A few years ago, I spent some time in Williston, North Dakota, to witness the social effects of the oil boom on this small town. While I was there, I went to Concordia Lutheran Church and talked with then-pastor Jay Reinke about his Overnighters program. This was an attempt by Reinke—we can’t quite say it was an attempt by the church—to provide a space where people could sleep.
In Williston, I learned that Jesse Moss was working on a documentary about the program. Recently I finally watched that award-winning film, The Overnighters. I have been haunted by it ever since.
Richard Niebuhr uses the metaphor of a shipwreck to describe those life experiences where what we thought would hold comes apart. A marriage ends, a career collapses, an illness shatters plans, a loved one dies. Pastors and congregations can be a lifeline.
Our culture, however, is mourning avoidant—and too often, faith communities reflect the broader culture's misconceptions surrounding grief.
When his son came out as gay, the man said, he just did not know what to think. To make sense of it he would have to rethink his stance on homosexuality. And he felt that if he rethought that, he would have to rethink everything about his faith. All of a sudden he felt like he was on sinking sand.
At the time, I couldn’t find the words I wanted to speak to this man who so clearly loves his son and loves his Lord. Since then, I’ve spent a good deal of time pondering this cry from a devout Christian’s heart. Perhaps I have the words now.
I’ve been reading the Chronicles of Narniato my daughter at bedtime. As a kid I only read as far as TheVoyage of the Dawn Treader; the endless shelf of Babysitter’s Club books distracted me from the Narnians. We’re on TheSilver Chair now, and while I’m still not sure about that Jill Pole, I continue to marvel at C. S. Lewis’s masterful Christian allegories.
I’ve always loved Aslan, but I am newly convinced that the lion really does capture the essence of Christ.
Caitlyn Jenner, Olympic athlete turned world-class glamour girl, took the planet by storm in April when she sat down for an interview with Diane Sawyer and announced her ongoing transition from male to female.
Now she’s back with an eight-episode miniseries, “I Am Cait,” that debuted Sunday (July 26) on E!. The show, which airs in 154 countries and in 24 languages, serves as both classic reality TV lookie-loo entertainment and a spiritual exercise.
South Carolina did it. It removed a “permanently” raised Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds. Now the leaders of the National Cathedral have a decision to make: Will the Jackson-Lee windows—windows extolling the Christian faith and virtue of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, and featuring images of the Confederate flag—stay or go?