Something that has been a bugbear for me for a while now is the use of “us” and “our” language by churches. You know the kind of thing I mean:
“We welcome you to join us for worship at 10”
“Join us for coffee after the service”
“Please join our Facebook page/newsletter list”
“Our ministry is supported by your gifts”
Such language is meant to sound invitational and inclusive, but in reality it functions as a boundary marker: “us” on one side of the boundary, and “you” on the other. Whenever we invite you to do something with or for us, the boundary is reinforced. Continue reading →
A few years ago I found myself in the throes of a mid-life crisis combined with the effects of burnout — mental, physical, and spiritual exhaustion. In the years prior, I had completed a Doctor of Ministry degree while working …Continue reading →
The following is a piece I wrote after visiting Juno Beach in the summer of 2010. Yesterday, we walked Juno Beach, where the Canadians landed on D-Day. As we walked, the wind washed over my ears like the waves washing …Continue reading →
I remember the last Sunday before the suspension of in-person worship back in March. I remember remaining on my knees at the altar rail after receiving the host—the common cup had been suspended the week before—and getting choked up. Or …Continue reading →
This post will focus on the third and last of our “sins” of the mainline: pastoral care as a membership privilege. Previous posts in this series focussed on the sins of “relevant” preaching and “accessible” liturgy.
In this post we take a look at the second of our “sins” of the mainline church, the sin of “accessible” liturgy. A previous post examined the sin of “relevant” preaching, and a subsequent post will consider pastoral care as …Continue reading →
This post will explore the first of what I have called three “sins” of the contemporary mainline church: relevant preaching. Subsequent posts will explore accessible liturgy, and pastoral care as a membership privilege.
In this next series I’m going to take on what I think of as three of the major “sins” of the contemporary mainline church: relevant preaching, accessible liturgy, and pastoral care as a privilege of membership. You may be surprised …Continue reading →
In this series of posts I’ve been exploring the mainline church’s focus on Sunday worship gatherings as the primary—or even sole—expression of what church is about. I’ve been taking issue with that perspective and now I want to turn to …Continue reading →