Narrative Lectionary: Surprise! (Matthew 1:18-25)

If you swab your cheek, and send your DNA off to one of the sites that will analyze it for you, there may be a surprise in store.  People who want to know where in Africa or Europe the family came from have, instead, been finding step-siblings and secrets about their parentage.  Long-held family secrets… Read More

The Pastoral Is Political: Where’s the Village?

“Well, honey, do you think this work is making a difference?” I ask my daughter, Lucy.  As a college student in New York, her part-time job is to be a Democracy Coach for high school students.  Twice a week, she travels to Harlem on the bus to meet with the students, under the wise eye… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Minimum Protection (Jeremiah 1:4-10, 7:1-11)

Watching the work that people in my congregation do, it’s clear that they’re called by God to use their gifts as teachers or social workers, as parents or attorneys.  Sometimes they say they just drifted into the work they do, not seeing the steps as part of God’s leading.  Other times they have a certainty… Read More

Friday Festival: God Pops Up in the Questions

As the November days grow short, and the light wanes, our bloggers are listening for God, and are asking God – and the rest of us – thoughtful questions. The cold and dark are inspiring Connie Tuttle to think about the gifts of Advent, which mirror the gifts of other shadowy seasons.  “We begin to… Read More

Friday Festival: Right Here

Our bloggers are offering their thoughts from the places they are.  Whether it’s the season, or a challenge, or the hospital, each of them is writing from “right here, right now” this week. Stuck.  The word sounds like the feeling.  Elizabeth Hagan is reflecting on what to do when we feel stuck.  Thinking about her… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: #Bathshebatoo (1 Samuel 11:1-5, 26-27, 12:1-9)

The important education of the #metoo and #timesup campaigns now shape our understanding of Bathsheba, as we consider her story again.  Generally, her story is a background to talk about David’s failures.  No surprise, it’s all about him.  Dr. Wil Gafney first prompted me to think about it the other way, to see this as… Read More

Friday Festival: Displaced

Our bloggers are talking about the experience of being displaced, moved out of the familiar into something new.  Life moves us into new places and routines, or God can call us into a holy displacement.   It’s a mystery gift that involves discomfort as we move toward something different.  Other times it’s just painful. As relationships… Read More

Narrative Lectionary: Soap Opera in Egypt (Genesis 39:1-23)

Some people live their whole lives in the same hometown, marry the person next door, and work in the family business.  Not much changes in their lives from year to year.  Joseph is not one of those people.  He has more ups and downs in a month than most people ever experience.  He moves from… Read More

Friday Festival: Summer Companions

Our bloggers are finding interesting company this August, as summer begins to wind down.  Their companions, human and otherwise, reveal places where God is at work, re-shaping us even more fully into the divine image within us. Susan K. Smith is considering the company we keep when we are silent about white supremacy.  She recalls… Read More