A view of a tiffany stained glass window with repeating scale-like tiles in a rainbow pattern, seen from below.

God and us

A prophet’s true greatness is his ability to hold God and man in a single thought.

Abraham Joshua Heschel

Category: GodAndUs

  • The threat of life

    The threat of life

    A pastoral note sent to the congregation of Kensington Community Church, San Diego, Calif. upon my appointment as its Bridge Minister. Church: I am so grateful I get to serve you for the next two years as Bridge Minister. The job of a “Bridge Minister” is to support a congregation as it “bridges” from one…

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  • All things new

    All things new

    Many days I’ll wrap up my day job and drive over to the church so I can work on my sermon with the joyous applause of alcoholics and children of alcoholics and addicts and debtors and gamblers celebrating recovery in the background. And if I’m really lucky, once or twice a week, one of the…

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  • And the calm will be the better

    And the calm will be the better

    They go out on the water, and a wild storm comes. The disciples are overwhelmed, by the storm, meanwhile, Jesus decides that rather than sleeping on the mountain when he’s done praying, he’ll just walk across the water, as one does, to join his friends on the sea. And during the fourth watch of the…

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  • Fight, flight, freeze, fawn, flop, forget-about-it…

    Fight, flight, freeze, fawn, flop, forget-about-it…

    A sermon on Luke 1:23-45 for Kensington Community Church on the second Sunday of Advent. This sermon series is structured after the theme “How does a weary world rejoice?” from A Sanctified Art. You’re probably already familiar with the concept of instinctive threat responses—the reactions our bodies choose between when we are afraid. Back in my day,…

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  • All the things I’m scared of

    All the things I’m scared of

    I am someone who is scared, a lot, of a lot of things. I am scared of taking out the trash at night. I am scared of my car making weird noises. I am scared of checking my to do list. I am scared of notifications in the FollowMyHealth app from my doctor’s office. I…

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  • Fruitcake and the family of God

    Fruitcake and the family of God

    It’s an imperfect analogy, but it makes me think about when I first started working here last summer and learned all about our practices around Dia de los Muertos and our favorite hymns and the hymns which were very much not our favorite and the parts of our order of service and prayers that were…

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  • Bidirectional memory

    Bidirectional memory

    Día de los Muertos and All Souls Day are two holidays that occupy the same day on our calendars and share meanings that are quite similar, even if there’s an important demarcation point between the two. I think the Catholic writer Joel Schorn put it best when he talked about the two holidays as ones…

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  • What are you avoiding, Jonah?

    What are you avoiding, Jonah?

    In therapy this week making small talk about this sermon, and my therapist, Dr. ■■, just kind of nods… then we begin the session and we talk about this reflection exercise I said I’d do and haven’t done… and then we talk about this absolutely annoying work phone call I said I’d make but haven’t……

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  • Choosing to be together

    Choosing to be together

    An Episcopal priest I follow, Reverend Rachel Kessler, said this week that if there is ever anything that makes her consider giving up on ministry, it is when the balance in her work shifts “from more about proclaiming the good news to like, trying to keep an institution alive.” And while I haven’t been doing…

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  • What is God like?

    What is God like?

    I can’t help but wonder, friends, if the reason we can’t get away from the complexity of the trinity is that we are being called into the same. We are being given the holy mystery of God, revealed in the scriptures that our forebearers have compiled out of six millenia spent triangulating who God is…

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