Some congregations risk re-imagining. Such an adventure prompts re-imagining God. Or perhaps it is the other way around. Re-imagining God leads to adventurous congregations.
Many of us have difficulty comprehending the supernatural revelation of scripture and the transcendence of God. This difficulty makes re-imagining God an act of faith, a continent away from the debate about whether you are religious or spiritual.
Here is a hypothesis. The percentage decline in those who assert they are religious and the decline in congregational participation is not because of changing demographics.
The decline exists because our experiences with God are beyond what most…
Sadness and depression are not the same.
What credentials do I have to make this claim?
None except experience.
I am a melancholy sort. Give me a cloudy day, please. Sometimes the sun is too bright for my mood. I want to tell the sun, “Stop trying to make me happy.”
Melancholy is generalized sorrow. Such an inner state is realistic and stoic. Melancholy can be a frequent mood, but it isn’t going to hold me down like depression.
I experience reassurance in melancholy.
I am wary when someone tells me, “Come to dinner; it will be fun.” I’m not…
Trail markers along the journey
Below are trail markers of human development. How have you experienced relationships supporting your development in these aspects of character? In your past or in the present has there been a group of people or an individual who related to you in a way that prompted growth in one of the trail markers below?
Attachment: The ability to have healthy relationships in which you are your best and truest self. Through positive relationships you are able to get essential needs like safety, truth-telling, forgiveness, trust and more met. …
My day begins with my father
who will die in one hour
“Do you want to go?”
I couldn’t just say “no.”
I had to hem and haw
like he might have once
with his father
who had a meeting at the bank
then, there I was running
outside with our neighbors
while my Dad fell
like a limb from a tree
five miles apart
another galaxy away
Something is Awry
I’m with a married couple. They sit on the plaid couch in my office. I am their pastor.
“Would two weeks from Sunday work?”
The husband and wife are planning a party to celebrate their 40th anniversary. They want it at the church.
He says, “We’d like to make it during fellowship hour after worship. Most of our friends are from church anyway.”
“And if they aren’t, then you will have extra people in worship. How about that?”
She was born in Madison, Wisconsin. They were married in Milwaukee. …
Truth has to be given in riddles. People can’t take truth if it comes charging at them like a bull. The bull is always killed. You have to give people the truth in a riddle, hide it so they go looking for it and find it piece by piece; that way they learn to live with it (Chaim Potok).
Let’s be honest about the stories we tell ourselves. That is why many congregations still pause for the confession of sin in worship. That is what some of us dare to do during the long silence of the night. …