Month: October 2019

Years ago, my mom gave Mariah a Peruvian nativity set. You can tell that it’s Peruvian because of how the figures are dressed, and because one of them is playing a flute, and because there are llamas. And we set it up. And because we’re lazy about Christmas decorations, it stayed up. Hildegard’s favorite game is fetch, which she likes to play with a stuffed squeaky slipper. And, sometimes, when you’re throwing a stuffed squeaky slipper around the house and there’s a Peruvian nativity set on an end table… the slipper hits the nativity set and a llama falls…
Way back last December, on the first Sunday of Advent, I gave a sermon about hope. I’m sure you remember it. In that sermon, I quoted a line from Ghostbusters. It was just a little throwaway reference. It was just a little Easter Egg. I said, “dogs and cats… living together… mass hysteria!” And when I said that—in that tiny moment when I raised my voice little bit and said, “mass hysteria!”—someone, some kid, shouted, “Yay!” Because sometimes, you just gotta shout. I grew up in the First Congregational United Church of Christ, in Platteville, Wisconsin. I grew up…
I’ve had what feels like a rash of funerals (three in a little more than a month). That has meant conversations with families, back-and-forths with the funeral home, worship planning sessions, funeral sermon writing, and a bunch of other work that only shows up around funerals. It’s also meant hearing people laugh as they tell stories, funeral luncheons, working with other clergy, and occasional panic. You see, there’s a lot of pressure around funerals. I lead Sunday worship just under fifty-two times a year, plus worship services for Christmas Eve, Ash Wednesday, and other holidays. If I deliver a…
There’s a beautiful song by an artist named Gwyneth Glyn. It’s in another language, but the title, in English, is Home. She sings about the things people have said about home… …and all of the places she’s been all around the world… …and how her home is her haven and her homeland her world… …and how she’s still lost, without a map, or a sign, or a rough guide for the journey. And the chorus goes like this: “There’s no place like home,” is what they told me There’s no place like home, no. But home… is very much…
It was all supposed to be so simple. On my first or second Sunday here, I said to you that I had a plan. It was one of those plans that you read about in books about how to be a good pastor. I was going to call around and make appointments; I was going to come to your home, or take you out for coffee, or whatever. I was my big plan to meet each and every one of you. And I tried. I made some calls and left some messages and waited to hear back. And then…

Pin It on Pinterest