Getting Back in the Boat: Reflections on Luke 5:1-11

Imagine a graduate student working late into the night at her computer in a coffee shop. She’s thinking and staring at the blank screen, starting and stopping.  She finishes a paragraph, gets herself a cup of coffee, and sits back down at the screen with mug in hand. Her eyes flash over the paragraph she…

A Plea for Religious Freedom in Kansas

There is so much crazy going on in Topeka right now, it’s hard to settle down and pick one thing to be be righteously indignant about. I’m absolutely concerned about the proposed bill that would basically put Sam Brownback in charge of the K-12 budget. The possibility of a complete collapse of public education in…

On Being Notorious

A couple of years ago at a conference, a mutual friend introduced me to an editor of a denominational magazine. The editor promptly said, “Oh. You’re the notorious pastor.” I did feel like a minor (very minor) celebrity at that conference in the wake of news stories about “the wedding” and “the review.”  That would…

Loving the Season . . . and a New Adventure

I recently saw an article about artist Brent Christensen and the amazing ice sculptures that he creates. Sparkling walls of ice, up to twenty-five feet tall–the sculptures are beautiful. But it wasn’t the sculptures themselves that most impressed me. It was this little bit of information from the beginning of the article: “The hobby first…

Call to Worship for Mark 4:35-41

Here is a call to worship based on this week’s Gospel reading from the Revised Common Lectionary: We gather together in this place of peace . . . Why are we afraid? As storms buffet Why are we afraid? As nations rage Why are we afraid? As relationships crumble Why are we afraid? As illness…