Blog

This past weekend I attended the Music and Worship Leaders Retreat at Laurelville Mennonite Church Center in western PA.  The theme was PastPresentFuture, focused on bringing our whole selves into worship, and that worship itself is an act of extending our selves back into traditions we have inherited and forward into the future for which we hope.

One of the main resource persons was Lara Steinel, a cantor and leader of a progressive Jewish congregation in Kansas City.  One of the lines she delivered was a quote from Rabbi Zalman...

2014 is gone, but it’s worth considering where all we have been and what we’ve done in the past year.  With fear and trembling that I may be leaving out something crucial, here are some of the highlights from the year.  Some of these are things that happen every year and are part of the annual rhythm of the congregation, others are unique to 2014.  All of them are the work of an active community seeking to follow Jesus Christ and be led by the Holy Spirit.

Open mic night with music and stories + serving breakfast at Community Resources Center +hosting Central District Conference...

After noticing its persistent presence on my Facebook newsfeed for multiple days, I caved and watched the three minute video of Naomi Feil, a Jewish woman, singing Christian songs to Gladys, an elderly woman with Alzheimers.  While singing “Jesus loves me” and “He’s got the whole world in his hands,” Feil affectionately strokes Gladys’ face, matching her volume and pace to the intensity of movement and emotion expressed by Gladys, who is unable to speak.  At the end of the clip, Gladys, through a soft but clear whisper,...

So, what do you want?

The last couple days Abbie and I have asked this question to each other as Christmas approaches.  This is not the first time the question has come up this season.  We’ve already passed around some lists with family members to prepare for gift exchanges.  I imagine this is a fairly common question these days.  In buying for our kids, we have tried to mitigate the potential insanity of the season by being guided and limited by a phrase Abbie discovered a few years back:

Something they want,

something they need,

...

Two weekends ago, Joel and I both had the opportunity to be a part of Fabulous, Fierce, and Sacred: A Gathering of Anabaptist lgbtqa* Community in Chicago, and I wanted to take some time to reflect on that experience.  For those that don’t know, the conference was planned by various groups within the Mennonite Church who are all working in their own ways to make the denomination a safer, more welcoming and inclusive place for people of gender of sexual minorities.  The...

Pages