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Hopes and Fears and Grace and Love

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A few months ago, a friend posted an e-card to my Facebook wall that read: “Of all the ways you’ve tried, I think you’ll find parenting to be the most fulfilling way of ruining your life”.  That, along with Karl Barth’s assertion that “Grace must find expression in life, otherwise it is not grace”, sums […]

Jesus & 3-year-olds

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 41Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for Passover. 42And when Jesus was twelve years old, they all went there as usual for the celebration. 43After Passover his parents left, but they did not know that Jesus had stayed on in the city. 44They thought he was traveling with some other people, and they went a whole day […]

Talk About It

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There are invisible parents all through our congregations. Two years ago I watched my daughter Charlotte as she stopped breathing and her little heart stopped beating.  My wife (yes, we are both women) had gone into early labor and Charlotte was born a few weeks too early to make a go of it.  I knew […]

Sabbath is My Kryptonite

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This month’s Moms in Ministry article is an excerpt from the third book in the Young Clergy Women Project’s imprint with Chalice Press.  More information about this partnership can be found here. MaryAnn brought so much joy to the project as our conference leader at our 2012 conference in Chicago.  Please visit our website regularly […]

Sometimes You Have No Choice But to Make a Choice

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Two years ago, I stood in the pulpit preaching the hardest sermon I would preach to date. That sermon; my first “goodbye” and “I failed, I’m sorry” sermon, flowed from my mouth with sadness in my breathe and tears streaming down my face. “Hot Mess” and “Ugly Cry” describes this occasion. The congregation listened and […]

Never a Fatherless Child

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This Father’s Day will be the first on which my son’s father is no longer my husband. He left me for another woman earlier this year, and though he has so far been faithful to the custody agreement with our son, I worry constantly about Ollie not having the kind of father he will need […]

God’s Storyteller

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Most of my pastor friends who are also moms have either younger children than I do, or much older.  Much has been written, and rightly so, about parenting a baby while you lead a council meeting, night nursing followed by church in the morning, and how to manage day care and babysitting with the odd […]

Abundant Grace

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In retrospect, I should have just skipped the meeting. Everyone would have understood, after all, we had just taken custody of our first foster child three days before. She was not doing well. But the stupid part of me, the part that wants to be mother and pastor simultaneously in all its glory with none […]

A Wilderness Sabbath: Towards Motherhood

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Editor’s Note: This article is one in an occasional series called “A Lenten Pause,” running on Fidelia’s Sisters until Easter. As many young clergy women plan to come to our summer conference, Sabbath in the City, in Chicago we’ll be taking a look at the sometimes terrifying topic of sabbath and the role it plays […]

Adopted by the Grace of God

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Editor’s Note: Rev. Brown preached this sermon at Seneca Presbyterian Church in Seneca, SC on January 1, 2012. Text: Genesis 17:1-7 and Galatians 3:26-29; 4:4-7. The Christmas tree is down, the decorations stored away and family members have returned to their own homes. At least in theory we have accomplished this “putting away” of Christmas. […]