Prayer of the Day

God of All Creation, we thank you for the companionship of plants throughout our lives. In times of distress, give us the courage to cry out. Give us faith to remember that God is listening and will show us a way through our wilderness. We offer our prayers in the promise of life and new life through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen. 

A decorative image of a bush

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Sometime during the catastrophe that was 2020, my husband told me there was a new show we could watch. An American football coach goes to England to coach a professional soccer team. I wasn’t really interested in a sports show, but with a newborn at home and nowhere to go, I finally agreed to watch the first episode a few weeks later. The first half of episode one seemed predictable though charming. By the end, I found my assumptions about the main character, Ted, getting challenged in the best way. I said, “OK, I’ll watch it.” And that was how I became a Tedvangelist. 

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Last spring, I read Debbie Blue’s book Consider the Birds.1 Each chapter explores one kind of bird – its diet, its habitat, its cultural significance, its vulnerabilities. It also explores what it might have to teach us about God on the move in the world and amidst our humanity. I loved digging into supposedly fleeting details in Scripture with the assumption that they have something to teach me about my relationship to God or the world. 

I thought it would be fun to try my hand at a similar project focusing on plants. Summer, the season after Pentecost also known as Common Time, would be a fitting season for it. In Minnesota where I live, everything is green: the tree leaves and the church paraments. Plus, during the season after Pentecost, the Revised Common Lectionary turns its attention to Jesus’ parables and teachings, which frequently feature plants and agriculture. Over the next eight weeks, join us as we pay particular attention to the plants of Year A.

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“Well, I guess this is what pastors look like nowadays.” I have served in ministry for thirteen years now, and comments like these still strike me silent. I’m not sure what to say that isn’t assuming, snarky, or defensive, so I often just politely nod. 

The most recent time such a comment was made was at a funeral of a beloved church member. I had been walking with this particular woman, who I will call Annabelle, since the first month that I’d arrived at my new parish. She was someone who could no longer make it to worship safely, her body prone to falling and her mind ravaged by dementia. The first few times I visited her, she would cry, because she didn’t understand who I was, a stranger in her daughter’s home. 

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

To YCWI members, alumnae, and others working toward justice,

As Paul writes in his first letter to the Corinthians, “if one member suffers, all suffer together with it.” (12:26) 

We have been heartbroken to hear of the decision of a United Methodist bishop to place a YCWI member and a YCWI alumna on involuntary leave because they officiated a queer wedding. You can learn more about this at

 It is anticipated that a decision regarding their ordination credentials will occur this June. We have been in conversation about how to best support our member and alumna during this time – and, with their permission, have written a letter of support. We have crafted the following letter to the bishop, the board of ordained ministry, and the clergy session of that annual conference. 

Please pray for Paige and Elizabeth, our UMC siblings, and the LGBTQIA+ community as together we call out for a just resolution. 

We invite you to help us amplify this message of support by sharing the letter below on social media and within other communities. Help us to show support and work together for justice. 

With hope and solidarity, 

The YCWI Board 

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If you feel like your feed is infiltrated with reminders about the importance of self-care, you are not alone. The $1.5 trillion self-care industry is expansive and pervasive in its influence. It isn’t an accident that you are receiving reminder after reminder of the ways that you can ensure that you are taking care of yourself. Instead, it is intentional marketing in order to capitalize on this bustling business. 

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I live on the East Coast, and when I was in seminary looking for a CPE program with last-minute availability I found a spot at a nearby hospital. It was accredited by the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy (CPSP). This organization’s CPE requirements were good enough for my ordaining body, and at the time, I honestly didn’t know the difference between the major CPE organizations. As I learned more about CPSP, I came to really believe in their stated values and mission. I wanted to be part of them. I did a residency and became board certified. I was an active member of the organization.

 Then, several years later, due to a variety of factors, I found myself quite far from the organization I once loved. It no longer aligned with my values, I no longer found them supportive, and as I set my sights on becoming a CPE supervisor myself, I decided I did not want to propagate their brand of chaplaincy. So I made the choice to re-do my CPE with the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE). Read more

We don’t often realize it, but Jesus traveled a lot. He was always on the move in the Gospels, from Jerusalem to Galilee to Samaria to Nazareth. He traveled places his disciples didn’t want him to go. He traveled by himself when he needed a rest. He traveled where there were crowds depending on him. He traveled with the crowds who depended on him. 

But even though Jesus was constantly traveling, we don’t think of travel as a biblical concept or a spiritual one. In the biblical narratives it’s simply a way to get from point A to point B. That is quite unlike the trillion-dollar industry that travel has become in the United States. We are bombarded, constantly, with advertising about the latest destinations, the hottest rental homes, and the most exotic activities. We are encouraged to use our money–whether we have a little or a lot–on travel. 

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A decorative photo of a pregnant white woman wearing a clergy shirt with collar, taken from the neck down.

Dear Young Clergywoman,

My pastor just announced to our congregation that she is pregnant. We are all very excited for her, but we also haven’t been in this situation before. What tips do you have for celebrating this news with her? What would be helpful? What should we avoid? 

Thank you!

-An Excited Congregant

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