Is There Power in the Blood?

When selecting hymns for church services at a psychiatric hospital a person must be aware of more than just whether or not the hymn fits with the scripture passages for the day or the liturgical season. There is also the consideration of how the subject of the hymn will sit with someone who may be […]

How to Survive Contract Negotiations

For many clergy, the beginning of the fiscal year also marks the time for annual reviews or contract negotiations. Unlike many other professions, clergy pay and clergy contracts fall on a wide continuum, which leaves clergy asking the questions, “Am I being compensated fairly? Is there a standard number of vacation days? Do I qualify […]

The Long Tradition of Desperate Pastors at Christmas

The sooner we accept religion is irrelevant the sooner our collective focus can shift towards restoration. Yes, I’m a clergy person, and yes, I think religion is irrelevant. When Christians are arguing about the color of candles, when to start Advent, and what candles to light, it all feels ridiculous in the face of a […]

Holodomor and Thanksgiving

Every November, as many in the United States prepare their Thanksgiving turkeys and make plans to gather around the table with friends, family and perhaps too much food, the world also commemorates Holodomor, the devastating forced famine imposed on the Ukrainian people by Joseph Stalin’s regime in the early 1930s. This dark chapter in history […]

Celebrating Halloween, All Saint’s Day, and Juliette Gordon Low: How the Girl Scouts Shaped Me as a Young Clergywoman

In the Girl Scouts, I’ve found a place where I don’t have to leave any part of myself at the door. In contrast to the church, which often adheres to a patriarchal structure, Girl Scouts provides a nurturing and inclusive atmosphere. I’ve never felt that I needed to be someone I’m not in this organization. […]

Service of Ordination

SERVICE OF ORDINATION 2020 I wish you knew What it’s like How it feels To watch your kitchen table tyrant wrapped in a red cloak of victory

A “Subversive Sister-Saint” Post-Easter Reading List

For my Doctor of Ministry program in Faith, Health & Social Equity I was afforded the opportunity to choose any elective I wanted last spring. I chose to take a course titled, “Women’s Religious Leadership as Subversion” taught by Rev. Dr. Angela Yarber at Drew Theological School. Although the class was crafted and mandatory for […]

Irresolutions: When the End is all You Want, but the Journey is all You’re Promised

It started with blinding pain in my abdomen—the kind that wakes you up in the middle of the night and leaves you bent over, groaning, on the bathroom floor.  It ended with—oh wait, it hasn’t ended. There has been no tidy conclusion, no ultimate resolution. It has been a journey with no end in sight. […]

Irresolutions: Creating a Rule of Life

A few months ago I attended a CREDO conference, a week-long conference offered to Presbyterian and Episcopal clergy through their health and pension benefit. It’s something like a cross between a conference and a retreat that centers on four areas: spiritual health, vocational health, mental and physical health, and financial health. It includes plenary sessions, […]

Irresolutions: New Year, New You?

The new year in American culture rings in the reminder of all the ways our culture wants to change us. Diets and special offers for gyms and workout programs flood our emails and social media feeds, triggering within us the idea that we need to improve.  Resolutions aren’t a new concept. In fact, the Ancient […]