The Lord’s Prayer: practicing presence

Last week, Sarah McWhirt-Toler shared how our lives can fill up with to-do lists that seem to crowd out life.  She asked, “What possessions do we need to shed so that we might be present with God?” Jesus had quite a to-do list: heal the sick, proclaim the Good News, feed the hungry, save the […]

To delight in fear is evil

When Trump’s crowd chanted “send her back” they echoed or amplified the president’s tweet: “why don’t they go back?”  Sympathy for such rhetoric stands in opposition to Christian Scriptures. Jesus’ core teaching requires us to love our neighbors in the same manner we love ourselves.  God will judge our lives by the way we welcome […]

Radical Grace makes us All one.

I think someone gave me Anne Lamott’s “Traveling Mercies” years ago. Grace comes as a gift. I first read it 10,000 feet from the Earth, next to strangers, in the window seat. Around page 49, I found myself weeping. What makes a story resonate deeply? Anne Lamott defines grace as “the force that infuses our […]

My Dear Centrists Friends

For 47 years, we Methodists have “held the line”: marching in place, as God’s world spins away from us.  We linger again- in a critical moment. Will the Methodist church stand in place, trudge backwards, or risk progress?   The Cross came as an outside the box move. The Incarnation, Golden Rule, Reformation, Methodist Class […]

A Theology of Inclussion

No matter what our lesser rules or rulings might say, our United Methodist constitution declares: “The United Methodist Church acknowledges that all persons are of sacred worth. All persons without regard to race, color, national origin, status, or economic condition, shall be eligible to attend its worship services, participate in its programs, receive the sacraments, […]

Changing Minds on the Damascus Road

Acts unfolds with acts or scenes as in a grand play, “The Acts of the Apostles.” Our passage begins with directions: “Meanwhile.” Meanwhile, in simultaneous time, God’s unfolding drama leads Philip on one stage and Saul on another. Acts 8 began, “at that time, the church began to be subjected to harsh persecution…those who had […]

Take off your shoes- This is a Holy Week.

My dad worked as a factory foreman; Mom taught fourth grade. My deeply generous and very frugal parents took us on a trip every summer where we stayed with friends or family.  We never went to an amusement park,  but always to a museum: Chicago’s Field Museum, The Gateway Arch and the Kansas Agriculture Hall […]