The woman looked at me with fear, pain, and trust—all things that the church has instilled in its faithful all these centuries.
Those of us who sought to change the congregation's communion practice met with indifference. So late one Saturday I took matters into my own hands.
You knew about weakness before you were ordained. Yet something made you get out of the boat and try to walk.
I keep a 36-inch utility shovel in my church office. I use it to dig the graves that hold the cremains of our congregation's saints.
There's a subtext to lots of sermons I hear, and some I preach: Discomfort is avoidable. Here's my formula. It's the promise of all bogus religion.
When it comes to equal pay for women, the church should do better than employers generally, not worse.
We pastors are not likely to encounter Jephthah. But we might encounter someone like the young man who sought me out after a stint in jail.
Some churches have well-developed processes of assessment, support, and goal setting. Others have no review mechanism whatsoever.
What I miss most is not the preaching itself but the preparing, the rhythm, the demand, and the discipline.
My radiation treatment meant I'd lose my voice for six weeks, and our church couldn't afford pulpit supply. So the people decided to be my voice.