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Shepherd to Shepherd

Finally Home

Posted by on Jul 15, 2017 in Featured, Finding the Balance, God-Walk, Shepherd To Shepherd | 0 comments

Finally Home

HOME IS THE PLACE WHERE, WHEN YOU HAVE TO GO THERE, THEY HAVE TO TAKE YOU IN ― ROBERT FROST Like many queer people, I’ve had a messy and often painful relationship with the institutional church. Yet in my 33 years of life, I’ve come to believe that even messy and painful does not mean irredeemable. Last week, while attending the General Synod of the United Church of Christ, a whole lot of redemption happened. I’m still working to find the words to describe just what happened, but I’d like to share some of my...

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Same-Sex Marriage: Why We Have to Go Beyond Jesus

Posted by on May 20, 2014 in Featured, God-Walk, Shepherd To Shepherd | 1 comment

Same-Sex Marriage: Why We Have to Go Beyond Jesus

In my experience, the conservative stance on the issue of same-sex marriage really isn’t founded on the handful of passages from Leviticus and Paul. Yes, those get quoted a lot, but the interpretation of those passages is often driven by a larger prior conviction, namely, that Jesus clearly stated that marriage is between a man and a woman, thus creating an unbreakable norm for Christian ethics. The key passage can be found in Mark 10: 1 Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of...

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Too Disturbing?

Posted by on Mar 29, 2013 in Featured, GOD-TALK, Shepherd To Shepherd | 2 comments

Too Disturbing?

Earlier this week, I submitted some posters to the digital communications office at University of Tulsa to display on the scrolling message boards that promote events all over campus. Just today, I noticed that they were displaying the one for our Living Last Supper, featuring two of the disciples from DaVinci’s masterpiece engaged in discussion, with the tagline “Everyone’s Talking about the Living Last Supper.” I had also given a poster with David Mach’s crucifixion sculpture (called “Die Harder,” yes, “Die Harder”) displayed in some...

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Gender Identity is Not a “Behavior” Needing Repentance

Posted by on Mar 16, 2013 in Featured, GOD-TALK, God-Walk, Shepherd To Shepherd | 3 comments

Gender Identity is Not a “Behavior” Needing Repentance

This week, Biola University’s e newsletter has a story titled “Biola develops transgender policy as Cal Baptist lawsuit appears.” The story goes on to explain how a former transgender student at Cal Baptist University (CBU) was suing the university for wrongful expulsion because she was transgender. The university counters that when the student registered, she committed fraud by indicating she was female instead of male, her birth sex. I guess Biola University thinks it prudent to develop a transgender policy posthaste to...

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The Necessity of Change …

Posted by on Feb 27, 2013 in Church Chat, Featured, Finding the Balance, Shepherd To Shepherd | 1 comment

The  Necessity of Change …

Since entering seminary, my classmates and I have changed. Our views of self, God, Scripture, and the world in which we live are no longer the same as they were before. Additionally, that world, the one in which we live and are called to do ministry, is not the same. It too has changed, and in some respects, drastically so. Even if history is destined to repeat itself, for many of us, we were not present that last time the world looked as it does now. For us, it has changed, and its change has necessitated our change. Given the prevalence and...

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Sabbath, Self-Care & Keeping Sane in Ministry

Posted by on Nov 13, 2012 in Finding the Balance, Shepherd To Shepherd | 2 comments

Sabbath, Self-Care & Keeping Sane in Ministry

One topic that comes up often for those of us in ministry, especially ministry in the grey space, is self-care. When working in areas of tension and even conflict, it’s difficult to not become burned out, cynical, disheartened, frustrated, and hurt. It’s challenging to know when to take a break, to give yourself a sabbath from being in the trenches, as well as to know how to spend that time. But as my time in ministry progresses, I’m realizing more and more just how precious and necessary those sabbaths are to me and my personal well-being....

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Politics in the Pulpit?

Posted by on Oct 4, 2012 in Cafe Inspirado, Church Chat, Shepherd To Shepherd | 4 comments

Politics in the Pulpit?

More crazy preachers on T.V. Why does that thought occur more and more frequently in my head?  Maybe the American election season has something to do with it.  And with Election Day looming closer every day, the impulse for preachers to push their people in one direction or another will likely only increase. I was kind of disheartened—shocked, actually—the other day when I read a Facebook comment by a ministry “personality” I really respected. He’d earned his name as a heavy-weight by talking about miracles and the Kingdom...

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Gender-Reassignment and the Image of God

Posted by on Sep 20, 2012 in GOD-TALK, Shepherd To Shepherd | 14 comments

Gender-Reassignment and the Image of God

Of all the issues members of the GLBTQ community deal with, discussing the topic of gender-reassignment and transgendered people can be one of the most difficult to navigate. Gender-reassignment surgery creates perhaps more psychological and theological discussions than any other issue in our community.  No matter how good we become at understanding and practicing tolerance to others different than us, we all get caught with unresolved issues, things we haven’t quite wrapped our minds around – at least not yet – and this is usually at the top...

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Jesus Loves You. Have a Condom.

Posted by on Sep 16, 2012 in Cafe Inspirado, Church Chat, GOD-TALK, Shepherd To Shepherd | 1 comment

Jesus Loves You. Have a Condom.

A group of us were sitting around talking, waiting for the weekly men’s group to begin. I was new to the church, still getting a feel for the place, but the pastor’s approach to living out the faith intrigued me. It was an odd place, a challenging place, but there was something powerfully different here: all that old “churchiness” I’d become accustomed to was strangely missing – and when talking about the church to friends, I was already beginning to think in terms of “we.” As a few of us chatted there in the lobby, I noticed sitting on...

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