Responding to Lillian Daniel’s “Spiritual but Not Religious” Column

On airplanes, I dread conversations too, just as Lillian Daniel wrote in a August 31, 2011 UCC devotional column that is making its merry way around Facebook. But that’s where my agreement ends. I understand Daniel’s piece was perhaps adapted from her long-form work on the subject, so I don’t want to be too harsh […]

The totally unromantic but wholly appropriate symbol for our marriage

I don’t often blog on personal relationship issues, but preparing to celebrate five years of marriage will make a guy reflective. Recently I’ve been pondering: this marriage thing is pretty spiffy, so how do I sum it up? And for some reason I’ve kept coming back to a central symbol in Megan’s and my relationship. […]

Never Kill A Question

A Thoughtful Post The young adult emergent ministry I lead takes a different sort of approach to event planning than the approach of most congregations. From our inception, the bias of our leadership was not to jump to planning activities and events because, well, there’s plenty of churches in Fargo-Moorhead that lack young adults. […]

Reworking, Reconsidering, & Re-doing Young Adult Ministry

Also posted at Gathering Voices I just got in from a lovely block party celebrating National Night Out Block Party Night. At the party several friendly folks asked, “So, what do you do?” I always hesitate a bit when I get that question these days. It’s complicated. I see myself as part pastor, part faith […]

In PC(USA), “Minister” no more. Now: “Teaching Elder.”

I write this all with a huge change in the Presbyterian Church (USA) in mind. As of Sunday, our constitution has changed so that “Minister of the Word and Sacrament” is no longer the preferred way to speak of a pastor’s office. “Minister” is replaced with “Teaching Elder.” So now rather than a denomination led by those called “Ministers of the Word and Sacrament” and “Elders,” we are a denomination led by two types of elders: Teaching Elders and Ruling Elders.

God bless the people of every nation

“God bless the people of every nation.” That’s what my favorite July 4th shirt says. It was the theme of a July 4 celebration in which I participated several years ago. The quote, I believe, is from David Lamotte. I used to have a bumper sticker that said the same thing. “God bless the people […]

Searching for the signal

a Thoughtful post Recently I’ve been working a lot with a conference theme, “Searching for the Signal.” By, “a lot” I mean — preaching on it for two weeks, reflecting on a small group manual all about it, enjoying recreation based upon it, and listening to two weeks of keynote sessions addressing it. (I’m […]

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 […]

Beyond boxes: imagining how to move well

Also posted at Gathering Voices a blog for Oh, moving. Cardboard boxes. Back strains. Getting the furniture arranged just right. In a few short weeks, I’ll be doing it again. In the past five years I’ve lived in four different places (Decatur, Ga; Ayr, Scotland; Grand Forks, N.D., and now Moorhead, Minn. — and that’s not […]