I have a confession to make.
Friendships have not always been much of a priority for me.
When I started to dive into the study of the Enneagram and typed myself as an Enneagram 3, I was surprised to learn that 3s – well known for their approachability and their relational networks – don’t always prioritize friendships in their lives. And if they do, the friendships could often either be described as "work friends," or perhaps have a little-noticed, unspoken transactional nature about them. (think: “what can this person do for me?” or “how can this person improve my life?”)
I was surprised, because surely that isn’t me. While I fancy myself something of a functional introvert, the truth of the matter is I LOVE to be surrounded by those with whom I share this journey of life. I remember thinking: am I actually an Enneagram 3, or is this evidence that I've inadvertently mistyped myself?
“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”
It’s a question posed recently by the host of one of my favorite podcasts, while pondering the choices we make during life’s most challenging moments.
I remember thinking with a tinge of fear (ironic, no?) that I probably already knew the answer to the question. After all, by the time I was hearing this question asked of me I had spent years of personal growth, study, and therapy striving toward greater authenticity in daily living and vocation. My life experiences had all been leading me to a place of courageous vulnerability. And the truth is, I was already beginning to ask myself another important question: what if… I lived… openly?
Recently, my life’s journey brought me to an unexpected fork in the road, having to make a choice between telling my story widely, or having parts of my story told by others.
I didn’t set out to be a bisexual advocate / pastor. At least, not consciously. Yet by God’s many Graces, here I am — (re)claiming my voice.
“What’s next for you?”
It’s a question I’ve gotten quite a bit lately, as folks reach out after hearing of my sudden transition from an installed ministry position into the nebulous world of “living between calls.”
I’ve tried lots of different answers to that question, of course. Sometimes, I attempt to respond with a joke -- well, I’m hoping for a good night’s rest tonight! (though come to think of it, there’s far more truth to that sentiment than I'd like). Other times, I answer with a nod to my more immediate surroundings -- I’m leaving the bakery and entering the produce aisle, so I’m thinking of picking up some bananas. Once, I even responded to a text during an impromptu (and far too infrequent) solo visit to the beach… snapping a picture of the gently rolling waves as the backdrop to the Kindle in my hand accompanied by a somewhat ironic caption: “#paradise.”
Yesterday during worship, I preached a sermon based on Mark 6:30-32.
A video archive of all of Faith's worship services can be found on the church website, and I'm also embedding Sunday's service here. I encourage you to watch the entire service, but the sermon from Sunday begins at the 24:28 mark.
Yesterday during worship, I preached a sermon based on Psalm 139:1-18 and Isaiah 56:1-8.
A video archive of all of Faith's worship services can be found on the church website, and I'm also embedding Sunday's service here. I encourage you to watch the entire service (this particular service, I am the liturgist and preacher), but the sermon from Sunday begins at the 28:33 mark.
Happy Pride Month, friends!
Pride is a celebration of the dignity, personhood, and the beauty of diversity in the LGBTQ+ community. It's also a reminder of the importance of visibility, of advocacy, and of the work yet to be done in a pursuit of equality for all.
Last year for Pride, I shared some of my family's very favorite Pride-themed children's storybooks. [Click here for last year's post]. As I mentioned in that post, while I loved each of the storybooks, I couldn't help but notice that our storybook library was lacking in the voices and perspectives of BIPOC individuals overall (and in Pride-themed titles in particular). After publishing the post, I also noticed a similar pattern with a lack of transgender authors on our shelves. I committed to doing better, and the good news is - over the past twelve months, our library has become significantly more diverse!
So for Pride 2021 I've compiled another list of children's storybooks, all of which we have on our shelves at home. Each of the five books below are either (1) written by a BIPOC author and/or illustrator; (2) written by a transgender author and/or illustrator; and/or (3) depicting the perspectives of BIPOC family life in a particularly meaningful way.
To all my LGBTQ+ family: You are seen. You are valued. You are loved.
This morning, I preached a sermon based on Deuteronomy 5:12-15 and Mark 2:23-28 & 3:1-6.
A video archive of all of Faith's worship services can be found on the church website, and I'm also embedding Sunday's service here. I encourage you to watch the entire service, but our sermon from Sunday begins at the 30:28 mark.
Note: Faith resumes livestream worship services next Sunday, June 6, 2021. Worship services will be available to view in real time at 9:00am and 11:00am, and also archived for asynchronous viewing, too. It has been a joy (and challenge!) to pre-record services these past 15 months. Thanks be to God for this next small step toward a new normal.
This weekend, my colleague Brandi and I preached a dialogue sermon based on the remarkable Parable of the Prodigal Son found in Luke 15:11-32. We had so much fun imagining, discerning, and collaborating on this sermon together!
A video archive of all of Faith's worship services can be found on the church website, and I'm also embedding Sunday's service here. (I encourage you to watch the entire service, but our sermon from Sunday begins at the 22:40 mark.)
Children have so much wisdom and imagination to share, if we'll let them. For this weekend's worship services, it was a true joy to facilitate a space for children from our Family of Faith Preschool & Daycare to lead the people of God in worship through word, song, and art. Thanks be to God for the gift that children are in our lives, and for the joy they bring to our world!
Faith's Lenten sermon series continues, as we take a deeper look at the spiritual practices laid out in Adam Hamilton's book entitled The Walk. I preached a sermon based on Psalm 24:1-2 and Matthew 6:19-21.
This week, upon the recommendation of Faith's COVID Task Force and the vote of Session, our congregation returns to Step 3 of our Four-Step COVID Gathering Plan. Two in-person worship services will be held at 9:00am and 11:00am in the sanctuary, with all COVID protocol maintained. While we will someday begin to livestream our in-person worship services, for now we will continue to pre-record a separate service for those worshiping with us virtually. A video archive of all of Faith's worship services can be found on the church website, and I'm also embedding Sunday's service below.
(I encourage you to watch the entire service -- seriously! the children are adorable! -- but my sermon from Sunday begins at the 18:16 mark.)
This weekend, I preached a sermon based on the call story of Jesus' first disciples in John 1:35-51. A video archive of all of Faith's worship services can be found on the church website, and I'm also embedding Sunday's service here.
This week, the Session voted to move back to Step 2 in our Four-Step COVID Gathering Plan, meaning that in-person worship services and other activities are suspended until it is once again safe enough in our local area to return to Step 3. For more information about Faith's Regathering Guidelines, visit the church website.
(I encourage you to watch the entire service, but my sermon from Sunday begins at the 20:28 mark.)
I'm a husband, father, news junkie, theatre lover, enneagram enthusiast, bi advocate, amateur foodie, wannabe barista, and an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
This blog is maintained personally by me and does not necessarily represent the views of any congregation I have served. Every effort is made to give proper attribution for quotations, images, and other media used on this page.