The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel

Denomination: United Church of Christ (UCC)

The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel served three churches over the last two decades, before beginning her tenure at First Congregational Church of Dubuque on February 1, 2016. From 2004-2015, she served as Senior Minister of the First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn, a UCC church in the suburbs of Chicago. Previous to that position, she served eight years as Senior Minister at the Church of the Redeemer, an urban congregation in New Haven, Connecticut, and three years as an Associate Minister in Cheshire, Connecticut.

Along with her ministerial background, Rev.Dr. Daniel is a published author and public speaker. Some of her works include the books Tell It Like It Is: Reclaiming the Practice of Testimony--the story of one church's attempt to get people to talk to each other about God, and When Being Spiritual but Not Religious Is Not Enough. Rev. Dr. Daniel is an editor-at-large for the Christian Century magazine and a contributing editor at Leadership Journal. Her work has also appeared in The Huffington Post, Christianity Today, Relevant Magazine, Books and Culture, The Journal for Preachers, and in the daily Still Speaking email devotionals available at or, with over 20,000 subscribers.

Rev. Dr. Daniel is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and Yale Divinity School, where, in 2010, she received a distinguished alumni award for "Distinction in Congregational Ministry." She earned a Doctor of Ministry from Hartford Seminary and serves on the Board of Trustees of Chicago Theological Seminary and the Board of Advisors at Yale Divinity School. Rev. Daniel has taught preaching at the Chicago Theological Seminary, the University of Chicago Divinity School, and at her alma mater, Yale Divinity School.

Lillian Daniel was born in Anderson, South Carolina, but she grew up in Asia, London, and Washington, DC. She is the only child of her late parents, Carobel Calhoun and Leon Daniel, whose career as a United Press International journalist took the family (and many cousins from South Carolina) all around the world.


Day1 Weekly Programs by The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel

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The Stand-In Church

Tuesday July 19, 2011
Sometimes we need to be prepared to "stand in" for church in the lives of those who are hurting, sharing our testimony with the grieving, calling out that we have seen light in the midst of darkness.

Fear of Public Speaking

Tuesday January 27, 2009
The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel focuses on Jesus' teaching in Matthew 5:14-15 about being the "light of the world." She reveals why many mainline Christians are hesitant to share their story of faith, and shows how we can do a better job of it in our daily lives.

I'm With the Band

Monday January 26, 2009
Have you ever been to a wedding reception where the bride sang in her own wedding band? Musicians do things differently. The wedding reception was held upon the stage of a grand old theater in Buffalo, New York. Elegantly set tables dotted the wooden floor, with its stage markings and velvet curtains swagged casually aside.

Articles by The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel

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Lillian Daniel: Seven Deadly Apps

Sunday October 29, 2017
It seems that for every ancient sin, there is a social media app. Envy? Try Pinterest. You get so busy looking at pictures of what other people have, you don't pay attention to what is right in front of you.

Lillian Daniel: Stop Trying to Find Yourself

Wednesday September 13, 2017
Individualism tells you that you are special and unique. So go find that unique quality about yourself, then live by that quality and then you will be happy. In other words, the first thing to do is 'Find yourself.'

Lillian Daniel: Did we come all this way to meet no one but ourselves?

Friday September 01, 2017
Tamar Elad-Appelbaum was raised in an orthodox Jewish community in Jerusalem. But it was on a trip to New Jersey that she learned there were different ways to be Jewish, and first saw the possibility that a woman could be a rabbi. Today she leads ZION, an Eretz Israeli congregation that meets in the workout room of a community center in Jerusalem.

Lillian Daniel: Lessons from a Lonely Lobster

Sunday August 06, 2017
It stinks to be single in a couple's universe. When your couple pals are not ignoring you for their paired-up parties, they're trying to fix you up with someone they would never have dated themselves. In the media, when singles get attention, it's for living wild, sexually chaotic lives, which is mostly done for the entertainment value of couples who enjoy watching such things on TV. And what's that about?

Lillian Daniel: Mansions of Mysterious Metaphors

Sunday July 23, 2017
The 1843 children's board game The Mansion of Happiness used a sixty-seven space spiral track to teach children the various Christian virtues and vices. You have to love that they tried.

