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Shiphrah, Puah, Grandpa, and Me: After Charlottesville

This sermon on Exodus 1:8–2:10 was preached on August 27, 2017 at St. Bede’s Episcopal Church in Menlo Park, California. _________________ My grandfather, Captain William Eigel, Jr., served in Patton’s Third Army during the Second World War. He landed in Normandy only a few days after D-Day and joined the long, hard push eastward towards Berlin. […]

Strong Women and White Privilege

“You come from strong women,” my grandmother said. It was late on a Monday evening in the winter of 1991. We were up late on a school night, and my grandparents were visiting, because I had been confirmed that evening. Granny gestured to the small photographs of her parents that sat in a double frame […]

Ask a Priest Day

How do you know God is real? Why is Jesus special? Are there any Bible stories you don’t like or don’t believe in? Why do we have to believe that Jesus is alive and the stories about him are true? No, those weren’t questions posed by the Commission on Ministry during my ordination process. They […]

Pruning the Vine

I often say I have a love/hate relationship with the gospel according to John, but that’s not strictly true. If I’m being honest, I have a reluctant-tolerance/hate relationship with John. My mature Christian faith owes a great deal to historical-Jesus scholarship––I probably wouldn’t be a churchgoer at all if not for a college class with […]

Home Is Where…

I didn’t truly appreciate Cleveland while I was growing up there. Teenage Me could imagine nothing more pathetic than never moving away from one’s hometown. So I got out as soon as I could: college in Cincinnati, study abroad in Oxford, graduate school in Nashville. I came back to Cleveland at age 26, PhD in […]