We are nearing the end of our Twelve Scriptures summer worship series.  After this Sunday, focused on the Beatitudes of Matthew 5, we have only one Sunday remaining.  It has been a rich time whose learnings can hopefully keep informing the mission of the congregation long after the series ends. 

If you remember, the Twelve Scriptures was one of two parts of the survey we issued in the spring.  The other part was called the Six Scriptures in which you were invited to name up to six of the most troubling and difficult passages in the Bible.  The idea was that if we are going to hit...

I came across a new phrase that I especially like while reading some Richard Rohr: “The edge of the inside.”  Rohr, a Franciscan, uses this phrase to talk about his own relationship with the church and religious life, and commends it as a privileged position from which to see and live.

When you’re on the edge of the inside, you’re still inside the institution of the church, still participating in worship and ritual and community life.  But you’re on the edge.  You have a critical distance from the trappings that religion brings with it and you are aware of the shortcomings and...

The church building is full with activity during the evenings this week with Vacation Bible School.  The theme, “Give and receive God’s great love,” is a nice continuation of our worship focus for the last three weeks during this portion of the Twelve Scriptures Project.  As has been alluded to in worship, love can be an incredibly broad, general, even generic, idea.  During VBS love has been talked about specifically as extending hospitality.

The primary symbol of this hospitality is a canvas tent on the platform in the sanctuary.  Each evening the tent is a scene of...

Thoughts after a phone call and Skype session with my daughters and wife who have been in Kansas for nearly three weeks and are returning tomorrow.  


“I forgot what you looked like,”

laughed the six year old,

coming into view,

smiling with two less teeth than before,

and gazing intently at the screen ,

at me.

I had forgotten too.

Not what she looks like,

but what effect

that gaze has on me.


she reminds me she will soon be seven,

and arrangements must be made:


One of the privileges of being a pastor is having a window into the many ways people in this congregation serve the community in their professional lives.  I spent my morning with Joe Mas, a CMCer who is a criminal defense attorney downtown working especially with the Spanish speaking population.  Joe was part of a panel at a BREAD Welcome Columbus! event on immigration back in March.  His presentation caught my attention and afterwards we agreed that he would show me around his work someday.  That day was today.

The court system is mostly a foreign world to me, so a good part of...