A Wonky Advent Wreath

We recently took our Advent/Christmas decorations down from the attic. The tree went up, we fought with the lights (as we always do), our two-year-old almost destroyed the ornaments, and we began the annual adventure of rediscovering what we actually have in the Advent/Christmas bins. One thing I knew that we had, however, was ourContinue reading “A Wonky Advent Wreath”

The Light that Follows the Darkness: A Funeral Meditation

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear,” writes C.S. Lewis. The Cambridge Professor and writer lost his wife to cancer after only four years of marriage. His reflections written during that time were later published in a book titled, A Grief Observed. Lewis continues, “I am not afraid, but the sensationContinue reading “The Light that Follows the Darkness: A Funeral Meditation”

Echoes of 1857

In 1857, the Reformed Church found itself fracturing when a faction saw themselves as purer than everyone else. Their separation had nothing to do with their ability to follow their consciences. They were not pushed out, they were not forced to function against their beliefs, and no one was forcing their beliefs or practices intoContinue reading “Echoes of 1857”

To be Reformed is About Belonging

What is your only comfort in life and in death? That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ… What does it mean to be Reformed? I fear that we haven’t done great P.R. of late, leading to some sobering definitions and associations withContinue reading “To be Reformed is About Belonging”

To Our Home’s New Owner

Welcome to your new home! We are so happy that you were interested and even happier that you’ll be staying a while. We are very sad to leave, perhaps it’s good for you to know that. We’re not leaving here to get away from here, but because we’ve been called elsewhere. We intended to stayContinue reading “To Our Home’s New Owner”

Rethinking the Artificial Binary

In 1857, my church communion, the Reformed Church in America, experienced a secession of several churches because those churches and ministers thought that the things that divided them were greater than those which held them together. The fact of the matter, however, is that the things which divided were far smaller than those which united,Continue reading “Rethinking the Artificial Binary”

Digressions in Church Polity: The Reformed Church and Its Constitution

Over the last couple of years, there has been a lot of talk within the Reformed Church in America (RCA) about the Constitution of the RCA and the role that it plays in the life of the church. Indeed, this culminated with a directive from the General Synod of 2015 which formed a large task forceContinue reading “Digressions in Church Polity: The Reformed Church and Its Constitution”

Digressions in Church Polity: There are no members of the Reformed Church in America

For anyone familiar with my ecclesiastical communion, the Reformed Church in America, or anyone who has read my writing elsewhere as of late, perhaps you are aware of the struggles that our communion is facing regarding differing understandings of human sexuality. However, the real issues are much deeper, the real issues are the things belowContinue reading “Digressions in Church Polity: There are no members of the Reformed Church in America”

The tension of the green season

Sunday begins the long season after Pentecost with the green liturgical color. As a young child, I remember that we called it “the growing season.” Which fits both with the color and with the orientation. We call this season “ordinary time,” that is, there is nothing special. No Christmas, no Easter, no Pentecost. No specialContinue reading “The tension of the green season”