No More “Volunteers” at Church

  Language matters. Particularly, the language we use in worship matters. So, my ears perked up recently when in worship congregation members were besieged by many, oh so many, opportunities to “volunteer.” Now I’m all for businesses giving their employees time off for volunteering. I’m all for helping people. I’m all for paying it forward. But […]

Continue

On My Love/Hate for Grading

Top among the activities I never quite feel like I get just right is grading. Grading student papers, to be exact. Here’s the thing: I’m perfectly comfortable giving feedback. I’m more than happy to respond with comments, hopefully helpful comments. But, that darn grade—whether a number, a letter, even a check/check plus—is always the worst. […]

Continue

From Generation to Generation, Lent 2

A short essay of mine is up this week at Huffington Post Religion, ON Scripture, Day1 and Sojourners. Entitled, “From Generation to Generation” it’s a commentary on Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16, the Old Testament lectionary reading for this coming Sunday, Lent II. I’ll post the intro below, and I invite you to click over to the other sites for the full piece. From Generation […]

Continue

Student writing gone public: blogging the classroom

In my Word to the Wise: Writing for Religious and Social Change course, students engage in two main types of writing assignments. First there’s Digital Writing Assignments, all of which they post on their personal blogs. Options include, for example: Write a post reflecting on a time you changed your mind. Record and post a video […]

Continue

Engaging Hate Online: Respond & Reframe

#usemeinstead Clergy’s well-intentioned, digital response to injustice is critiqued as racist. When confronting injustice online, Christian leaders must respond and reframe.

Continue

Learning Together, Planned and Unplanned

Among other things, at the beginning of a new semester considering the freedom allowed by face-to-face courses heavy on discussion versus the possibilities and limitations of online learning.

Continue

Has church branding progressed too far?

Branding is all about claiming distinctiveness. What can your product do that others can’t? What looks or feels better than the others? Sometimes we treat faith communities the same way, but should we?

Continue

Christmas Week Hodgepodge

The blog has been a bit quieter than I prefer these past weeks, so here’s a hodgepodge post catching up on some recent thoughts and goings-on. For some work at NDSU, I read Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson’s new book, The Paradox of Generosity: Giving We Receiving, Grasping We Lose. Some may recall Smith’s work in […]

Continue

Published. | Kissing in the Chapel, Praying in the Frat House

I received a rather special delivery today: a book of Kissing in the Chapel, Praying in the Frat House: Wrestling with Faith and College! So, that happened. Quite to my surprise, the book seems to have been selling quite well recently (if Amazon’s algorithms are trustworthy, that is). Though I didn’t receive copies until today, Rowman and […]

Continue