Lillian Daniel: When "Sorry" Seems to be the Easiest Word

Saturday July 01, 2017
After a terrorist atrocity, I hate seeing Muslims at a news conference being forced to apologize for something they didn't do. 'We're not like them,' they have to say. 'Islam is a peaceful religion.' They shouldn't have to deal with those stereotypes. And when it's Christian people slinging the stereotypes, that makes me angry.

Lillian Daniel: Don't Congratulate a Cat on its Landing

Thursday June 08, 2017
When I was a child, my mother would proudly tell people, 'Lillian is like a little cat. Whichever way you throw her, she always lands on her feet.'

Lillian Daniel: Grace Cheated Me Out of My Discount

Thursday May 25, 2017
I got a coupon to my local movie theater for 50% off the cost of a movie ticket with popcorn too. The trouble is, I don't have much time to go to the movies. So I've been waiting for that rarest of combinations: a movie I want to see and the time to see it.

Lillian Daniel: The 4 Types of Nones

Sunday April 30, 2017
These days, one out of three people under the age of 30 checks off 'None' as their religious preference. In writing my last book, I came to understand that the people who check off 'None' do so for a number of reasons.

Lillian Daniel: You Can't Step in the Same River Twice

Friday February 24, 2017
I'm fascinated by the river I live next to. Maybe Dubuque's natives are used to it, but the Mississippi River is brand new to me, and each season reveals a new side to its personality.

Lillian Daniel: My Multifaith Moment at Marshall’s

Friday February 17, 2017
In this excerpt from her latest book, Lillian Daniel describes an encounter where she ends up apologizing on behalf of the Christian Church to a stranger in the checkout line at Marshall’s.

Lillian Daniel: Canonize Yourself

Friday February 03, 2017
The late Mother Teresa, who devoted herself to the care of orphans in Calcutta, India, got fast tracked on the path to sainthood. If anyone deserved it, she did.

Lillian Daniel: Comfortable in My Seat

Monday January 23, 2017
At a recent Interfaith Worker Justice board meeting, Naeem Baig, President of the Islamic Circle of North America, shared a story about a scene he witnessed on an airplane. A mother was traveling with three small children but for some reason, none of them were seated together. So the mother asked other passengers if they would move so she could stay close to her little ones.

Lillian Daniel: Joy is the Intersection of Pleasure and Meaning

Wednesday December 14, 2016
There is a lot of talk in our society about happiness, but what I would like to hear more about is joy. And I would like to hear about it in church. Don’t promise me that I will be happy. Tell me instead about joy.

Lillian Daniel: A Victory Speech from Someone Who Never Wins Anything

Tuesday November 15, 2016
When it comes to little contests and games of chance, I never win anything. But guess who guessed the number of chocolate coffee beans in the jar last Sunday? It was me, it was me, it was me! The humble pastor!

Lillian Daniel: Age as Accomplishment

Thursday November 03, 2016
An American church group was visiting Haiti. The Haitian church leaders were leading the opening introductions to facilitate the bonding of these two groups who had never met before, so they asked everyone to go around the room and introduce themselves by saying their name and their age.

Lillian Daniel: Hell is a Place Where the Visitors Wear Name Tags

Friday October 21, 2016
Asking visitors to announce themselves in church signals the rarity of the occasion. Asking them to wear a visitor name tag, when no one else is wearing one, is even worse.

Lillian Daniel: Is God Responsible for Everything?

Sunday October 02, 2016
'Our time on earth is temporary. If I won't try to find out who you are, how will I know who I am?' That's a rough translation of the song that stayed in my head long after I heard it. But I didn't remember it for the lyrics. I learned those later.

Lillian Daniel: On the 25th Anniversary of an Ordination

Sunday September 18, 2016
On my first day of Divinity School, I knew I liked Bill because neither one of us wanted to get our feet washed in a plastic paint bucket. Nor did we want to sing Kumbaya. And sadly, as our worst fears about seminary were confirmed, we were expected to do both.

Lillian Daniel: And Don't Forget Your Sweatshirt!

Friday September 09, 2016
A mother makes a cake for a special occasion and she tells her two kids, 'That cake is not for you. It's for the church supper tonight. So do not touch it!'

Lillian Daniel: Sing Once, Pray Twice, or Just Sing Already

Friday August 19, 2016
'He who sings, prays twice,' said the great church reformer Martin Luther. I've always thought that was kind of unfair to the people who don't like to sing.

Lillian Daniel: "You can’t carry two watermelons with one hand." - Proverb

Wednesday July 27, 2016
Try it out this summer if you like, but trust me, you can’t do it. There is a reason these things become proverbs. They are true!

