I Didn’t Want to Go There

It was Tuesday, May 12—one week after the video of Ahmaud Arbery’s death was released. I joined a WebEx meeting with a group of pastors and church planters pulled together by pastor David Gentino so that we could process everything that had happened. During the meeting, our emotions ranged from anger, to frustration, to bitterness,Continue reading “I Didn’t Want to Go There”

You Don’t Have to Do It All

I’m a 38-year pastoral veteran, now serving in a semi-urban, multi-ethnic congregation. I’ve never felt more overwhelmed. Though I’m not necessarily clocking in more pastoral hours, I am investing more grief and empathy—not to mention all the hours mulling over the threat to (and opportunity for) love, justice, unity, and mission that today’s issues present. I’m not busier,Continue reading “You Don’t Have to Do It All”

Our Personal Scars Can Help Others Heal

When asked to describe 2020 thus far, many have used the words uncertain, divisive, and disruptive. When I asked my friend this question, her response summarized it sufficiently: wounding. Now over 200,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the United States, almost 70 times more than those who died in the September 11 attacks and more than the Vietnam, Korean,Continue reading “Our Personal Scars Can Help Others Heal”

Christians and Conspiracy Theories

Christianity has always been associated with conspiracy theories. Jesus had only been out of the grave a few hours when his persecutors were paying off Roman guards to say the disciples stole his body. This was buried in the implausible lie that the guards knew the identity of the body snatchers, but had been asleepContinue reading “Christians and Conspiracy Theories”

The Plague We All Ignore

In all our consternation about the undeniable and often bitter challenges faced by our African-American neighbors, let’s not forget the daily suffering that goes on unnoticed in many communities—such as Chicago. Last weekend, for example, the Windy City reveled in brilliant sunshine and a high in the low 70s. No doubt enjoying the early fallContinue reading “The Plague We All Ignore”

Stop Beating Each Other Up

Tim Keller has pleaded with Americans to stop demonizing each other as the fight for the White House heats up. In just over 40 days, Americans will head to the ballot box to cast their votes for the next US President. With fierce differences over everything from Covid-19 and Black Lives Matter, to the economyContinue reading “Stop Beating Each Other Up”

The Lost Year

Buzzfeed News is running a series of feature stories this month called “The Lost Year,” featuring profiles of how six people, of different ages and backgrounds have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The stories range from challenging to even, in some cases, devastating. Still, the title of this series is, I think, misleading. Is this really aContinue reading “The Lost Year”

Singleness in the Church

I recently preached a sermon on singleness and was shocked by the feedback I received. Several single brothers and sisters told me it was the first time they’d heard singleness addressed from the pulpit, at least in a way that wasn’t telling them how to date or find a spouse. One sister said it wasContinue reading “Singleness in the Church”

International Week of the Deaf

It’s day two in the International Week of the Deaf, an annual celebration of Deaf culture, accomplishments, and sign languages. Each of the seven days has a specific focus, and IWD aims to raise Deaf awareness and advocacy among the wider hearing community. Read past IWD stories here. There are approximately 70 million Deaf peopleContinue reading “International Week of the Deaf”

Are We Facing a Totalitarian Threat

Reading Rod Dreher’s newest book, Live Not By Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents, brought to mind a song from Christian contemporary singer Carman in my early youth-group days: “America Again.” The song praises the founding fathers and the early American story before shifting to a litany of sins engulfing the nation in the mid-1990sContinue reading “Are We Facing a Totalitarian Threat”