We can't predict the future, but we can look at the interesting things that are happening now, and we can dream about where God might be calling us. When imagining what might be coming, there are a few approaches or attitudes that can orient us.
So the senior pastor and I decided not to chant the communion liturgy this year during Lent, thinking it would be simple and a bit austere—and that, like "Alleluia," we might miss it and long for its return. It's not a total fast, as we still chant the "Kyrie," although that's usually the choir, not me or the senior pastor.
Luke describes Jesus riding heroically into Jerusalem on Palm/Passion Sunday. According to archetypal imagery, is Jesus riding to heroic victory or tragic defeat?
Luke offers hints along the way that the trajectory between Palm Sunday and Good Friday is something other than utter failure, but they’re subtle hints: Jesus claims the authority to pardon even as he himself is hanging on the executioner’s cross; as he dies, he continues to discuss his kingdom and paradise.
Top DC blogger Ezra Klein has risen quickly in influence and reach over the last decade, from blogging independently to labor-left magazine the American Prospect to the Washington Post, where he soon picked up an assistant and then a staff of bloggers. Klein has long been a big draw for those of us who folllow the intersection of politics and domestic policy; these days, his Wonkblog is absolutely indispensable.
There is still a tremendous gender gap in ministry. By and large, women are the associate pastors and solo pastors. Men are the tall-steeple preachers. (Men of my generation are very sad about this, and they lament it—sincerely, I believe—but will gladly move into those prestigious and well-paying positions even as they tilt their heads sympathetically and decry the patriarchy.)
One of the cool traditions that our church is a part of is what is called “Lenten lunches.” Every Thursday throughout Lent, a different church in our city opens its doors to sisters and brothers from other denominations for a short devotional, followed by a simple lunch of soup and bread. Last week, I was at a table with a few other pastors and the conversation inevitably turned to the demands of ministry: the sometimes seemingly endless meetings, the overwhelming needs of people that we are so often powerless to meet, the importance of boundaries, etc. There was plenty of knowing nodding and mm-hmming. But then there was a pause.