Lillian Daniel: Socializing with Sinners

Thursday July 14, 2016
Last Sunday we welcomed new members to our church. Coincidentally, I was preaching about one of many Bible stories where Jesus is criticized for socializing with sinners.

Lillian Daniel: Childish Ways

Tuesday June 28, 2016
"When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways." - 1 Corinthians 13:11 If only that were true! I know a lot of adults who have not put aside childish ways. How else do you explain all those boats, fast cars and silly games on Facebook?

Lillian Daniel: Change Happens

Friday May 20, 2016
'Suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us...' - Romans 5:3-5

Lillian Daniel: Pious Amnesia

Saturday April 23, 2016
Asa was a powerful ruler who felt badly that his country had not been very faithful, so in a sudden moment of religious remorse he declared a massive religious celebration and demanded attendance. Apparently everyone felt pretty great afterwards. So, suddenly, feeling so close to God and to each other, they did what comes naturally in such situations. They agreed that anyone who did not feel equally passionate about God should be killed. What?

Lillian Daniel: Genre Fatigue in Vegas

Friday April 08, 2016
At the risk of overstating matters, let me say that Las Vegas is not an understated place. A little bit of everything can be too much.

Lillian Daniel: A Loaded Statement and the Benefit of the Doubt

Wednesday March 30, 2016
While waiting in line at a store, the man standing next to me and I engaged in some conversation, perhaps to assuage our mutual boredom. It's amazing what you can learn about a person in a short time. He confided many personal details of his life, and I in turn related to them with stories of my own.

Lillian Daniel: Kicked Out or Freed?

Sunday March 13, 2016
In the initial story of happiness, choices and paradise lost, Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden. They didn't have to work or worry about what to wear. Everything was available to them. God only asked for one thing...

Lillian Daniel: You Don't Need More Storage Space

Wednesday March 02, 2016
If you put your stuff in a storage facility, and you find that you can live without it, maybe you really can live without it. So here's a radical thought from Jesus: Don't store it in the first place.

Lillian Daniel: The Importance of Being with Friends

Friday February 26, 2016
There was a story a while back about a guy on Facebook who had about 900 friends, and he invited them all to a party. You know the punch line: not one of them showed up.

Lillian Daniel: Where Do Watches Come From?

Friday February 19, 2016
Fifty years before Darwin's Origin of Species, William Paley wrote Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity, offering a fresh metaphor: Imagine if we came upon a watch, having never seen a timekeeping device before. How would we explain the existence of that watch?

Lillian Daniel: When Cells Differentiate

Thursday February 11, 2016
If you watch a time lapse video of a sunflower, you can watch months of growth in just a few moments. It's beautiful and poignant, to see the tiny seeds take shape, in fast forward.

Lillian Daniel: What Do You See?

Saturday January 30, 2016
I recognized myself in Amichai's poem about the tourists. When I travel, I want to see all the big sites, the beautiful buildings and the somber markers. I don't want to miss a thing.

Lillian Daniel: Relax, It's Saturday

Saturday January 02, 2016
How long is your to-do list for this Saturday? What does your schedule look like? What games are you driving people to? What errands do you have to do?

Lillian Daniel: The Poor Are Not Lucky

Wednesday November 25, 2015
I have heard rich people say that the poor are lucky before. But I have yet to hear a poor person say it.

Lillian Daniel: Prayers on the Clothesline

Wednesday June 03, 2015
A recent art exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art at St Louis University featured the work of photographer Regina DeLuise, whose black and white photographs attend to the ordinary moments in the spiritual lives of the people of Bhutan.

Lillian Daniel: Real Relationships Renegotiate

Sunday May 17, 2015
Relationships are a constant and continual renegotiation. What you say on your twelfth birthday, your retirement date or wedding day may not be your plan ten years later. And yet, to the other person, it can be a total surprise.

Lillian Daniel: The Dry Bones of Depression

Saturday April 11, 2015
God called the prophet Ezekiel to prophesy to the dry bones, and promised that by God's healing power, flesh would appear and those dry bones would live again.

Lillian Daniel: Exercise Your God-given Maturity

Saturday March 07, 2015
True believers on the God topic scare me, whether they are arguing for or against. Sometimes, when atheists and Christians debate, I want both teams to be disqualified. If I were God, I wouldn't want any of them arguing on my behalf or even in my ballpark. But then I remember all the quiet people.

