I always savor the chance to speak with Dr. Meredith Gould. She is a sociologist who has written nine books. She is also deeply in love with the church. We used to live in the same general area (before I moved to Chattanooga), so I would drive to her apartment for home-made soup and advice.
I saw the stranger across the crowded room. My eyes were drawn to him like a dog to a raw steak. He looked lonely. I could tell that he needed a friend. I smiled broadly at him. He smiled back, and that was my cue.
Most spiritual leaders have wrestled with faith. Most of your pastors and most of the people that you look up to have questioned their faith and doubted God. It’s just that when we do it, we call it fancy, poetic things, like, “The dark night of the soul.”
Thistle Farms is a social enterprise to create handmade products as good for the earth as for the body. They work with the community and graduates of Magdalene, a residential program of women who have survived sex work, trafficking and addiction.
Closing a church is like eating the last slice of bread—somehow if you eat the last slice, you’re responsible for consuming it all (never mind that someone else ate the last 27 slices). A church can be declining for 40 years, but if a pastor comes in and starts to talk about closing a congregation, then she closed the church. Many people don’t want to be that pastor.
I turned the knob of the radio until I could hear the public station. It was a local program, a prolonged piece on a mother talking about the fear and anticipation of the "shavee." I admit. I rolled my eyes.
This podcast is an excellent resource as you think about worship this Memorial Day weekend. I learned so much as Derrick Weston talked with Amy Blumenshine. She has incredible wisdom as she navigates a pastoral response to service and honoring soldiers when we have ethical problems with war.