Talk with the Preacher

Monthly Archives: December 2006

I’ve spent most of the day reading an assigned book for a class I’m taking next week: An Unexpected Journey by J. Philip Wogaman. I dearly wish I’d been assigned to read this book before I came to be a pastor in Washington, D.C. . . . but then again, maybe I would never have come if I had. We live in a city full of contention and division; that seems, somehow,… Read More

. . . these were the words I heard furtively whispered over the telephone line about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 12. Another Washington political scandal on par with Watergate? Alas, no. Instead, they were the words of our friend and co-conspirator, Katie Harvey, who agreed (to her eternal credit, I assured her) to pick up from the home of another friend, care for and paper train Mark’s Christmas present for a whole… Read More

Is the reason I seem to notice theological themes wherever I go just because I am very holy . . . or do you think it is just because I have to write a sermon every week? Not sure the exact reason, but it never fails . . . I can find some theological association in almost everything. Here’s one I noticed the other day.Turns out there is something deeply theological about… Read More

This Advent at Calvary we’ve been worshipping with the theme The Unexpected Season. Through four weeks of Advent we’ve explored Unexpected Paths, Unexpected Prophets, Unexpected People and this Sunday . . . Unexpected Promises. I came up with this theme together with my friend and colleague, Lia Scholl, and to be honest I didn’t know how it would turn out.Turns out this has been a season of unexpected blessing, framed by the… Read More

You know you wanted to get one in the mail. Okay, maybe not. We debated long and hard in our house this year about whether to send out a Christmas letter. We’ve done it every year since we married (this is, then,the 16th!) and have gone through the predictable stages of family Christmas letter angst (watch out Elisabeth Kübler-Ross!): the deep certainty that everyone cares; the nagging suspicion that some people might… Read More

Okay, everyone. 13 days until Christmas. I am not trying to be ugly, but I am almost all done with Christmas shopping and plan to fully and totally enjoy the season with my church family and my family family. I’ll admit pulling up to the curb, unloading packages dragging all five of them through the line and then leaving them (leaving them!) with the nice lady behind the Post Office counter was… Read More

A condition I experience very infrequently (speechlessness) occurred the other day when my friend Amanda told me about PostRapturePost.I laughed, I cried, I wondered how on earth these smart young men had time to come up with such an innovative idea . . . I rehearsed arguments for entering into a professional relationship by which I would earn a commission for each sale I refer . . . (church membership, gold package??!?).And,… Read More

Last year around this time I responded to the challenge of the Pastoral Relations Committee to think of creative ways to communicate with the congregation as our congregation members are dispersed throughout a large geographical area and many have professional obligations that keep them very busy. Since Calvary’s website gets quite a bit of traffic and has been, hands down, the most effective outreach tool we’ve used in recent years, it made… Read More

Be one yourself:

Some of the young adults at Calvary organized the Hanging of the Greens Monday night, just to make sure our sanctuary is ready for Advent. I dropped in after Church Council meeting and it was apparent there was everyone was having a lot of fun setting things up. I left them to their busy work soon after, but when I came in this morning it was apparent that WAY more fun was… Read More