Lillian Daniel: Review Your Job Description

Thursday February 19, 2015
There was no big crisis, but my colleague and I were both in that rut where you feel like you are working really hard but never getting caught up. Everyone has those times but this one was going on a little too long and didn't show any signs of magically correcting itself.

Lillian Daniel: As I Ponder The Logistics Of Noah's Ark

Saturday January 31, 2015
Imagine what it smelled like on that ark. You had dogs, cats, reptiles, bugs and every creeping thing. There probably wasn't room for a litter box.

Lillian Daniel: Confessions of a Freeloader

Sunday January 18, 2015
I'm a freeloader. And I admit it. I'll even put it in writing.

Lillian Daniel: Reasonable, Rigorous and Real

Wednesday December 31, 2014
I want to make a case for a church that is reasonable, rigorous and real.

Lillian Daniel: Can't Anyone Move Here?

Tuesday December 23, 2014
I recall that when I told people I was moving from the East Coast to Chicago, they asked me if I had family there. "No, I don't," I responded, now concerned. "Was I supposed to?"

Lillian Daniel: Why Do Christmas Pageants Make Us Laugh?

Saturday December 20, 2014
No matter how serious the children are in their Biblical roles, we end up laughing at Christmas pageants.

Lillian Daniel: Do You Like Surprises?

Wednesday December 17, 2014
When Mary found out she was pregnant with the Son of God, she responded to the surprise with joy and delight.

Lillian Daniel: An Honest Prayer

Friday December 05, 2014
A seminary intern was offering the pastoral prayers one Sunday and received a request to pray for a woman who had a last name he found very difficult to pronounce. It was a name from a country whose language most of us did not speak, Polish, and it sounded nothing like it was spelled. But in the intimacy of congregational life, we had learned how to pronounce it over the years.

Lillian Daniel: Let's Not Meet in a Restaurant

Friday November 28, 2014
I often meet my friends and family in loud and crowded places. We go to the coffee shop or the new restaurant. We exchange news about our lives in the midst of ordering from the menu, or waving hello to other people we know. We catch up, but do we really share?

Lillian Daniel: What Makes a Good Boss?

Saturday November 15, 2014
At a workshop on supervision, a group of us were telling stories about past bosses. One person worked for an admiral who had a clear vision and knew how to share it. She carried his gift for managing by objective into a very different career in the non-profit world.

Lillian Daniel: What's Your Big Idea?

Tuesday November 04, 2014
When David Christian was a young professor at Macquarie University in Sydney, he grew frustrated by the rigid categories and divisions in scholarship. Teaching a class in Russian history, he wanted to examine his subjects from a number of unconventional angles.

Lillian Daniel: Plan to Be an Outstanding Houseguest

Thursday October 30, 2014
When we take our egos out of the mix and add God instead, it makes Paul's statement less arrogant and more touching. And it turns out he was right.

Lillian Daniel: We All Have Debts

Friday October 03, 2014
Ask God for what you need for this day, something modest just to live. Ask for your daily bread. Then, while you two are talking, why not also ask God to forgive your debts?

Lillian Daniel: Did Jesus Ignore Her?

Saturday September 27, 2014
'Jesus ignored her'? This is a story in which nobody wants to pay attention to a suffering woman, even Jesus.

Lillian Daniel: The Power of a Paystub

Saturday September 13, 2014
A recent study of low-paid workers found that 57 percent do not get a pay stub. In other words, when they get paid, they have no idea how their pay is calculated or what is deducted.

Lillian Daniel: A Finger Can Block Out the Sun

Wednesday September 10, 2014
The 19th century Hasidic rabbi Levi of Berditchev once pointed out that a finger held up to the eye could block the sun. Think about that image.

Lillian Daniel: The Reading Train

Friday August 22, 2014
Sometimes we have to step away in order to go deep. Sometimes we have to turn things off or actually leave them behind. Sometimes we have to take a train away from our own distractions.

Lillian Daniel: The Power of Privacy

Thursday August 07, 2014
I was listening to a friend describe his work volunteering at a local jail, where he meets one on one with inmates. When he talked about what the inmates needed most from him, I was surprised to hear him say that it was privacy.

Lillian Daniel: The Brain's Brief Moment

Tuesday July 29, 2014
There's more to life than brainpower. No matter when you make the big decisions, gray matter is just one small piece of it.

