In our blog post every Monday we will select a reading from the Revised Common Lectionary for the upcoming Sunday, and pair it with a Frederick Buechner reading on the same topic. Next Sunday, we will celebrate the Third Sunday after the Epiphany. Here is this week’s reading from Jonah 3:1-5, 10...
It is a primary task of church leadership, in the face of the language of commoditized instrumentalism, to keep alive the peculiar relational, covenantal language of faith. That is, to assure that our peculiar rhetoric remains available and compelling. Given that task, I was somewhat “woke” by this remarkable statement: "A language is a dialect with an army and a navy."
While faith and science debates—such as the Intelligent Design paradigm, an old vs. young Earth, or a literal Adam and Eve—seem peripheral to our political division, the experience of having those conversations offer us tools that translate to our current predicament.
In our blog post every Monday we select a reading from the Revised Common Lectionary for the upcoming Sunday, and pair it with a Frederick Buechner reading on the same topic. Next Sunday, we will celebrate the Second Sunday after Epiphany. Here is this week’s reading from John 1:43-46...
In another time of national crisis, another time of danger for our nation, in 1865 on March the fourth, Abraham Lincoln concluded his second inaugural address with these words...
Imagine listening to a long speech in a hot, dry, dusty wilderness in a place where you may not feel entirely safe. That sets the scene for the beginning of Deuteronomy, and it is where God wanted the children of Israel to look back and recall some painful memories and some home truths.
This week we start a new series: Three easy steps to face down worry. Today we talk about step #1!
In my new book Speak It Plain: Words for Worship and Life Together (Fortress Press, 2020), I offer some tips for creating a trauma-informed worship space. What if our faith communities spend this season apart learning to talk about trauma and developing new hospitality practices to support folks on the other side of Covid-19? Here are a few ideas.
Responding to the insurrection at the United States Capitol, Church Anew contacted our network of contributors to ask what they would preach this Sunday. Our prayer is that these words from visionaries, nationally recognized or locally committed, provide witness for your proclamation this Sunday as the nation looks for spiritual leadership and solidarity. May the Spirit ignite your words with fire for justice.
It is the hunch of some scholars (including me) that Psalm 29 is a liturgical script (or an echo of a liturgical script) that served an annual pageant in the Jerusalem temple in ancient Israel. The intent of that pageant was to perform a drama whereby YHWH was designated as King of the gods for the coming year.
2020 was a year like no other, for most of us. There have been endless retrospectives on the challenges the world, the United States, schools, the medical community, churches and families have faced this year. I recommend you consider another question: What went right last year?
Savor every flake, because every flake bears witness, so claims the poet, to the life-giving reliability of God.
In our blog post every Monday we select a reading from the Revised Common Lectionary for the upcoming Sunday, and pair it with a Frederick Buechner reading on the same topic. Next Sunday, we will celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. Here is this week's reading from Mark 1:4-11...
In our blog post, we select a reading from the Revised Common Lectionary and pair it with a Frederick Buechner reading on the same topic. On January 6, 2021 we will celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord. Here is the reading from Matthew 2:1-12....
So who is my neighbor? 2020 has proven this to be the wrong question. A better question that we should all be asking going into 2021 is, “What kind of neighbor am I?”
Every two weeks, the Church Anew leadership team gathers for prayer, reflection, and visioning. This devotion was shared at our last meeting in December with Pastor David Lillejord, Pastor Matthew Fleming, Pastor Gail Bach and Pastor Mary Brown by Mr. Tim Maudlin. We'd like to share our 2021 intention with you.
The following Christmas sermon, entitled “Let Jesus Show,” was originally published in “Secrets in the Dark”. Here is the full sermon for your enjoyment...
In our blog post every week we select a reading from the Revised Common Lectionary and pair it with a Frederick Buechner reading on the same topic. On January 1, 2021 we will celebrate the Holy Name of Jesus. Here is today's reading from Philippians 2:5-8
The carpenter from Nazareth, Joseph, we may assume, was a modest man who lived a modest life in his village. He did not rock the boat. He did not want to call attention to himself. But then, according to the gospel narrative, he faced two powerful disruptions in his settled life.
When we look at 2020, when we look at this world—a year marked by the exposure of racism in America, political division, and the deadly COVID pandemic—can we have either optimism or hope?