Children’s Christmas Books for use in Worship this Christmas Season

Each year as Christmas rolls around, I take to the internet in search of a few new Christmas books for children. I have collected over 40 books throughout the years, each telling the Christmas story in a new way. Whether it is through playful rhymes or beautiful illustrations, whether it sticks to the Biblical story […]

Spring Pruning: A Sermon on John 15:1-8

On the night on which he gave himself up for us, Jesus said to his disciples, “I am the vine, you are the branches.” God my Father and Mother is the vine grower–the gardener. She removes any branches that don’t bear fruit. Every branch that does bear fruit, she prunes, to make it bear more […]

Commended to God: A Service for Embryos

A few years ago, a couple came to me, because they had to make the difficult decision of what do with the leftover embryos that were created as part of the process of conceiving their twin children. They were so grateful for these embryos—and the beautiful children that had come from the two used embryos. […]

Friend, Move Up Higher

A sermon on Luke 4:1, 7-14, by Elsa A. Peters I can’t remember which member of the search committee said it. But I definitely remember their words: “Now that you are moving to Portland, no more Starbucks.”  And it’s true. There are so many locally owned coffee shops in Portland…  But I have to confess. […]

Two New Hymns: We Have Often Called You “Father” and Christ According To Your Measure

Before I began the ordination process, I wanted to be a writer.  I also come from a musical background and am a life-long choral singer.  So when I discovered the art of hymn-writing, it seemed like the perfect intersection of three things I love: words, music, and worshiping God. I wrote both of these hymn […]

Dem Bones Still Speak

(Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones. I hear the word of the Lord) Look! Imagine! We find ourselves in the strange vision world of a 6th century BCE prophet.  A priestly prophet, concerned for God’s holiness and name; a man who seems to have spent time in exile in Babylon, among people who had […]

Words for Worship: A Collection of Prayers

A Prayer for when Natural Disasters strike: Holy God, You created the earth, and it is Good. You created the universe, and it is Good.  At times we blame and curse the universe for the bad things that happen; we blame and curse the earth for the natural disasters we face. God, call us away […]

Fulfilling the Baptismal Promises

Before I was ordained, I spent time as a seminarian intern and youth minister in a total of seven congregations.  The jobs of baptismal preparation and of talking to parents about how to raise Christian children, often fell to me.  In order to have something to put in people’s hands, that would sum up the […]

“The Gospel According to…”

A few months ago, I attended a conference about storytelling. As I packed my bags and started to wrap my mind around what storytelling and church might have in common, I’ll admit it, I was skeptical. But what came from that conference is perhaps one of the most beautiful, gospel giving moments I’ve ever encountered […]

The Marital Politics of Communion and A Letter to Our Son

My husband grew up Catholic.  He still tells his mother he claims dual-citizenship as Catholic and Lutheran.  As part of our decision to get married, we made a decision that we value worshipping together as a family.  My husband joyfully joined the Lutheran church, with the full support of his parents.  However, the things we […]