Lillian Daniel: The Midcourse Evaluation

Saturday June 21, 2014
During her second year in a three-year Master of Divinity degree, a divinity student from my church invited me to attend her 'midcourse evaluation.' I was to be there as her pastor, but also in attendance would be a couple of professors and the supervising pastor from her church internship.

Lillian Daniel: It's Not Your Book

Sunday June 01, 2014
When you get your first Bible, you treasure it, and keep it somewhere special. You open it and start reading, telling yourself you'll read a little every day because it's such a special book. And then you stop.

Lillian Daniel: Eating for Two (Psalm 119:13-14)

Saturday May 17, 2014
In the early months of pregnancy, I was ruled by appetites that were not my own. I craved things I had never craved before. I was a new person, melded with this other growing person. Suddenly we liked oranges and we hated salad dressing and we needed to build strong bones by eating ice cream every day.

Lillian Daniel: Too Busy to Give

Sunday April 27, 2014
I try to give money to street musicians whenever I can. But often I'm in a rush, so if I know I will encounter them, I stick a few dollar bills in my outer coat pocket so that I'm ready to give.

Lillian Daniel: Supersizing Spoils the Small Surprise

Thursday April 24, 2014
Sometimes being given too much spoils us for smaller things.

Lillian Daniel: On Good Friday, If You Can't Say It in Front of the Rabbi, Don't Say It at All

Thursday April 17, 2014
On Good Friday, if you can't say it in front of the rabbi, don't say it at all. But don't assume you have to water it down either. Because if we can not respect each other's uniqueness and difference in public worship, how will we ever go deep enough to get to the really important questions that clergy desperately want to ask?

Lillian Daniel: Shut Up and Take a Compliment

Sunday March 16, 2014
Do you ever find yourself answering a compliment with a rebuttal?

Lillian Daniel: Awkward Playground Memories

Wednesday March 05, 2014
I have a childhood memory of watching other children play during recess on the school playground. I longed to join them, but didn't know if I would be accepted. I didn't know the rules of their games.

Lillian Daniel: Who Makes Coconut Cake Anymore?

Sunday February 23, 2014
Every year, when my mother's birthday rolls around, I imagine how old she would be had she not died fourteen years ago. Last year, her birthday fell on a Sunday in what was a tender time in my own life. I missed her terribly.

Lillian Daniel: Cell Phones at the Altar

Sunday February 09, 2014
On the Sunday before Labor Day, we invite our congregation to bring symbols of their work to the altar to be blessed. People put up lap top computers, resumes, shovels, notebooks, mops and boots. And all that sits behind the communion table, set up for the feast.

Lillian Daniel: A Blessing for the Shopkeepers

Sunday December 22, 2013
Given that Advent is a season of repentance, let's look at what we need to confess at this time of year, late in the season. By now, I can guarantee I have slipped down the slippery Christmas shopping practice of 'One for you and one for me.'

Lillian Daniel: Love Needs a Head as Well as a Heart

Thursday December 19, 2013
So often, when we speak of love, we speak of the heart, and when we speak of logic, we speak of the brain. It's as though these two are separate, and they can't possibly come from the same place.

Lillian Daniel: A Savior in Work Boots

Wednesday December 04, 2013
Advent is a time to repent. Sometimes we forget that and leave all the heavy lifting to that other season of repentance in the church year””Lent. But really, Advent and Lent are both times to examine our lives and the world and ask God for forgiveness. These are the seasons for the prophets to call us on our crazy ways.

Lillian Daniel Interviews Will Willimon: Flawed and Fallen Folk

Tuesday October 29, 2013
After publishing 64 books on theology, worship and church leadership, William H. Willimon wrote a novel,Incorporation (Wipf and Stock), about a large suburban congregation, its dysfunctional staff and its narcissistic senior pastor. We wanted to know what led Willimon to try his hand at fiction. Or is it fiction? We asked Lillian Daniel to find out.

Lillian Daniel: The Ministry of Transportation

Friday October 18, 2013
Early in his ministry, Jesus had a reputation for healing, and so he was starting to get mobbed wherever he went. The crowds were so big because there were, and still are, so many people who long for physical healing. The irony was that in order to push through to the front of the crowd, you would need physical strength.

