Watson: In defense of football

Jan 30, 2017 by

For many of us, January’s cold snaps and post-holiday haze mark an important annual ritual: playoffs in the National Football League. It is an event that, when we stop to think, strikes a dissonant chord...

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Watson: I’ll take the pat-down

Dec 19, 2016 by

I am slow going through airport security. I tend to hold up the line. Confuse other passengers. Disrupt the TSA agents. That is because I always decline the full-body scanning machines in favor of a pat-down....

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Watson: Love the land together

Nov 7, 2016 by

Recently, in an endless Facebook scroll, I saw the phrase “reintegration of Trump voters.” The phrase, now lost to the annals of endless scrolls, stuck with me. On Nov. 9, the “yuge” year-plus...

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Watson: Suburbs, city of God?

Sep 26, 2016 by

In most circles, theological ones included, the suburbs are spoken of as the illegitimate child of urban and rural life — and with good reason. The suburban ideal emerged in the 1950s and 1960s under the...

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The economy of Jesus

Aug 15, 2016 by

Capitalism is killing Christianity. When a seminary friend first suggested this theory to me a year ago, I thought it was overblown. I have no affinity for capitalism as an economic system. I’m as much an...

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Still hoping, trusting

Jul 4, 2016 by

Early in my teen years, I asked myself if I really wanted to belong to the Mennonite church or if I was doing it out of family habit. But during my freshman year of high school, as the U.S. charged toward an...

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Sanders says it

May 23, 2016 by

Two months ago at Sent, the Anabaptist church-planting conference, I spoke with some young church plant­ers about what brings millennials to church. “May­be we should be more like Bernie Sanders,” I...

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Seminary debt is church’s burden

Apr 11, 2016 by

When people ask why I, a lifelong Mennonite, chose not to get my graduate degree at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, I usually offer the easy answer: As a lifelong Pacific Northwesterner, four years at...

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Dressing for the role

Feb 29, 2016 by

When I signed my first pastoral contract and began trading my Atlanta wardrobe for suburban Chicago, I took a long look in my closet and asked myself: Am I willing to give up skinny jeans? I don’t think...

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An old dog learns

Jan 18, 2016 by

A great deal of my pastoral time is spent dreaming. Last week I sat at my desk, dreaming about what the congregation could look like in five years or 10 years. When I thought about what sort of leadership they...

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