This is Billy’s first year in children’s choir and so over the past week we’ve gotten our first taste of an experience with which many of you are well acquainted. We’ve had the CD of all the songs they’ll be learning this fall on loop in the car, and I can’t get them out of my head.Read More
It’s hard to put this past month in the life of our church into words. We’ve had good, hard conversations about inclusion, scripture and the church. We’ve heard powerful testimonies from some of our own. We’ve learned about each other and who we are as a congregation; what binds us together, as well as the differences among us. And of course, all of this came to a head on Sunday with our vote. It has been a remarkable journey, and one that has left us with some tenderness. But I’m proud of where we’ve come together.Read More
We are standing on the edge of a big decision, and that has brought with it an understandable measure of anxiety. I hope that naming our fears and hopes—hearing that many others share them—has given you a measure of peace about Sunday’s vote.
Many of us have worried about the potential of a vote on same-sex marriage to divide us. This fear has prevented many churches from having conversations like these at all. But here we all are, having spent time in a room together for three consecutive weeks, discussing openly how God might be calling us to something new. These conversations have been hard, but I am struck by how healthy it feels to have let everything out into the open air.Read More
Monday evening, James Goolsby and I had the privilege of speaking as part of an anti-white supremacy rally in downtown Macon to "stand with Charlottesville and walk with Macon." A crowd of some 500 people gathered in a spirit of anger and frustration, but also hope and love. it was good to be there with many members of our two congregations (including Judge Verta Colvin, who also spoke). Here are the remarks I gave:Read More
So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus.
The guiding metaphor in the sermon on Sunday was stepping out of the boat to meet Christ in the storm. Given the conversations we’re having as a church, and the events of the weekend, it turned out to be an especially potent image.
Sunday morning we assembled as the faithful to once again find our voice and the presence of God against disturbing and distressing images of racial violence, this time out of Charlottesville. It was good for me to be in that place with you, as we lifted up our cries of lament for the ugliness we see in the world, but also confessed our own individual and cooperate sins in creating a climate in which that sort of hate would feel so empowered.Read More
Sunday noon around the tables in the Fellowship Hall was a good time. At my table we listened to each other's stories about what we used to believe about gender identity versus how we believe now. Most of us have had personal relationships with people who identify as homosexual or transgender and those relationships have moved us from seeing the situation from an abstract "belief" category to a personal experience.
We came to believe people were more important that abstract categories.Read More
I’ve spent the past 29 years working at Mount de Sales Academy (MDS), a Catholic school located about two blocks from our church. Several years ago an incident occurred there that left me feeling as if I couldn’t continue to work at MDS. A gay teacher on staff was let go because of his plans on marrying his longtime partner. The marriage between the two men was in opposition to the Catholic Church’s teaching.Read More
One of the most difficult parts of preparing the sermon each week is making cuts. There are certainly some weeks where material seems scarce and I’m praying for God to deliver something to me to deliver to you. But it’s more often the case that there is an abundance of things to say, and I’m praying that God would help me be a good editor.
This past Sunday was one of those Sunday’s. The story from Genesis 28 of Jacob and his dream of a “staircase” into heaven is so mysterious and rich that it has inspired much reflection and interpretation through the years.Read More