Nothing like starting off the new year with one of the most contentious issues facing the wider church.

There are a number of happenings right now having to do with how the Mennonite Church relates with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and self-identified queer persons (LGBTQ).  Mountain States Conference (one of 21 area conferences in Mennonite Church USA) announced in November that it intends to credential Theda Good for pastoral ministry at First...

I had some fun writing four haikus that hopefully capture some of the spirit of Advent at Columbus Mennonite this season. If you have one send it my way and I’ll add it to the blog:

Come in from the cold
Mystery saved you a seat
Watch. Christ will sneak in.

Lion, lamb, mice, birds,
Murmurating with Mennos
Peace could find us yet

Isaiah foretold:
Children shall lead them, a play
In which all have parts

How to fill a church:
Create beautiful music
People will show up


These four comes from...

John the Baptist is always a central character during the second week of Advent.  He is, in the words of Isaiah, “a voice calling out in the wilderness.”  His message was simple and direct, even harsh.  “Repent.”  Change your mind, change your actions, change your life.  Get ready for the one who baptizes not with water, but with Spirit.  The town and city folk go out into the wilderness to hear his message.

On Sunday I suggested that the creaturely world...

Our theme this Advent season is Mystery.  It’s a powerful word and idea.  It’s the kind of word that demands more words, to get to the bottom of it.  Or, the surrender of all words, silence, to confess there is no bottom.  “Be still…,” Psalm 46:10.  “No one knows…,” Matthew 24:36

This week I reopened Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard, and she says, “Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery…We must somehow take a wider view, look at the whole landscape, really see it, and describe what’s going on here.  Then we can at least wail the right question...

Only a few days left until the end of the year – the end of the liturgical year, that is.  This coming Sunday marks the final Sunday of the ecumenical church calendar and is followed by the beginning of Advent, a rebooted cycle in the life of the church.

Although I did not grow up with it, I have come to love the lectionary and liturgical cycle.  The current lectionary is organized as a three year cycle and was created in the early 90’s by Catholic and Protestant groups.  The practice of weekly scripture readings on an annual cycle, a lectionary, may very well go back to Jewish...