Choosing What’s Best for College

As college begins, student faces hundreds of new choices. But what if we opened ourselves to the uncomfortable notion that you don’t always have to choose. Life’s moments have a funny way of choosing you.

Religion & Social Change: Imagining Experiential Learning

Have you had a positive (or negative) experience with service learning, and/or community-based writing assignments? What should I consider as my religion and social change course planning begins?

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 […]

Goodbye, dear friend. I don’t plan to keep in touch.

One of my best Fargo buddies ruined my life this semester by getting a great new job and leaving town. (An all too common occurrence if you live in Fargo.) The other evening, over beers, Andrew was preparing me for when he’ll be gone. “Just so you know, I suck at keeping in touch” he […]

Why it worked: 2 weeks, 10 Students, 1 Lutheran NGO + Me

The pilot travel seminar to Nicaragua, a partnership between Concordia College and Lutheran World Relief, was a huge success. I’m recently back from a 15-day journey on which students and I saw LWR’s work in action, meeting with cocoa and coffee farmers, drinking the water their projects helped clean, and learning from LWR partners near […]

Festival of Faith & Writing Recap

Last weekend, I attended the Festival of Faith & Writing with 2,000+ others at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The experience deserves more than a quick post, but such is life. A few reactions follow.  What fun to be around so many stellar thoughtful folks considering faith, writing, and culture. The quality of presentations […]

Lent 40 Day Project: Cup by Cup

Has my experience in a coffee growing region of the world, in one of the poorest countries in the Western hemisphere changed anything? When it comes to the question of food justice, was my (extremely privileged) visit with coffee farmers anything more than a progressive’s version of feel good token tourism?

Top Struggles of 2013!

Rather than trumpeting my accomplishments at the end of the year—anyone can do that, after all—I’d like to reflect briefly on my year’s biggest struggles both professional and (slightly) personally.

Sorry, Megyn Kelly, Jesus Wasn’t White….and Thank God

The danger of assuming Jesus looks just like me is pretty simple: Jesus is not just like me…Jesus always stands with those on the margins of society; he was neither white nor privileged.