Revival of a Skeptic

How did I become skeptical of revivals? From attending many of them. I grew up in churches that offered week-long revival services. One particularly memorable revival featured a preacher who spoke every night about Christ’s second coming, frightening me with images of hell and being left behind if Christ should happen to return at a moment when I was screwing up. I went to the altar at the end of the services to confess my sins “just in case.” At my evangelical Christian college, students were required to attend revival services every semester. During one of our chapel services in … Continue reading Revival of a Skeptic

To Don: Goodbye and Thank You

In 1996, Seinfeld aired an episode called “The Fatigues.” (Has it really been that long ago?!?) The episode featured Jerry dating a woman who spoke well and often of her mentor. Jerry and his friends, a collection of self-centered individualists, were puzzled by the mentor/protégé relationship. “What’s in it for the mentor?” asked his friend, George. In a mentor, we find someone whose wisdom, knowledge, and experience helps us to grow. Sometimes, mentoring programs are formal. The pastoral training program in which I’m currently enrolled will eventually require me to have a mentor on record. There are objectives to achieve, … Continue reading To Don: Goodbye and Thank You

Solving Mass Shootings: Disagreement is A Good Thing

Last week, I walked into my daughter’s school to pick her up from her Brownies troop meeting. As I walked down the halls, I kept thinking about the elementary school in Sandy Hook where a young man carried in 4 guns, killing 20 children and 6 adults. That school probably looked a lot like this one, I thought. A colorful bulletin board urging students to “Imagine. Believe. Achieve.” Little boots lined up next to lockers. Crayon self-portraits neatly displayed. It could happen here played over and over in my mind. A generous dose of denial – “it will never happen in my community” – isn’t … Continue reading Solving Mass Shootings: Disagreement is A Good Thing