Can a Church Split Truly Be Gracious?

I’m grateful to report that Religion Dispatches published an essay of mine! In the piece, “Can a Church Split Truly Be Gracious?” I describe and reflect upon my experience leading a commission (officially a “Presbytery Engagement Team”) to investigate a church seeking to leave my presbytery, the Presbytery of Northern Plains. The process was fraught, troubling, and yet […]

Visualizing Recent PC(USA) Sexuality & Marriage Decisions

Have you ever wondered: what would happen if I built a digital representation of important PC(USA) ordination stands, sexuality, and marriage votes from 1996 forward? Of course, not. That’s ridiculous. What sort of nerdy, tech-curious, Presbyterian pastor and professor-type would want to do such a thing? Ummm…. Ok, well, this summer I did [click here now to jump […]

5 Reasons Why I Pray that Bishop Eaton Joins Twitter

A few days ago, at an elaborate worship service in Chicago, the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton was installed as the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She is not on Twitter. That fact—that the new ELCA Presiding Bishop does not tweet—may strike most people as inconsequential (or even a blessing), but during […]

Is the PCUSA Going Down the Tubes?

Some people say funny things–call them “misrepresentations” or “lies.” This post is an informal revision of the official PCUSA document, “Constitutional Musing: Misrepresentations about the PCUSA” published by the Office of General Assembly.

The Wrath of God, the PCUSA & a New Hymnal

Why is an evangelical Divinity School Dean and Glenn Beck’s website “The Blaze” writing about God’s wrath and the Presbyterian Church? Answer: copyright law and a decision by our hymnal committee. I guess I’m not surprised that in a news environment itching for the latest click bait, the absence of one hymn in the new Presbyterian Hymnal is being cited as evidence for people’s previously-held theories of the denomination.

What matters is that they’re Christian?

Really? What matters of course, more than anything else, is that we’re all Christian? It’s important to have faith claims and faith communities, but their function is to show God’s inclusive love not narrow it.

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 […]

Jeff Foels on #SALIC13: What it wasn’t, what it was, what I heard, what’s next

Last week, a small group of Presbyterians from across the denomination gathered in Baltimore for the Six Agency Leadership Initiative Consultation (SALIC). Here’s what happened and why it matters.

The Remarkable College Conference at Montreat

What’s better than 1,000+ college students attending a mainline church conference on their Christmas break and loving every minute of it? Maybe the Twins winning a World Series, but not much else. With my good friend, Taylor Lewis Guthrie Hartman, I am Co-Directing the next College Conference at the Montreat Conference Center in North Carolina! […]