Jell-O Confessions

It’s much too early to reflect fully on my ministry in Hallock, but it’s always the right time for bullet points. So, here’s my top twelve reflections on my first stab at pastoral ministry….

MPR crosspost: The art of the public invocation

Originally posted as a Commentary here on MPR News To Whom it may concern: the art of the public invocation I think it was in my second week as the new Presbyterian pastor in a rural northwest Minnesota town that I was asked to pray at a public gathering. I received — and promptly accepted […]

Practice this

Last Wednesday night, my partner Megan went to yoga. She gathered with other like-minded folk to follow a leader who led them through a weekly ritual. While doing so, she pushed her body to a new place and gained an appreciation for its abilities. At the end of the practice, her leader said, “Thank you […]

Feminists go to the movies

Last week, teacher/writer/friend Ellie Roscher posted here about the sexism present at the Academy Awards. Ellie said that her high school students, when asked what female figures they look up to in life give personal examples like mothers, grandmothers, family members. But, when the boys give examples of folks they look up to, they tend to give examples from public life — musicians, athletes, politicians. Ellie then traces this thread of sexism through last weekend’s Oscars….

Congress goes to college

At least 32 members of Congress sleep in their congressional offices when they stay in Washington. Here’s a story on Utah’s up-and-comer Jason Chaffetz (who I follow on Twitter and disagree with about 90% of his tweets), re Jason’s cot and underwear washing plans According to TIME though, a “watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and […]

Sabbath 2.0

Originally posted at Gathering Voices: Faith Conversations from My family once rented a cottage on the isle of Skye off the west coast of Scotland. While I remember little about the cottage itself (other than the view of sheep out the front window), I do clearly recall instructions in the guestbook: “do not hang out […]

Your pastor’s dirty little secret…maybe

“A sad secret for many pastors is this: the only time they pray is during Sunday worship; the only time they read the Bible is to prepare their sermons.” Or, at least, you’ll hear that claim — and others like it — fairly often. I suppose there’s no way to tell, really, if it’s true. […]

Praying the headlines: Egypt unrest

Originally posted at Gathering Voices: Faith Conversations from As the pastor of a small rural church in northwest Minnesota, until recently the only time I mentioned “Egypt” was when reading scripture in worship. We’re situated many miles from a stoplight and thousands of miles from the troubles in the Middle East, but last Sunday in […]

Why I Blog (hint – not for narcissistic purposes)

Originally posted at Gathering Voices: Faith Conversations from Shortly after I began blogging four years ago, I often found myself explaining what a blog actually was.  Many people, I found out, had heard of blogs but never actually read one.  These days, when someone finds out I’m a blogger, people are more apologetic than […]