Born Again Again
Carol Howard Merritt on reclaiming faith
All posts licensed under Creative Commons, some rights reserved by Carol Howard Merritt.
Once you finally get a job, then you need to get a “real” job. Then you can expect to be laid off at least once in your life. Then you have to retool and enter the workforce again. Then even if you get your “dream” job, you might come to the realization that you’re destroying your family and your personal life, and the dream becomes a bit of a nightmare. Then you begin to realign all your goals. Then you begin to look toward retirement, and you begin to imagine what your vocation is going to be when you retire.
You might be on a committee that thinks that a candidate needs that extra training before they ought to be ordained. They could use some time in a hospital setting or in a real world setting before they earn that REV before their name. If you are, then let me tell you something that the seminary student under your care can’t tell you: students can’t afford it any longer.
Within days of her wedding, Meredith Gould started writing Getting #Married to explain the why as well as the how of using social media to celebrate the sacred.
When we want to build intergenerational congregations, what do we do to signal to a new generation that they're not welcome? What are those unconscious blocks that tell them they're not welcome?
I have an overwhelming need to be useful. I have this longing to do something with my life. To make these short days mean something. To live into the fullness of God’s intent for me.
As we wander through this desert, where’s the milk and honey? What is God calling us to do, and who is God calling us to be?
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?
What are today’s youth saying about their faith? How does what they profess compare to our historic creeds? What are they saying about the beliefs of their parents?
I’m in a lot of conversations about why the denominational church isn’t working. But what about the communities that are ministering well? What about new communities?
It’s scary. Sometimes, we Scrappers have to swallow our pride in order to start working with the institution that turned us away. Often, Scrappers develop autonomy and a certain voice that we fear we'll lose if we move into partnership with an established organization. We worry that the structure will steal our ideas and they'll have the money and power to pull them off—without us.
When I combined the popular ideas of God in my mind, I ended up with a strange stew—a lover God who would torture me with fire if I stepped out of line and bless me with diamonds if I obeyed. In other words, my image of God had a serious borderline personality disorder.
Just as I’ve come to appreciate how seasons transform the land, I’ve also become aware of my internal landscape. The two seem bound together in many ways.
After a couple of years of sweating over each syllable, I suddenly needed the words. I hungered to write them. On vacations, my family urged me to take a break and I became cranky. What happened? How did the words begin to grow like wildflowers that I no longer had to coddle?