Ash Wednesday Basics

On Ash Wednesday (Feb. 22 this year), many Christians attend worship services at which they receive ashes on their foreheads. The pastor marks the forehead of each worshiper, often saying “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.”  It’s a way of remembering that we are human (and mortal), and especially that…

Rest in Rhythm: Sabbath

If we look around us, we notice that creation has a rhythm: day and night; the passing of seasons; bud and blossom.  And when we live in harmony with creation and its rhythms, we are more likely to experience wholeness and wellbeing.  The ancient spiritual practice of sabbath-keeping is about learning to rest in rhythm…

Christians and Politics

We are coming up next week on tax filing deadline.  Jesus said “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”  But sorting out just what that means is often complicated.   What is the role of the Christian as a citizen?  How do faith and politics intersect faithfully? …

Breathing Prayer

We all breathe.  Not to breathe is to die.  There are many writings about the emotional, physical and spiritual benefits of paying attention to our breathing.  Within the Christian faith, there are long traditions of reflective prayers that seek to match the rhythms of our breathing.  Read about a contemporary breathing prayer here.  

Advent Wreath

Advent is the four-week season of preparing to celebrate Jesus’ birth at Christmas.  One practice for both individuals and families that can deepen this season of waiting and anticipation is the Advent Wreath.  While many churches use Advent Wreaths as a part of worship, it’s a great practice for the home as well.  Read here…

Simplify Your Christmas

Make Plans Now for a Simpler, Greener, More Just Holiday The stores have had Christmas stuff out for weeks.  The consumer orientation to Christmas can lead to stress and debt, leaving little room for joy or relationships with others.  Sometimes it even becomes hard to remember that Christmas is a Christian holy day. Alternatives for…

Christmas Candles

A Poem/Prayer by Howard Thurman: I will light candles this Christmas Candles of joy despite all sadness, Candles of hope where despair keeps watch, Candles of courage where fear is ever present, Candles of peace of tempest-tossed days, Candles of grace to ease heavy burdens, Candles of love to inspire all my living, Candles that…

Testimony as Practice

From the days of the ancient Jewish forebears in the Old Testament and the early days of post-resurrection accounts, Christians have told the stories of their encounters with God.  These stories are told for the benefit of both the teller (we learn about ourselves in the re-telling), and for the building up of the whole…

Spirituality of Work

Sometimes Christians have tried to compartmentalize faith into something that only happens at church or on Sunday.  A more healthy spirituality sees our faith as a part of our whole lives.  That includes our jobs.  Our work can be more than just earning a living when we understand it to be a part of God’s…

Living Simply

  The culture all around us urges us to want more, more, more.  More stuff, more money, more status and privilege.  Jesus pointed out that trusting in God means we can let go of our attachments to stuff and money and power.  When we do that, we are called to the discipline of “living simply”. …