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In 2002 I was newly married, doing Mennonite Voluntary Service in St. Louis with Abbie, and in the middle stages of theological deconstruction.  The collection of beliefs that had guided my youth and early young adulthood no longer made sense.  There was no clear indication much of anything made sense. 

It was during this time I discovered, read, and re-read a little book by the Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh called Living Buddha, Living Christ

I hadn’t encountered anything quite like it before – a Buddhist retelling his experience of coming to claim Jesus as a...

A recent essay in The Atlantic by Stanford professor of psychology Jamil Zaki highlights my growing unease with the cultural direction self-care has taken.  It’s titled “’Self-care’ Isn’t the Fix for Late-Pandemic Malaise.”

Zaki upholds the importance of self-care which he defines as “anything pursued for the sake of one’s own wellness.”  Self-care is vital, but limited in its efficacy.  It is “especially good at softening intense stress and anxiety,” but, as it has come to be practiced and...

The Leadership Team recently approved my sabbatical proposal for this coming summer, so I thought I would use this month’s blog to let the congregation know a little more about what my plans and hopes are for this time away from normal duties.  The guiding question that I have decided to spend my sabbatical focusing on is:

How can nurturing lives of creative expression support opportunities for deepening spiritual formation?

This question has emerged from a number of different threads in my life, but at the heart of it is my interest in exploring how acts of...

For each of the four births Abbie and I experienced together, including our stillborn daughter Belle, everything else faded into the background for a precious and brief time.  During those hours and days, it was unquestionably clear what mattered most.  We had a vital role to play, but we were mostly witnesses to wonder. 

It’s been a hard year.  It sounds like we are headed toward a difficult start to the next year.

My prayer is that we can all have some precious time this Christmas to be witnesses to wonder and to dwell in the clarity of what matters most.  That might happen...

These last couple months our family has been tracking NBC’s show The Voice.  I know quite a few of you have as well.  The draw has been Girl Named Tom, a sibling trio in their 20s that grew up in Zion Mennonite Church in Northwest Ohio.  Over the course of watching we learned that past shows have been dominated by soloists.  Last week Girl Named Tom became the first group to make it into the finale, and last night it was revealed that the show’s audience around the country (including us!) voted them the season’s winners. 

Their popularity is a bit stunning.  As of this morning their...

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