Essay

Pig-headed in Hog Country

Let me tell you a story: Fifteen years ago, I was in line at a grocery store, behind two Hispanic men checking out. The clerk—a high school girl—got frustrated because her customers had trouble with the English language. That she…
Essay

Holy Ground

Arizona, 2015 I lower myself down onto the dusty ground in the shade of a withering tree. Surrounded by nothing but rocks, shrubs, and long stretches of desert in every direction, I welcome the rest at this stopping point --…
Essay

Graced with the ordinary

Many of you are doubtlessly familiar with Mary Oliver's "The Summer's Day"--with its moving invitation to attentiveness and to relishing one's "one wild and precious life." But in these long days of "ordinary time," we might just need a reminder…
Essay

The Incarnation Principle

“Hey, could you help me put together some key verses about women in leadership in the church, and maybe too, how to answer some of ‘their' verses? A complementarian guy I know wants to debate.” Wow! My mind spun trying…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA
Essay

Linda Ronstadt, Loss, and Life

In the fall of 1977, Linda Ronstadt came to Michigan State University. In those innocent days, concert tickets were sold at the box office. I was in a group of guys who camped out the night before the tickets went…
Essay

Sabbath & Sunday

Read: Luke 4:16-22 When came to Nazareth… he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. When I was a teenager, I remember my grandmother saying to me, “Carol, pretty soon you’re going to have to…
Western Theological Seminary
Essay

Summer Fruit

It is Saturday morning, and we’re pushing toward mid-July. Are you up early like me, trying to seek out a moment of quiet before the swelter settles over the day? Are you setting your sights on the day ahead, or…
Essay

We’re all Illegal

Sitting at St. Paul Catholic Church in Marty, South Dakota, we (fifty young people and their youth leaders) listened as Sr. Miriam spoke about her time living among the Yankton Sioux. "Yankton" and "Sioux" aren't the names they prefer; they…
Northwestern College
Essay

A Model of Christian Charity

A couple posts ago I reflected on the possibilities of a progressive civil religion. Last time, on key moments in the religious life of Franklin Roosevelt. Staying with that thread, today let’s look at one of the ur-texts of American…
Essay

Named

I will always remember the first birthday card my new mother-in-law gave to me as her daughter-in-law. I don't remember the card itself, or the message written in it. Rather, I remember the envelope and the names she wrote on…