Category: Sermons


February 11, 2019
I majored in philosophy.  Now, before you judge, I majored in philosophy during the philosophy boom of the late 90s, when there was a major philosopher shortage and all of the big philosophy firms were hiring. I had no idea that the philosophy market would collapse right before I graduated. Either that, or I majored […]

Why Do Extremely Wealthy People Hate the Idea of Higher Marginal Tax Rates?

February 6, 2019
As I write this, Howard Schultz, billionaire and former CEO of Starbucks, is mounting an independent campaign for the presidency of the United States. And he seems to be running for that office because he’s horrified at the idea of paying a higher marginal tax rate on the part of the income that is over […]

Do Not Worry

February 4, 2019
Way back at the end of November, when we were decorating the church for Christmas, we got the Advent wreath and the Advent candles out. I wanted to make sure that they were okay, so I lit them. Later, we finished decorating, turned out the lights, locked up the church, and left. And I was […]
Zoshi [Public Domain: released to public domain by phtographer], ”Burning Man” via Wikimedia Commons

Why Pastors Should Know What People Give

January 30, 2019
Recently, I was with a group of clergy when a dreadful topic came up: whether pastors should know what members of their congregations give to their churches. The room was about evenly divided. Some of the pastors insisted that it was important that they know. Others insisted that they should not know. Two things about […]


January 28, 2019
A long time ago—before I was your pastor, before I was a fundraiser, before I even went to seminary—I was a cook. I worked in a little upscale restaurant in a midsize college burg. And while we were never going to win a Michelin star, we were pretty good. And while I’m never going to […]
Miansari66 [Public domain], ”Lake Salt” via Wikimedia Commons

I’ve Been Here Before

January 21, 2019
There is a scene from The West Wing. You’re going to find that I bring up that show every now and again. Leo McGarry is the White House Chief of Staff. He’s also an alcoholic. A few years before the scene in the show, he was sober. And then he fell off the wagon. It […]

Capital is the Ability to Buy Other People’s Productivity

January 16, 2019
Roughly 1,000 news cycles ago—or at the beginning of January—Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez offhandedly proposed a 70% marginal tax rate on incomes over $10 million. The pro-wealth right wing responded in exactly the way that people expected. First, they deliberately misunderstood marginal tax rates. Second, they started complaining that a tax rate that high would be […]


January 14, 2019
Way back in June, we had a baptism. James and Brianne stood at the front of the church, and I held a kind of squirmy Kaelyn, and I baptized her in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. And it was a wonderful day. We welcomed Kaelyn into our family… […]


January 7, 2019
“A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.” In today’s reading from Matthew, we hear this line from the prophet Jeremiah about Rachel, in the city of Ramah, weeping for her children. You see, a long time ago, […]

Entitlment (Noun): Something to Which a Person Has a Right

January 2, 2019
Let’s talk about entitlements. Americans don’t really like the idea of entitlements. We tend to think of entitlement as something that a person wants, but that they don’t deserve. At the best, politicians argue that we simply can’t afford entitlement programs. At the worst, charity skeptics lament the sense of entitlement that some people—especially people […]
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I’m a pastor, an author, and a nonprofit development and communications professional. My passion, my mission, and my calling is bringing people together to do good, with a particular focus on serving people who are experiencing poverty and other forms of marginalization.

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