Yesterday I attended the convocation chapel at the Methodist
Theological School in Ohio (MTSO) which honored the careers or retiring
professors Dr. John Kampen and Dr. Linda Mercadante.  Both have Mennonite ties.  John and his wife Carol are long time members
of Cincinnati Mennonite Fellowship where I pastored prior to CMC.  Linda and her husband Joe Mas attend CMC.

Both gave reflections. 
John recalled what he feels to be the most important accomplishment of his
professional career:  While teaching and
serving as Academic Dean at Payne...

This month we’re welcoming 16 new members into CMC.  Four joined this past Sunday.  Another 12 will join this coming Sunday.  As has become our custom, we’ll hear brief
reflections from each of them.  We’ll
share Communion, served by new members. 
And we’ll recite together our Membership Commitment statement – an old
practice with new (and fewer!) words.

Membership actually seems like a bit of an anomaly for how
we generally do church.  About 30 years
ago missiologist Paul Hiebert proposed the now-common categories of Bounded Set

Over the past few years, our congregation has enjoyed having various pastoral interns work among us.  When we are approached by people seeking to intern with us, it is often with the expressed hope that our congregation has something to teach them as they test out their gifts in ministry.  It takes a lot of grace to be a teaching congregation, and I am grateful for the ways that Columbus Mennonite gracefully and patiently seeks to nurture not just interns but all people stepping into new leadership roles.  Indeed, my first year as pastor at CMC was my first time in a pastoral role, and I...

Even though I’ve had my back to it for much its creation, The
Sketch (feels like it should be capitalized) has been a rich part of Lent

The idea came out of an initial observation that the
scripture readings for each week of Lent this year contain key images that fit
together into a coherent landscape.  That
landscape is now complete.


“A priest is someone who stands in a place of remarkable vulnerability, and by doing so, invites other people to enter the sacred.” 

I am currently reading the book Queer Virtue: What LGBTQ People Know About Life and Love and How It Can Revitalize Christianity by Rev. Elizabeth M. Edman, and the quote above has been rolling around my brain for awhile.  What Edman is attempting to do in this book is show how the experiences of queer people can offer deep wisdom to the Church, because, as she argues, Christianity has always been a tradition of queerness, of navigating...