Hungry Minds

“Hungry Minds” a piece by Ian Frazier in the May edition The New Yorker was the best example of church history, homeless ministry description, and engaging writing I have ever come across.  Ok, well I haven’t come across anything like his piece before, but it’s brilliantly done. That said, Frazier angered me with the first […]

Pull that chord: A CD, a blog post, and a congregation

So I admit it. Sometimes I start composing posts about events before they happen. I mean I don’t actually report on something before it happens, but in anticipation I’ll frame an upcoming experience in terms of how to describe it on my blog. Last Sunday, I planned just such a post, but my actual experience […]

Series: What I learned about America by living in Scotland, Part II

Part II: Americans are conservative (for part I see: America is big. No, really, America is BIG!) A few months ago, Reubin Askew, former Democratic governor of Florida who also served in the Carter administration, was a guest on the BBC political show “Question Time.” After spending some time in the UK, Askew explained to […]

Back across the pond

I didn’t realize it a week ago, but I needed a vacation.  Ministry is hard, time-consuming, intense stuff and it takes your energy and you don’t even realize it. I’m a solid Myers-Briggs “introvert”–as are most pastors–so though I work with people all day long, I find it does zap my energy.  If I’ve been […]


Carol at Tribal Church and I are having a conversation about the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright. Most recently, I asked Carol: How do you approach a sermon with which you deeply disagree? If you don’t agree with it, does that mean it’s not God’s word, or not God’s word for you? Carol responds…. You know, […]

Church Without Walls National Gathering, a report to the CTS Community

Due to the generosity of a Columbia Seminary Student Coordinating Council scholarship, last weekend I attended a conference near Edinburgh, Scotland (the scholarship covered my expenses from Ayr, Scotland, not Decatur, GA:) ) As part of my application for the scholarship, I suggested the best way to share my experience with the Columbia community–seeing as […]

Race, Religion, and Politics

Carol over at Tribal Church and I are having a conversation regarding Jeremiah Wright. My introduction to the series is in this post. My first question to Carol was: With our current media situation, can we in America have a responsible public conversation on race, religion, and politics or are we destined to the lowest […]

Marking the page

Hymns are powerful things. When I meet with a family before a funeral to discuss the arrangements for a service, I always ask if there’s any particular scripture passage they would like read, and if there’s any particular hymns they would like sung. Only once has a family suggested a scripture passage, but every single […]

Great Children's Sermon Resource

In my current context we don’t really have Children’s Sermons, but for the shorter Family Service we do have 5-7 minute sermonette type things. I’ve struggled with the approach to these for the entire year. They should be children-friendly, but since 98% of the congregation is adult (and well into adulthood for that matter) and […]