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 …

Life is a Rehearsal

In 1953, Pastor Lawrence T. Holman preached a sermon entitled, “Life is Not a Dress Rehearsal.” It’s unclear whether he came up with this phrase – it is perhaps most hilariously attributed to Friedrich Nietzsche – but it is now ubiquitous, being ideally suited to be a meme for social media. It is meant to convey a sense of urgency …

St. Ida B. Wells-Barnett

In times like these – and I don’t think I need to explain that phrase; you know what I mean – there is a lot of angst about how to move forward. Certainly, political change is necessary and political change can really only happen through compromise, by building coalitions around points of agreement and choosing to ignore points of disagreement. …

St. Maria Montessori

When we hear the name Montessori, we probably think of hippy parents with children running wild. The questions I’ve heard from many parents when considering how to start their children in school are usually around command and control: Don’t they need to learn discipline? How will I get them to listen to me? How will I get them to do …

The Feast Day of St. Francis

I’m not sure there is a more beloved saint than St. Francis in all of Christendom. Even Protestants revere him. What’s not to like? He preaches to birds, for Christ’s sake. So every year, churches all over the world honor St. Francis by having a “Blessing of the Animals” service. It’s the one day a year that most churches allow …