Opinion: Starting at the end

Jun 5, 2017 by

The video begins with a map of Western Europe, a dot hovering over Zurich. The scene shifts as a voice with a Pennsylvania Dutch lilt describes the baptism of Felix Manz in 1521. Woodcut pictures cross the...

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Book review: ‘God Without Violence’

May 8, 2017 by

J. Denny Weaver’s latest book is popular theology written in response to a question asked by a child: Why did God kill his own son? The target audience for God Without Violence is those troubled by a...

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Book review: ‘Sick Religion or Healthy Faith?’

Nov 7, 2016 by

I look forward to reading the work of pastors. Pastors live close to the ground, in the muck and mire, vulnerable to the minutiae of birth, death and all the life in between. Pastors quickly learn everything...

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Good Friday with children

Mar 11, 2016 by

It’s difficult to know what to do with Good Friday when you have little children. I’m always a little itchy about skipping from Palm Sunday to Easter with no worship that centers us on Jesus dying. At the...

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Children preaching

Nov 3, 2015 by

Every year our church participates in Children’s Sabbath, a worship service dreamed up by the people at The Children’s Defense Fund. Communities of worship from around the country invite children to take...

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A temple called “unity”

Jul 28, 2015 by

Walter Brueggeman describes the moment when David offers to build God a house as the balance point of David’s “glad yielding and manipulative utility” (2 Sam. 7:1). I love that line because, of course,...

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Empowering children to combat sexual abuse

Dec 31, 2014 by

As one of two staff members who works to implement a sexual abuse prevention policy for our church, I have an enormous and difficult task. We have a good policy. We train, screen and keep in regular contact...

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Why we don’t have children’s church anymore

Dec 2, 2014 by

I’ve had a couple of conversations with parents over the past weeks about children’s church and its demise at Duke Memorial United Methodist Church in Durham, N.C., where I am the minister of...

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Talking to preschoolers about race

Oct 21, 2014 by

My daughter and I were sitting outside of seminary housing when one of the few married, male black students in our apartment complex walked by. My daughter, then 2, shouted, voice ringing across the...

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“Cute” kids in church

Sep 18, 2014 by

A few weeks ago our children created a banner during worship to represent the part of the Lord’s prayer that says “thy kingdom come, thy will be done.” I asked them to draw the kinds of things that they...

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Waiting with the stories

Jul 31, 2014 by

My daughter and I looked at our garden each day, peering closely into the dark earth. “Do you see anything yet?” she asked, her voice hopeful. “Not yet,” I replied. “How about you?” Each day in...

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