The Practice of Prayer

When Brian and I were engaged, we went on a pre-marital retreat, and before each meal, the leaders asked for a volunteer to pray. Those of us who were comfortable praying in public took care of the first few meals, but by the second day…well, you could hear the crickets. At one meal in particular,…

Mahalia Jackson, “Queen of Gospel Song”

Our featured reformer for the month of February is Mahalia Jackson. She was a singer of American gospel music, known around the world for her ability to delight and move. Her music had texts drawn from biblical themes and was heavily influenced by the blues. While she had offers to sing other types of music,…

Lent Begins Today

Beloved, Our Lenten theme this year is “you are the way,” a simple reminder for us as we wander through this desert season of the church year that we can abandon all the ways we think of ourselves as the conduit for true life.  The God known in Christ is that conduit.  The Greek word…

Giving Up for Lent

“What are you giving up for Lent?” It’s about that time of year when people start asking me this question.  The habit of giving something up for Lent is a fine one, when done with intention.  Giving up cookies or sweets, soda or beer, these undertakings should only be done if they are truly a…