I’m #AmbivalentAboutFargo & You Should Be Too

ambivalent, adj. having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone I’m ambivalent about Fargo and I believe you should be too. I’m writing this post in response to a common theme in media coverage of Fargo. The typical Fargo story goes something like this: OMG, look what I, intrepid reporter, just discovered: Fargo […]

An Installation Sermon: “Following” (Matt. 4:18-22)

For various reasons, I don’t often post my sermons on this blog, nor do I mention my work with the Presbytery of the Northern Plains. Today, however, I’m making an exception and posting the manuscript for the sermon I preached this morning at First Presbyterian Church of Fargo, ND at the Installation Service of the […]

Yes! But…The Forum comes well short

I posted last week about the social media firestorm resulting from The Fargo Forum rejection of the wedding announcement from Allison Johnson and Kelsey Smith. On Sunday the paper’s editor, Matthew Von Pinnon, announced a new policy that moves for positive change at a snail’s pace. IMHO, it’s a justice tease — “True Love Waits” […]

In praise of Fargo, new media, love & equality

Here’s a heartwarming story of collective action, love, and social media savvy, all set in my lovely Fargo/Moorhead. Call it David vs. Goliath. Call it new media vs. old media. Call it young adults vs. not so young anymore. Whatever the name, it’s a good story. On Monday, the Fargo Forum newspaper opted to reject […]

Big Boys? Maybe. Real Men? No way.

I hate macho. I hate the message it sends young men — that we should be athletes not scholars, emotionless yet prone to violence, treat women as sex objects and gay men as the enemy. Yet, macho culture is so prevalent I often forget how dastardly it is until something sets me off. Yesterday, that […]

Reflections on a wild Presbytery meeting

Recently my presbytery (translation: grouping of 60 or so PC(USA) churches in North Dakota) met for a significant meeting at which we discussed a 15-page Strategic Plan for the next five years of our life together. As they say, hindsight is 20/20, and looking back there were several process and leadership related points that with the […]

Why I truly miss my 75-mile commute

I used to commute from Grand Forks, North Dakota to Hallock, Minnesota. One interstate, two state highways, three turns. 75 miles. Then, for a time, I commuted from Grand Forks, North Dakota to Fargo. Interstate all the way. 75 mph speed limit, give or take. 75 miles. There were many things to dislike about the […]

A Lutheran, a Presbyterian, and a Zombie walk into a bar…

a Thoughtful Christian.com post The question was on the tip of my tongue last weekend when Rev. Mark Hanson, the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA, spoke at a town hall forum in Moorhead, Minn. But I didn’t ask it. I feared my question wouldn’t be taken seriously. And, looking at the five hundred or so Lutherans […]

Into perils unknown

Last week, with a heavy heart, I announced to the Session at First Presbyterian Church in Hallock that I have accepted a new position. Talk about bittersweet. I love and cherish that congregation and have been honored to be called their pastor. It will be — already is — very hard to leave. But, sad […]