The Holy Ones

Growing up a in an evangelical tradition, our focus was always on conversion, getting people saved. It was understood as a one-time, all-or-nothing event. There was always some discussion of what came after, but it was a little muddled. That one event made us a new creature, casting aside the concerns of the flesh. However, I was not alone in …

St. Fred Rogers

I haven’t really watched Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood since I was a kid.  I don’t remember much about it except what has been parodied: the song, the sweater, the tennis shoes, vaguely the puppets.  So I decided to refresh my memory and watch a little.  It all comes rushing back, mostly this character: Mr. Rogers.  Although, by all accounts, it is …

St. Samuel Mockbee

I am so thankful to Fred Pena for bringing Samuel Mockbee to our attention.  When the saints series was originally conceived, I had in mind people who had some direct impact on who we are as a church.  My thinking has since changed for the better.  There are so many who labor out there in the world, who are doing …

St. Johnny Cash

Perhaps more than any other person we have canonized, Johnny Cash exemplifies what we mean by saint.  Not that he was a pure, moral, and good person; he was not.  But integral to sainthood is the hagiography, the story of the saint that we tell.  We know they are not entirely true, but we tell them because we are really …

St. Rachel Carson

This week we continue our canonization of the saints.  Don’t be distracted by that Pope guy trying to steal our thunder.  We totally came up with this idea first! One of the joys this year has been the engagement of the community.  Several of our saints are on the list because of the passion of people other than me.  That …

The Cause of the Poor

Plus: Saints 2016 Y’all may have noticed that I’m not great at details or schedules.  That makes following the lectionary a danger zone for me, so I keep telling you we’re going to talk about things that, it turns out, we are not.  I am truly thankful for your grace.  This is all said to preface the news that we …

St. Teresa of Avila

Perhaps Teresa of Avila was destined to be a saint.  Her grandfather, Juanito de Hernandez, was a converso, a Jew who had converted to Christianity.  Conversos were always held in suspicion by a Spanish Catholic Church concerned with proper doctrine and busily developing notions of race to export to the New World.  It was thought that Jewish blood made it …

The Holy Ones: St. Your Name Here

One thing I love about Church in the Cliff is that the conversational format allows for dissent and dialogue.  As soon as we began our series on saints, questions were raised:  “Isn’t canonization really a political process?”  “Is anyone really a saint?”  “Aren’t we all saints?”  Another thing I love about Church in the Cliff is that everyone came along …