The Pastoral is Political: Ashes to Ashes

Ashes with worship? Ashes all day? Ashes to go? Ashes with glitter? As the liturgical calendar winds its way certain discussions can be predicted. With Advent its advent candles colors. With Ash Wednesday it’s the way in which we make/dispense ashes. Ashes are political. They are symbolic word act of our very real inability to… Read More

11th Hour Preacher Party: Making the Best of It

Last Saturday, I spent the day at an all-day meeting for my Presbytery. But, to make the best of it, I left home early enough to enjoy an hour at the beach nearby! (Incidentally, this portion of our coast was hit hard by Hurricane Harvey in 2017. They are still in recovery from physical damage… Read More

Ask the Matriarch: Congregation Negatively Impacted by Former Pastor

One of the most difficult and courageous things a pastor will ever do is discerning when it is time to leave a congregation. Even more difficult are the follow-up actions of leaving well, leaving completely, and supporting the new pastor of your former congregation. The following story is real, all-too-common, and deeply painful. Dear Matriarchs:… Read More

Wednesday Prayer

February, God.  February. February teaches us – yet again – your surprises.  The shortest month feels like the longest, shaming us when the Christmas box is still out, while we plan for Lent.  The shortest month feels like the longest, God, testing our hope, in this in-between time.  We would shorten the strange weather, and… Read More

Tuesday Prayer

It’s been a month already, and only 11 days in. It’s been a year already, and only 1.5 months in. It’s been a decade already, and, well…it’s too soon to tell. All of this non-stop nonsense, just when I think we’ve had enough, more happens. The Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, of the Episcopal Church, spoke… Read More

Revised Common Lectionary: On the Law

Last Sunday’s passage from the Sermon on the Mount ended with Jesus’ assurance that he did not come to abolish the law. He assured his listeners that, to use the King James language, not “one jot or one tittle” would pass from the law, until all was fulfilled. The understanding of Jesus as “lawgiver” is… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Who's Corban? Whose Corban? (Mark 7:1-23)

Once my children went to preschool and then on to kindergarten, they were very alert to hand washing. Now, of course, I taught them to wash their hands after the potty and before eating, etc., but school and teachers brought that lesson into full force. I do utterly and completely believe in hand washing, but… Read More