Church

When You Pastor a Church You Wouldn’t Attend

My wife and I had the same conversation almost every Saturday night for at least two years. It was like clockwork. Or maybe it was like a ritual–but not the sacred kind. It went like this. One of us would…

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To the One Bruised by Church

“I’m a minister’s wife who doesn’t go to church. In fact, I was forced out of church.”   This is what I say, sometimes, when new friends come round to dinner, just so I can see their reaction. Typically, they…

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Following Jesus into the Fog

I grew up in the church. I went to youth group, worked at a Christian summer camp, gave my life to Christ at six and rededicated it at 13, pledged to and saved myself for marriage, didn’t swear or drink…

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The Faith to Doubt

I still remember the panic welling up from somewhere deep inside me. I had lingered in the classroom after all the other students had left in hopes of getting some answers from my professor. No, “answers” is the wrong word….

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Surviving Church

“Should we go to church this morning?”   My wife and I ask each other this question every week. We have for the last two years.   It didn’t used to be like this. We once considered our church a…

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Alyosha: Thoughts on Book VII of The Brothers Karamazov

“He who loves men loves their joy.”   “I do not rebel against my God, I simply do not accept his world.”     This book starts off like a horror film—centered around the drama and intrigue that the Elder…

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We Don’t Do That

We walk in and a woman tells us to pick a color. I’m drawn to the blues. They seem whimsical and youthful and impractical. But it’s getting warmer, and I should stick with what everyone does this time of year:…

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Searching for a Faith Like Summer

He died during finals week. I was 20 years old and a college sophomore. Somewhere between articulating in paragraph format Abraham Maslow’s Pyramid and Eric Fromm’s Eight Basic Needs, my childhood hero passed away.   George was my fourth grade…

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Orthodox Comfort

A couple of months ago I resigned from my job. It wasn’t a good resignation—it was scandalous and controversial and public. I am still reeling from the effects of this trauma in my life. Many times a personal crisis reveals…

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The Struggle of Half the Church

“I don’t know any theologically sound books written by women,” a pastor once told me. The words still ring in my ears when I think about my place as a woman in the church. “Theologically sound.” That descriptor hurts because…

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