Talk with the Preacher

Monthly Archives: June 2007

The phrase sounds ominous to my “punitive-religion” DNA . . . makes me think of God scanning a database of all the mean things I ever said to my sister growing up. But this idea took on new and hopeful meaning for me recently. Looking around, I’ve noticed lately that quite a few of my friends are struggling with the onset of challenges related to aging. And I don’t really mean issues… Read More

My office has a back door. Whoever designed it that way, I want to publicly and officially say thanks. Since yesterday I’ve been sneaking in and out the back door in an effort to stay out of the chaos. American Baptists have taken over the building and are using all our space for their Executive Board meeting this week. There are Baptists all over the building. They are meeting for hours and… Read More

History, history. It’s all around us. And by “us” I mean anybody in or near the Calvary offices this week. For weeks, committed volunteers have been mining the archives for items to display. I believe, though I am not going to try this, that an entire blog could be constructed around the amazing pieces of history carefully saved for some future viewing. And it seems that the future is now (Baptists are… Read More

I got back into town very late last night (really, very early this morning) having heard the news that a Calvary friend was in the hospital. I knew this was urgent; though he’d been battling cancer for at least a year, we all knew he couldn’t hang on much longer. I kept thinking of the grief his wife has been bearing as she’s watched him suffer, and so I scrambled around this… Read More

The Baptists are coming. I was trying to explain to Washington Post Religion reporter Michelle Boorstein exactly what that means for our city, but found I was having trouble. How do you articulate what it means when 6,000 Baptists come to town? (And who knew there was an actual Baptist flag? I kid you not.) My point exactly. In two weeks American Baptist Churches USA and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship are overlapping… Read More

I hate that sappy platitude: home is where your heart is. Whenever I hear it I immediately think I fell asleep and somehow ended up in the final scene of Where the Heart Is, the movie adaptation of Billie Letts’ beautiful book by the same name. (I always cry. EVERY time.) The movie is a little hokey, but I love it (and, also, I secretly want to be Ashley Judd. Who doesn’t?)…. Read More

Seems you can’t live too long on this earth without realizing that human relationships involve conflict. All the time. The question is, of course, how that conflict is managed (as I often tell couples in premarital counseling). Learn to meet conflict head on and manage it effectively and, well, you’re on your way, way down the road to healthy living. But what about when conflicts just cannot be resolved? No matter how… Read More

Stanley Hauerwas created a monster. I don’t think he necessarily meant to, but I’m just saying . . . after reading his books, especially A Community of Character, I cannot, ever, understand Christian community outside the power of narrative, or story. Phrases like “your faith story” and “our narrative of faith” and “telling the Gospel story” just make my heart beat fast. And, to be perfectly honest, I thought for sure I… Read More