Lillian Daniel: Losing Your Calling

Tuesday October 08, 2013
Eli, who had a genuine call from God, should have stepped aside and allowed the people to celebrate his years of work. Instead he stayed, and started listening to all the wrong people.

Lillian Daniel: An Honest Prayer

Saturday September 14, 2013
Sometimes we pray to God with so much specificity, it sounds like we are lecturing a sloppy subordinate at work about when and where to show up for the key event, complete with last names, details about the hospital room number and the exact diagnosis. When what God really desires is an honest emotion, straight from the heart.

Lillian Daniel: The Modified Christian

Sunday September 01, 2013
I'm frustrated with the many labels we attach to Christianity in order to modify its meaning. I know why we do it, of course. I do it myself. I want to explain to someone that I am 'this kind' of Christian and not 'that kind' of Christian.

Lillian Daniel: Cheers

Wednesday August 28, 2013
At one congregation I served, potluck suppers at church did not attract many people, but when we started having them in people's homes, the attendance doubled.

Lillian Daniel: Contradiction or Conversation?

Tuesday August 13, 2013
Often parts of the Bible seem to contradict one another. I prefer to think of them as being in conversation. And the short book of James is always having a conversation with the letters of Paul.

Lillian Daniel: So You Can't Carry a Tune in a Bucket

Monday August 05, 2013
In the psalms, we often hear about music. Sometimes the processions are solemn, sometimes they are joyful, but clearly, our music matters to God.

Lillian Daniel: Misplaced Confidence

Friday July 12, 2013
There are many kinds of confidence, some of them appropriate to behold and some of them downright annoying. Admit it, you know someone, somewhere, who is confident for all the wrong reasons.

Lillian Daniel: A Clear Conscience

Tuesday July 02, 2013
The apostle Paul knew that just because he felt like a good guy, he wasn't necessarily. Just because he believed his conscience was clear, it didn't make it so.

Lillian Daniel: Don't Think of a Pink Elephant

Monday June 24, 2013
Adam and Eve had a choice to make. They could stay in Paradise, in the garden of Eden, as long as they did not eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge. Which would you pick? A rent-free existence with no worries about what to wear to work every morning? Or a piece of fruit?

Lillian Daniel: A Table Before My Enemies

Thursday May 30, 2013
Thousands of years ago, in the world's most beloved psalm, the people were told that one day God would spread a table before them in the presence of their enemies. What does it mean?

Lillian Daniel: Green Pastures (Psalm 23)

Sunday May 26, 2013
The image of God as a shepherd runs throughout scripture. What exactly does a shepherd do? It's a job description that the ancient Israelites would have been familiar with, as would much of the world throughout history, when society was more agrarian. But in today's world of agribusiness, when only a few farmers spend time on the land or with animals, we have become increasingly distant from this image.

Lillian Daniel: Litter Bug

Friday May 17, 2013
I remember childhood car trips when my family tossed trash out the window. I remember littering. And I also remember when I learned that littering was wrong.

Lillian Daniel: A Loaded Statement and the Benefit of the Doubt

Sunday May 05, 2013
While waiting in line at a store, the man standing next to me and I engaged in some conversation, perhaps to assuage our mutual boredom. It's amazing what you can learn about a person in a short time. He confided many personal details of his life, and I in turn related to them with stories of my own.

Lillian Daniel: Magical Thinking About Unread Books

Thursday May 02, 2013
I am always carrying books around in the hope of reading them. It's as if I believe that if I continually carry piles of books from my church, to my car, to my home and then back to church again, the information from all those books will somehow just sink into my aching arms without my actually reading them.

Lillian Daniel: Another Rock Star Disses the Church

Thursday April 11, 2013
It seems to be a growing trend””people who claim to love Jesus but don't want to call themselves Christians. The latest to stake a claim for not staking a claim is Marcus Mumford, of the wildly popular Mumford & Sons, whose Christian-themed lyrics have been a source of fascination to believers and nonbelievers alike.

Lillian Daniel: The Importance of Being with Friends

Friday March 01, 2013
There was a story a while back about a guy on Facebook who had about 900 friends, and he invited them all to a party. You know the punch line: not one of them showed up.

Lillian Daniel: The Church Calendar, New and Improved

Monday February 18, 2013
An Important Message from Church Headquarters: Treasuring the freedom that allows us to honor our unique ancient traditions while keeping up with the times, we propose adjusting these special Sundays in the church year.

