Merry Christmas to each and every one of you! We’ve watched and we’ve waited and now it is Christmas Eve. I love hearing Christmas Carols at this time of year. Music has a way of touching the soul in a way that simple spoken words cannot. Music has the power to move us to tears and move us to action. Even a single line of a song can make us feel emotion… Read More

When I was in elementary school one of my favorite language arts units was on Mythology and Folklore. I would love hearing myths about how things were created, and about these larger than life characters in books with beautiful illustrations to capture the imagination. One of my favorite series was about Anansi the Spider, a character from the Ashanti people located in modern-day Ghana. Anansi was a trickster and his hijinx would… Read More

My second year at Wake Divinity I took up recreational archery in order to blow off some steam while I was serving as a hospital chaplain. We would meet a couple times a month to practice hitting targets. Our coaches would remind us, feet shoulder width apart with your non-dominant foot pointed toward the target and your hips turned to the side. Shoulders back, bow arm straight. Knock your arrow, pull back… Read More

There are four words that are capable of striking fear in many hearts. “We need to talk.” Whether spoken or texted, when we encounter these words our shoulders rise up to our ears, hearts race, palms sweat, anxiety increases, all as we anticipate conflict. I’ve learned through a long line of interviews that more often than not, churches despise conflict, finding it harmful to the community. What I’ve discovered to be more… Read More

When I was in youth group we would sometimes go on retreats to the NC coast where the ELCA had a beachfront retreat center. While we were there we would do crafts, play games, engage in service projects with the local community, and at the end of the night we would gather on the deck for a devotional time called candle power. Carol, our youth director, would go around the circle and… Read More

When I was going through Confirmation I was invited to attend a Share The Word, Teens Encounter Christ retreat by fellow members of my Youth Group. STW TEC is an intensive faith formation retreat weekend developed by teens for teens similar to Walk to Emmaus, Cursillo, or Via de Cristo. Throughout the 3 day retreat weekend teens, adult leaders, and pastors leading the retreat would give talks where they shared their personal… Read More

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.” These opening words of our gospel reading this morning, spoken by Jesus at the end of the Last Supper reading in John are admittedly hard to sit with right now. I imagine many of our hearts are troubled right now. Given that Jesus had just shared that Judas would betray him and Peter deny him in his immanent… Read More