I found myself
staring at the wall. I'd done two- and three-day retreats, but this was four
days alone in a cottage, and the stretch of time was unnerving. I had to go
outside to get cell phone reception and (horrors!) walk a quarter of a mile if
I wanted to get online. At first the disconnection was deafening.
annunciation is analogous in my mind to the story of God's invitation to Abram
to leave Ur and head to Canaan. Both stories have a bare, binary feel to them.
These are hinge moments in the unfolding of God and God's mission with and for
the world. Abram, yes or no? Mary, yes or no?
More than half of our small congregations cannot afford a full-time pastor, and many
associate pastor positions were cut during the recent economic downturn.
These are churches where
seminary graduates would normally be heading, so what are the
congregations doing instead?
If you’ve spent much time on this blog, you’ll know that I think
rather highly of the collects (the prayers appointed for each Sunday) as
offered in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. Some of majestic, some are
beautiful, some are funny, and some, like this Sunday’s, are downright
There's a sort of dualism that comes up when political commentators talk
about conservative evangelicals: either they're powerful and
unflappable advocates for the couple of causes we've always associated
with them, or they don't really exist as a voting bloc at all.