Broken and Shared

I’m writing to respond to some of my friends who are legitimately asking: How can anyone talk about God when the world is so f’d up right now? Let us have our feelings!!! Well, I[…]

Radical means root

I was glad when we talked about this last week during our Doing Theology time. The modern meaning of “radical” has come to suggest something extremist or beyond the intensity of its predecessor. But the[…]

Our healing is gradual, too

Last night in our cell meeting we considered a moment when Jesus healed a blind man. The guy’s friends brought him to Jesus and begged Jesus to touch him. Jesus responded to their request. He[…]

Six Months In

I’ve been the pastor of our congregation for six months now, and it’s been a good beginning. I’m always learning, and here are three things I’m sure of right now: 1. I love our people.[…]

The ridiculous hope of Christmas

In many ways the struggle is real right now in Philly. More murder, racial tension, and hate crimes happened in our neighborhoods this week. Terrorism is no longer an overseas problem: there’s been a mass[…]

Wanting what is given

I am on retreat in the Clare hermitage, and so I am taking inspiration from one of my favorite sisters in faith. Clare of Assisi is a contradiction.  She gave up feminine assets (beauty, wealth,[…]

3 Steps to Build Your Spiritual Fire

I learned how to build a fire before I could read—not with lighter fluid or paper or starter logs either! I learned that it’s more about process than explosion. We usually want our lives to[…]

Words of comfort and conviction

Most of us have complex problems and relationships. That’s why it’s good to run into people with the spiritual gifts of exhortation (encouragement), prophecy, and wisdom. There are differences between these gifts but they all[…]

We’re not just animals, Rick Grimes

In our Sunday meetings, we’re talking about gifts of the Spirit—-ways that people express God’s nature. Spiritual gifts are more than personality traits or talents. They are basic ways we are empowered to do God’s[…]

Born to be wild: the power of serving

We have an award culture.  I don’t know if I go so far as to agree with Jerry Seinfeld that “all awards are stupid” but it is remarkable how communities cultivate the hunger for extrinsic[…]

Empty spaces and the generous host

Jesus tells a story about a host who prepares a big banquet. As an Italian, I picture a veranda on the glowing Tuscan countryside.  The grapes have ripened on the vine, the olives have been[…]

Your mercy instead of my battle

Bryan Stevenson, the author of “Just Mercy,” has worked to free 115 wrongfully condemned people from death row.  He says that if you want to change a problem, you have to get up close to[…]