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“Being listened to is so close to being loved that most people cannot tell the difference.”

– David Augsburger, Mennonite teacher and author

Throughout the next year Central District Conference is conducting Sacred Listening conversations across the conference.  The goal, as I understand it, is for conference leadership to get a sense of where the Spirit has been and is moving among us and how the conference can best serve congregations in light of the effects of Covid.  And to share some of these stories across congregations for us to better know one...

This past weekend I was in Minnesota at the invitation of St. Paul Mennonite Fellowship.  They have an annual retreat at a secluded retreat center an hour north of the twin cities.  The time includes input from a guest and planning for the coming year.  I presented about transitions.

The congregation is small – eight covenant members.  One member likened the fellowship to a base community, solidary groups that developed within Brazilian Roman Catholicism.  They have had children amongst them in the past but now range in age from 50s to 80s.  The fellowship was one of the first...

“Ritual is a very ancient social technology and it fulfills the exact same roles today as it did for our ancestors thousands of years ago.”

These were Dimitris Xygalatas’s closing words in an interview that aired on NPR’s All Things Considered last evening (8 minutes audio).  Host Ari Shapiro had asked him what he might say to his younger self who grew up in Greece questioning the value of the religious and secular rituals in which he participated.  Xygalatas...

When I was getting ready for my sabbatical I had a list of books directly related to my topic (creativity and spirituality) that I was looking forward to diving into during those months away, but in the end it was a book that wasn’t on my original list that has stuck with me the longest. It was one that caught my eye while my husband and I were browsing a bookstore during our visit to NYC and which I instantly started to devour on our subway rides around the city. 

I know I’m really late to the Brené Brown bandwagon, but there was just something about her book, Atlas of the Heart:...

After seeing various verses cited in articles I’ve read, I recently purchased the First Nations Version: An Indigenous Translation of the New Testament.  It was released in 2021, the work of a twelve-member translation council from diverse tribal heritages and geographical areas, led by Terry M. Wildman (Ojibwe, Yaqui), a minister in the United Methodist Church.  Wildman had been doing his own ad hoc translations for years and would share the rewordings in his travels to Native-led churches across the...

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