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The Rev. Dr. Kimberleigh Buchanan The Rev. Dr. Kimberleigh Buchanan

The Rev. Dr. Kimberleigh Buchanan is senior pastor of First Congregational Church (UCC) in Asheville, NC.

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First Congregational United Church of Christ, Asheville, NC

Spirituality for Real Life

May 22, 2009

The restaurant with the monkey bowl mints?  The mints surreptitiously swiped by the unrepentant mint thief?  Last night I visited another restaurant owned by the same family.  I'm happy to report that the statue parrot's tray by the front door held plenty of mints.  I chose one, popped it in my mouth, and reveled in just how right all seemed with the world.  Enough mints for everyone!

In truth, I'm not sure whether my ideas about after-dinner mints grow out of deep ethical groundedness or out of some weird obsession with peppermint.  I do know, though, that somewhere along the line, I got very clear about proper peppermint protocol--one mint per customer (unless your dinner companion doesn't want one.  Then--and only then--may you have two--and only two--mints.)

As certain as I am about how to relate to mints, I'm not always sure how to live the other parts of my life, especially when it comes to living my faith.  How precisely does one live the Christ life?  How does one engage the Spirit in everyday life?  How does one go about creating a "spirituality for real life?"

I know, I know.  I've been ordained for ten years and a pastor for eight.  I have both a seminary degree and a PhD in religion.  Surely somewhere along the way I learned more about living the faith life than taking only one after-dinner mint per meal.

It's true.  I have been a person of faith for a long time; I have created some semblance of a spiritual life.  But until about a year ago my spiritual life felt very hodge-podge, very hit-or-miss, very catch-as-catch-can, very (insert your own hyphenated phrase...)....Little about my spiritual life made sense to me....

....Until I met some nuns in Beech Grove, Indiana.  More about them next week.

Peace for the journey,


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