Drawing close to Howard Thurman – Book Review. Christian Century (June 2021). Two new books invite us to learn from what others have loved about the civil rights icon. (Anchored in the Current, Edited by Gregory C. Ellison II & Howard Thurman and the Disinherited, By Paul Harvey).
My husband and I moved to be near friends – Christian Century (May 2021). Friendship is a rare impetus for a move, I’ve realized. People tend to move for careers, to live near mountains or the ocean, for family—but not usually for friends.
Epiphany is the ultimate bad-guy story – Living by the Word: Epiphany of our Lord, Christian Century (December 2020). One of the smallest boys, in a very quiet voice the other adults couldn’t quite hear, sat right in front of the book and asked me the same question, over and over: on each page, he would point to someone and ask me, “Is that a bad guy?”
Magi on camels? Seriously? – Sunday’s Coming: Epiphany of our Lord, Christian Century (December 2020). I have a confession to make. Every year, I have a hard time taking the story of Epiphany seriously.
“We should all be a little eccentric” – Living by the Word: Christmas 1B, Christian Century (December 2020). Luke tells us Simeon and Anna are elderly adults, significant personalities in Jerusalem, and attuned to the movement of the Spirit; in other words, probably a bit wacky.
Adopted as God’s family – Sunday’s Coming: Christmas 1B, Christian Century (December 2020). The Christmas season does not usually strike me as the perfect time to read Paul’s letter to the Galatians.
“The prophetic power of a candle in the window” – Living by the Word: Nativity of Our Lord, Christian Century (Nativity of Our Lord, 2020). This year, Christmas decorations feel like an act of resistance.
Endless Advent – Sunday’s Coming: Nativity of Our Lord, Christian Century (December 2020). 2020 has felt like week after week of an old-school, medieval Advent— complete with penance, contrition, exile, and apocalyptic visions.
“I was a scribe for the Chicago Illuminated Scripture Project” – Christian Century (November 2020). What would possess me to copy a chapter of the Bible by hand?
“Thoughts from Solitude” – Raven’s Bread (August 2020). Reflections on Howard Thurman and being a contemplative solitary in a time of public pain, upheaval, and transformation.
“Is this the fast that I choose?”: Going Without the Eucharist in this Pandemic – Episcopal Café (April 2020). It’s not easy – fasting isn’t supposed to be easy – but there are spiritual gifts it brings, even in the midst of great pain and struggle.
“Four years after my mother died, we still haven’t scattered her ashes” – Christian Century (March 2020). There’s no rush about ashes—they don’t rot or stink. And so, like many people, I have an urn of ashes in my house.
Living Well Through Lent – Living Compass (2020), Maundy Thursday – Good Friday – Holy Saturday; a Lenten devotional, print and online.
“How I learned to love the doctrine of total depravity” – Christian Century (October 2019). When unremitting human sin is something I expect, I can face evil without despair. **Winner of two 2019 American Church Press awards, for Best Theological Reflection and Best Biographical Profile — “What a surprising and delightful reclamation of what would seem to be the most unpromising of Christian teachings,” wrote the judge. “Beautifully done!”**
“Wise Guides: Blessed Charles de Foucauld” – U.S. Catholic (May 2019). Solitude is more than rest and escape; it is a powerful spiritual fuel for our love of neighbor and of God.
“Symbols of the resurrection: The true story of the Easter egg” – Gather (April 2019). (Excerpt only; full article only available in print edition.)
The inner circle (Mark 10:35–45) – Sundays’ Coming, Christian Century (October 2019). James and John don’t want power; they want a special level of intimacy with Jesus.
What if Jesus is talking about humility rather than possessions? – Living by the Word: Ordinary 28B, Christian Century (September 2019). No spiritual director ever suggested I consider selling all my possessions, but maybe I wanted them to.
“Bumbling along in the footsteps of Melchizedek” – Living by the Word: Ordinary 29B, Christian Century (September 2019). “You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek”: my seminary classmates used to declare this to one another, in voices you might mistake for a Monty Python sketch.
“The thief” – Bearings (March 2019). Poem, about a man who broke into my church.
“Working with your hands does wonders for the soul” – U.S. Catholic (September 2018)
Physical work is a means toward the holy.
“Crying in worship” – The Christian Century, (June 2018). Church worship is, in fact, a great place to let yourself shed a few tears.
The royal wedding sermon (what a pastor thought) – The Christian Century, (May 2018). Watching Presiding Bishop Michael Bishop preach is seeing a real pastor, who is also a real Christian, as well as Black American, speak Jesus to the world.
“Mary Magdalene, Wonder Woman, and Me” – Sick Pilgrim, a Patheos blog (July 2017). These two women give me a new way to imagine myself… I want to read Ephesians 6 and imagine not a man, whether like a Roman soldier or a medieval knight, but a woman.
“Take and eat? When church members prefer just a blessing” – The Christian Century, (July 2016). Matt grew up in the Episcopal Church. One Sunday he appeared at the altar—with his arms crossed over his chest.
“The Mosque Next Door” – The Christian Century, (September 2015). My parish was invited to come visit our Muslim neighbors in their new mosque. Their house of worship and congregational life turned out to be suprisingly similar to our own.
The Same Night for Years – The Christian Century blog (2015). Three times a year, a worship service ends and I go back to the vesting room to change—and I feel as though I’m walking into a time warp.
The Christian Century — Contributor Page
Bearings Online, Collegeville Institute — Contributor Page
Fidelia’s Sisters,The Young Clergy Women Project
For our Enemies: Between Self-righteousness & Abiding Hope (May 2011). On the assassination of Osama Bin Laden.
The Girl Who Wants Everyone To Like Her (October 2012). A pastor is responsible for a whole community’s well being, which means sometimes I have to make decisions not everyone is going to like or understand.
On Spring Cleaning (June 2012). When I trot old clothes, tchotchkes, and kitchenware over to Goodwill, I feel exhilarated. But I’m not sure I’m living more simply.
Talking About God, Money, and Giving: A Testimony and Tutorial for Pastors (November 2011). An annual stewardship campaign isn’t really about money. It’s not about duty, our budget, or a church’s survival. It’s about deepening our relationships.
CEB Women’s Bible, contributor, “Gleaning”entry (2016).
Upper Room Disciplines 2014, “Public Faith: October 13-19,” Abingdon Press, contributor, (2013).
Let’s Talk, journal of Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – Review of: Faith Forming Faith: Bringing New Christians To Baptism And Beyond by Paul E. Hoffman (Lent 2015).
Engelwood Review of Books – Review of: Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence, a Spiritual Home, and a Living Faith by Judith Valente (September 2013).
Episcopal Cafe, “Do I Wear My Collar Into Target?” excerpts from a post on my blog (June 2013).
Bearings Online, newsletter of Collegeville Institute, “Why Congregations Shouldn’t Work So Hard to Keep Their Young People” (May 2013). Whatever “Jacob’s” spiritual future, his synagogue is a part of who he is and a place he feels like he can be himself.
“God seeks us in struggle and solitude” – Podcast interview with Jean Kelly for Read Pray Write on Genesis 32, Jacob and the angel (September 2019).
Interview with Author Heidi Haverkamp, Key Resources – Center for the Ministry of Teaching , Virginia Theological Seminary (December 2015), on Advent in Narnia.
Episode 17: Heidi Haverkamp, Transfiguration Sunday! Interview (and sermon) for Women in Preaching by Paige Cargioli (February 2015). Includes video.