Should I Stay or Should I Go (Part time)?

One Thursday evening several months ago, I met with a mothers’ group at the church. We call ourselves the Night Owls because we meet in the evening to accommodate mothers who work outside the home, although we have plenty of stay-at-home moms in the group as well. The conversation turned, as it often does, to […]

Merry Christmas

Today we feature two poems. MaryAnn writes: “Last December I decided to write a series of poems inspired by beloved Advent and Christmas hymns. It was a great spiritual discipline for me in the midst of the busyness of the season. I remember sitting with a cup of cocoa and the Presbyterian Hymnal, reading carefully the hymns that […]

Picking the Sick Puppy

My husband is ambi-pet-trous, but I am a dog person. He can admire and enjoy a cat’s company, but I remain suspect that cats are secretly judging me and planning to overthrow my domestic rule at any moment. Also, they make me sneeze. I want a pet that will be slavishly loyal, that will greet […]

Advent Prayer

Lord God, God of beginnings, and endings, God of the past, God of the future, God of judgment, and God of grace, God of waiting, and God of fulfillment: Fulfill in us the coming of Christ. May we, O God, Like Mary, treasure and guard the coming of your kingdom deep within us Nourishing it […]

Stolen Goods*

For the last couple Decembers, I’ve watched the ordinarily light traffic to my blog skyrocket. It isn’t that I get more interesting during Advent – one of my most recent posts was a humdrum complaint about insurance costs in my adopted state of California. I’m a run-of-the-mill blogger, writing for myself and for the small […]

Rumor Me This, Rumor Me That

The town was all a-twitter. The gossip network was running full force. The new pastor, they said, had a man staying in the parsonage. He had been there over a week, visited the church, and met many of my parishioners before the rumors got back to me, of course. I had only been ministering there a […]

What Did She Just Say?

As the below true-life examples illustrate, I’ve been known to let faux curse words slip in my sermons on more than one occasion: “The disciples had been fishing all day, and they hadn’t caught anything whatsoever. They probably felt like crap.” “You’re going to break your wedding vows. It might not be in a big, dramatic […]

Good Can Come

Another Wednesday night meant another class to teach. Diving into the texts with the enthusiasm of a young child going for the baby in a King’s cake was how I wanted to spend my Wednesday nights. When I arrived in Corinth, I wanted more than anything to share my find with others. I wanted to […]

Reflections on Advent: A Way of Peace

As we move toward the already-and-not-yet of Advent, we celebrate Christ’s birth so long ago even as we know that Christ must be born in us again and again. Countless artists over the centuries have portrayed Advent themes and scenes. These block prints by Mary Allison Cates weave together the personal and the political with […]

Taking Your Baby to Work

I am a pastor and am also a mother of two delightful girls. Most days I can make those two professions work together pretty well, but some days – not so much. My main coping mechanisms are coffee and humor. My main ally in this endeavor is my husband of 10 years. We are fairly […]