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The B-Flat Christian

Manna — The Biblical Symbol of ‘Enough’ How do we trust God will provide?   by Rebecca Crow Lister Does enough exist?  Is there ever enough time, money, sleep, love, faith, justice, energy or peace for us? Why does it feel like we are always lacking in these and other areas of our lives? Unknown painter (German),… Read more »

Sightings

faith at the opera, Thaïs Faith at the Opera Thaïs and Athaniël by Ken Rummer The holiest person in all the land sets out to convert the most notorious sinner. What could possibly go wrong?  The story, staged in the opera Thaïs (tah-eece), takes place in Roman Egypt in the AD 300s. Athaniël is a Christian monk renowned for his… Read more »

The Neighborhood

Back-to-school jitters never go away by Sue Washburn My Facebook feed has been full of first-day-of-school photos, bringing back memories of the excitement and trepidation about what the school year would bring. The week before the big first day would be full of questions: Who will be in my class?  Who will I hang out with?… Read more »

Gospel and Inclusivity

Go Back Home!   by Samuel Son   On July 14, our president tweeted to American citizens, “Go back home.”  I’m Korean American. I came to America with my parents as a seven-year-old and I’m familiar with those taunts. They’ve been hurled at me multiple times in various forms. I want to share two of… Read more »

Hopeful Church

Don’t Just Inform … Form Are we stuck in informational churches? by N. Graham Standish    “Yes! This is what’s missing in the church. This is what I’ve been seeking.” It was my first year of doctoral studies in spirituality. I was immersed in the spiritual classics course, a three-semester deep dive into the writings of Christian… Read more »

Sightings

mullein Hopeful Yellow Flowers Meeting Mullein by Ken Rummer Velvet leaves shaped like elf ears mount up to a thick spike on which small yellow flowers bloom. I take a picture with my phone. It’s a new plant to me, and growing right beside the trail.  Later, I notice others like it on the bank behind… Read more »

Sightings

words on wings   Words on Wings Tracks In Mud by Ken Rummer Scrabble tiles and a stuffed bird. The museum plaque identifies the artist as Phil Parker. I’m looking at an assemblage of objects presented in a shadowbox, and yes, that is a bird in there, and Scrabble letters. The wooden tiles stand at attention on two… Read more »

Hopeful Church

Stop telling them what you believe… Tell them why you believe by N. Graham Standish  I was knee-deep into listening on the phone to a potential church visitor when I had a sudden insight: We keep telling people WHAT we believe. What we really need to do is tell them WHY we believe. The man… Read more »

Sightings

Sunshine and holy sparkles Sunshine and holy sparkles Seeing with the help of partly cloudy by Ken Rummer Pools of light dapple the landscape, and the shaded places, dark by contrast, add drama to the view. I’m looking out at the ordinary magnificence of a partly cloudy day. Sunbeam and cloud shadow slow dance across the scene, turning a… Read more »

Hopeful Church

Sabotaging with hope by N. Graham Standish   “Tim, will you please stop sabotaging this meeting with hope?!” I couldn’t stifle my guffaw as a clergy client shared his recent finance committee experience. Incredibly, it’s what a committee member yelled at him before walking out of the meeting. Tim has been leading his church through revitalization… Read more »