Lillian Daniel: No, You Are Not Actually the Power Source

Sunday January 27, 2013
When you want your 19-year-old son to take a trip with you, you have to be willing to think like a 19-year-old when it comes to travel plans. That's how I ended up spending a week with him in a remote tree house in Nicaragua.

Lillian Daniel: The Beautiful Transcience of a Remote Place

Thursday January 24, 2013
There are times in life when you want to be surrounded by other people, in the thick of it, when you are ready and willing to jump into whatever life throws at you. And then there are other times when you want to hide yourself away and take refuge. You want to go to a remote place where the only one who can find you is God.

Lillian Daniel: You Are Not the Power Source

Tuesday January 08, 2013
When you want your nineteen-year old son to take a trip with you, you have to be willing to think like a nineteen-year when it comes to travel plans. That's how I ended up spending a week with him in a remote tree house in Nicaragua.

Lillian Daniel: Cute at Any Age

Saturday December 08, 2012
While I have no trouble believing that God constructed us to be more careful with little ones, I think God made us able to love creatures of all ages and to delight in every stage of life.

Lillian Daniel: But Why Don't They Just Come to My Church?

Saturday November 24, 2012
I’m a woman senior minister of a large liberal Protestant church in the middle of the conservative Western suburbs of Chicago, where dreams of evangelical mega churches dominate the ecclesiastical imagination. So I didn’t need Justin Lee to tell me that the ex-gay movement doesn’t work.

Lillian Daniel: No Small Votes

Tuesday November 06, 2012
Today, on Election Day, our attention is appropriately drawn to the big stage of presidential politics, but there are all sorts of votes taking place today. Let's not forget all the smaller stages where big things also happen.

Lillian Daniel: The After Tax Blessing

Sunday November 04, 2012
Early in my working life, I met with a financial planner. It seemed absurd since we were deeply in debt. We had nothing to save, let alone invest. But a wise friend had said this was just the time for such advice.

Lillian Daniel: An Office Blessing

Tuesday October 23, 2012
For people who work in hard jobs and under unpleasant conditions, the office does not feel like a place of blessing but something to endure. But what if you blessed your office anyway?

Lillian Daniel: "Making Health the Center of Your Life" And Other Bad Ideas

Tuesday October 09, 2012
While we can support our own good health, there is absolutely nothing we can do to guarantee it. At some point, every single person's health will deteriorate, right before death, if not much earlier.

Lillian Daniel: Strange Bedfellows

Saturday September 29, 2012
In Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, the enchanting debut novel by Helen Simonson, you are invited into a quaint English village to meet 68-year old Major Pettigrew, a retired widower, whose brother has suddenly died. In his grief, the Major comes to look at his life differently, and realizes how lonely he has been.

Lillian Daniel: The Portable Church

Monday September 24, 2012
The church is so much more than a building. Whether you're in your yoga clothes or in a long black robe, whether you are in the pews or at the gym, once you have a church, it has a way of finding you wherever you are. It's remarkably portable.

Lillian Daniel: What are you going to give up to do that?

Monday September 03, 2012
I love to take on new projects. I've never had a new idea I didn't like. At the time, I always think I can take it on and add one more thing. It's like time is elastic and it can expand to include every single thing I want to do. I think at some points in history, we called that heresy.

Dr. Lillian Daniel: 10 Signs You Should Not Be Getting Married in Church

Sunday August 12, 2012
Lillian Daniel shares 10 signs you shouldn't be getting married in church...and 10 signs you might be in the right place after all.

StillSpeaking Devotional: The Disciples Did Not Accessorize

Thursday August 02, 2012
After a great vacation at the beach, packing to come home is not nearly as much fun as packing before the trip. Before the trip, I spend days anticipating the vacation. Will it be cold enough for a sweater? Or so hot that I need to bring more shorts?

Lillian Daniel: Talking Cancer

Saturday July 21, 2012
When we talk to people who are going through a very difficult time, we often don't know what to say. We try to be encouraging and instead we say something that annoys the person. Or we say nothing and later find out that they wondered if we cared. How do you get it right with the people you love?

Lillian Daniel: When It's Good to Have Church

Monday June 25, 2012
At times of grief, it means so much to have a church. There's someone to say, "We'll take it from here." And you might actually believe it.

