Random Thoughts on Turning 41

I’m irritated that all of the temporary hair color says it will “cover the gray.” I’m proud of my gray hair. I’ve earned it. And as a diminutive female, gray hair can only help my pastoral gravitas. Still, I’d love to be a redhead for a month or so. Where is the hair color that…

How Many Candles?

Sunday morning at the beginning of worship, I lit our peace lamp and then I lit four white candles: for Paris, Beirut, Aleppo, and Baghdad. I almost skipped the candle-lighting altogether because I couldn’t figure out how many candles to light. Beirut and Paris, of course. Those were horrific terrorist attacks among people who don’t…

On the Trinity

There is a story about the great theologian, Augustine of Hippo. One day after he had been writing about the Trinity for awhile, he decided to take a break and go walk along the beach. He came across a boy who had a bucket.  He would fill up the bucket, run up the hill, and…

Birding by Ear

Some people who love birds can listen to the forest chatter and tell you what kinds of birds are singing. The titmouse and the mourning dove, the chickadee and the robin and the wren and even–I’ve seen them out my back window–the stunningly yellow Prothonotary  warbler. For some people, all of these birds are like…

On Worship, Freedom, & Fear

The Wild Goose Festival is a gathering at the intersection of justice, spirituality, music and the arts. Happening June 26-29 outside of Asheville in Hot Springs, NC. You can get more information and tickets here: www.wildgoosefestival.org. I am honored to be part of the Wild Goose blog tour and connect through cyberspace with many other people…

Carrying Grief

Last Friday was the first Valentine’s Day since my dad died. My brother and I don’t know what Dad usually did for the big day, so we got Mom some flowers. They are pink, not red. And the card simply says, “Happy Valentine’s Day;” it does not have one of those cheesy romantic Hallmark verses…

Story-Shaped Theology

This morning I came across this beautiful question in a sermon from Randy Newswanger: Are my understandings of God, my understandings of healing and redemption, my understandings of community and celebration large enough to hold the specific details of your story? I think this question is at the heart of church. We base our shared…