Sacred Space

I went to a training session on pastoral care for reproductive health and justice issues and it was auspicious that they worked to create what they called “brave space” because it was what I had planned to talk about on Sunday. It was good to see it in action, to see how it is created. Brave space is sort of …

All Are Welcome

Way back in October, we did a church planning retreat. One of the things we did was check in on our values. Many of the faces have changed at Church in the Cliff over the last few years, so I wanted to make sure we were on the same page in what we care about before we started planning where …

Have a Grateful New Year!

I used to be pretty compulsive about New Year’s resolutions. However, after years of failing, I found myself this year unsure of what to do. I could just change the date on last year’s and call it a day. Instead, I started thinking about why I failed and why it mattered. Fortunately, there are so many articles at this time …

Love in a Time of Need

I’ve been pushing “weak theology” recently. I’m not sure there’s a better example of it than the Christmas story. According to “strong theology,” God is this perfect, non-contingent being. That is, God relies on nothing, needs nothing. And yet, the story that Christians tell about God coming into the world has God showing up as a helpless little baby, the …

Joy in a Time of Tension

For some, Christmas is a joyful time; for some, it is not. Amid the lights and parties, there is a lot of pressure to be happy, to wear a smile whether you feel it or not. There is also a lot of stress with buying presents and decorating and travel. Everything has to be just so. It has to match …

Peace in a Time of Chaos

Repent! For the end is near! In fact, it’s already here. Remember a couple of weeks ago when the world ended, as it always does? Now is the time of the after-thought, the metanoia, the thinking in the after. The world is chaos, welter and waste, and the Spirit of God hovers over the top of it, coaxing it back …

Hope in a Time of Desolation

After spending Sunday talking about finding hope in the desolate places, I got a call from our friend Ivan on Monday night. We talk at Church in the Cliff about how what we do is an ongoing conversation. Even though Ivan missed church on Sunday, which is fine, he somehow was plugged into the Spirit of our conversation. When I …

Weak Theology

For a long time, people have come to Church in the Cliff to deconstruct the religion they received earlier in their lives or, perhaps, the kind of civil religion that dominates our culture. We haven’t always been good about helping people reconstruct. Our hope has been that people were doing that on their own, through our conversation. However, one of …

Three Things

I want to begin by thanking Adrien for leading on Sunday. It was truly a blessing to be able to sit in the pews and respond. It was especially nice to not know what was going to happen. Usually, I spend all week wrestling with a topic, so Sunday morning is merely a recitation of my thoughts and management of …