Lillian Daniel: I Was a Teenage Werewolf

Thursday May 31, 2012
Sometimes parenting is a job that is so hard, you couldn't pay me to do it. And sometimes it's a job I do so poorly, you wouldn't pay me to do it. And sometimes motherhood is not a job at all, but a calling that feels like a beautiful blessing I did nothing to deserve.

Lillian Daniel: Fiat Lux!

Sunday May 27, 2012
For our church's 150th anniversary, we celebrated throughout the year in every conceivable way, including commissioning a choral anthem, "Fiat Lux."

Dr. Lillian Daniel: Daffodils and the Life of Faith

Tuesday February 14, 2012
The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel draws a powerful life lesson from a story from her youth about her mother's daffodils.

Dr. Lillian Daniel: Touchdown Theology

Monday January 09, 2012
A few weeks ago, Tim Tebow's pastor said he knew why the Denver Broncos were 7-1 since installing Tebow as quarterback. "It's not luck," Hanson said. "Luck isn't winning six games in a row. It's favor. God's favor." Really?

Lillian Daniel: Acting Out on the Airplane

Sunday January 01, 2012
In a New Year's reflection on patience, the Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel describes an experience with a trouble-maker on a flight--and how Jesus showed up.

Dr. Lillian Daniel: The limits of taste

Sunday December 04, 2011
Someone was complaining to me about why she had stopped going to her church, saying, "You know, when it came to worship, I just didn't get much out of it." To which I replied, "Well, it wasn't directed toward you."

Lillian Daniel: The Poor Are Not Lucky

Sunday November 13, 2011
A devotional on Mark 4:24-26: I have heard rich people say that the poor are lucky before. But I have yet to hear a poor person say it.

Dr. Lillian Daniel: A Mother's Work Is Never Done

Friday October 21, 2011
Simon's mother was very ill, consumed with a fever, but Jesus was able to cure his friend's mother, to literally "raise her up." What a moment that must have been.

The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel: Two Thumbs Up for Roger Ebert

Thursday October 13, 2011
Two thumbs up for Roger Ebert. Two thumbs up for all those who work to make a more loving, less shallow world.

Dr. Lillian Daniel: Spiritual But Not Religious? Please Stop Boring Me

Friday September 02, 2011
In her meditation on Matthew 16:18, Lillian Daniel writes, "Being privately spiritual but not religious just doesn't interest me. There is nothing challenging about having deep thoughts all by oneself."

Dr. Lillian Daniel: Blamed, Shamed, and Framed

Thursday July 21, 2011
Most grandmothers teach their grandchildren how to make cookies. My grandmother taught me how to make a gin and tonic.

Video by The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel

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The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel & Rev. Martin Copenhaver - Day1 Conversations with Peter Wallace

Friday October 28, 2011
This week our host, Peter Wallace, sits down with the authors of the new book "This Odd And Wondrous Calling," The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel and The Rev. Martin Copenhaver. 

Conversation with Lillian Daniel - 30 Good Minutes

Thursday August 27, 2009
Hosts Daniel Pawlus and Lydia Talbot continue in conversation with Lillian Daniel, who says we all have God given passion within us to meet the needs of the world in some way.

Lillian Daniel, "A Big Enough Life" - 30 Good Minutes

Thursday August 27, 2009
The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel, Senior Minister of the First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, says Jesus' call to us to live abundant lives is actually a call for the transformation of the world, so that justice will roll down into every life.

Conversation with Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel Part 2 - Day1 with Peter Wallace

Saturday January 24, 2009
The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel sits down with Day1 host Peter Wallace and discusses a wide range of subjects including her upbringing in the church, discerning her call to ministry, youth and young adults in the church, her book "Tell it like it is" on testimony in the church, and what books she has found helpful in her own spiritual growth (she mentions Richard Fosters book on Prayer).

Day1 Conversation with Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel

Saturday January 24, 2009
The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel sits down with Day1 host Peter Wallace to discuss a wide variety of subjects including: the congregational United Church of Christ outlook, her work on the "God is Still Speaking" Identity campaign, as well as the four points of interest for her congregation: "everyone is a child of Christ," "God is a part of our everyday lives," "We are free to think of God in our own way," "Another world is possible" and the commitment to social justice, "It takes all kinds to make a difference."

Radio by The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel

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The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel - Podcast Extra 2009

Monday November 30, 2009
The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel, senior minister of First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn, IL, talks with host Peter Wallace about the unique statement of beliefs her church offers, her calling, how to reach youth, her book on testimony in the church, and other topics of faith and life.