called “Do You See What I See? Musings on Life at 83.” In the book are 723 entries; most only a few lines. Each one a perception, interpretation, reaction or comment. Entry number 714 stood out to me this morning, so I share it with you now: …

Holy Possibilities

Friday is my officemate’s day off, so I usually have music playing to keep me company. This past Friday, instead of my usual Spotify playlist, I instead had the first all-female spacewalk live video feed open in the background on my computer. For several hours, I listened to astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir working…

A Pew Perspective

Sneaking in the back door during the opening hymn, I was trying to remember if I had ever worshipped at my church on Sunday morning in a pew. I probably had—just couldn’t remember. Usually, I was up front in the chancel area with the other worship leaders—reading scripture, praying, giving an offertory meditation or occasionally…

Preparing for the Mystery

I am a part of a United Methodist Clergy Moms Facebook group. Earlier this week one mom posted about what a “bad mom” she was that she was so late in getting things for her child’s Easter basket, and my immediate reaction was, “Oh no! I haven’t even begun to THINK about that!”  Then I…

Spoiler Alert

When a new movie is released, or a highly anticipated episode of a TV show airs, the internet and news media are full of posts and articles that contain the phrase “Spoiler Alert.” If you see that phrase, you know that you might find out something that might ruin any surprises for you.  It’s like…

No Crib for a Bed

For several weeks, stores and radio stations have been playing Christmas music. I find myself humming or singing along, and I often get phrases stuck in my head for days at a time. One phrase that has really jumped out at me this year is from Away in a Manger. Away in a manger, no…

Cracked and Blessed

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. -Matthew 5:4 I have always wondered about this scripture. Why would Jesus say that those who are mourning are blessed? Some of the other Beatitudes are somewhat easier to understand. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Or “Blessed are the…

Stretching and Growing

Each year as the fifth graders enter their spring semester, we sense restlessness in Sunday school. It’s a restlessness of wanting independence and yet still needing supervision and guidance. It’s a feeling that something big and exciting is headed their way, with a bit of anxiety about change. The fifth graders know about (and have…

The Journey to Easter

“When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.”—Luke 9:51 I’m trying to imagine what Jesus might have been thinking as he “set his face” to go to Jerusalem. There’s never been a time in my life when I had to set my face to…