Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners


The Year in Review

It has been a very full year here at this intersection between God and life, for anyone converted, unconverted or under conversion- and, I might add, the very first full year here!  Here are the highlights, looking back:

In January:

 

February saw:

 

The spring, in addition to the daffodils in our front yard, brought out a couple of my personal favorite posts, among them:

Many of you were helpful in advising me on the use and limits of humor on the darkest day of the church calendar (Good Friday).  And, we had some healthy debate over certain atonement theories that, I suggested, depict God as a beloved oppressor.

With the launch of summer came a fascinating series on the implications of neuroscience for Christian belief, with Stanford neurologist and future FSS faith and science correspondent Saskia de Vries.  That interview will be republished in a new form in The Christian Century- stay tuned!

Fall’s changing colors could just as well have described the variety here at this intersection.  From personal revelations about my experiences as a traveling corporate chaplain and causes of occasional insomnia to a lampoon of Pat Robertson as God’s meteorologist, which morphed into an ongoing series, we enjoyed the colors.

We wrapped up the year and celebrated Advent with a series by our very talented guest photographer Katie Archibald-Woodward, whose pictures will one day be published in National Geographic. (I’m sure.)

Notably, the posts that generated the most comments and your most impassioned opinions revolved around motherhood: Boobie Traps: Breastfeeding in Church and Facebook’s Disappearing Mothers: The New Form of Women’s Self-Effacement?, republished by The Washington Post. These were hands-down the funnest to write.

It was also a very fun privilege to review the books, Messy: God Likes It That Way (A.J. Swoboda) and A Year of Biblical Womanhood (Rachel Held-Evans) for The Episcopal Digital Network.  I’m grateful for A.J. and Rachel and their excellent work.

The saddest posts to write were in response to the senseless evil that plagues our world, calling into question whether a good, loving, all-powerful God is really real.  Here in America, gun massacres at a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado and, more recently, at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, inspired some prayerful soul searching and reflection; a photo taken of a child dying from starvation only a stone’s throw away from a U.N. food camp sparked “An Agnostic Christian’s Valentine’s Day Prayer.”  The picture still haunts me.

All along the way, you graciously indulged my tastes in music and even a few amateur attempts at poetry.

We laughed, cried, fumed and shared life together.

And, you tuned in from all around the world: my live feed showed regular visits from a broad, eclectic bunch of fellow saints and sinners- not only from the Big Apple to San Francisco in this country, but representing every continent (okay, maybe not Antarctica).  Knowing you join me here is the thing that keeps me writing…for both of us.  It’s the thing that, next to a strong cup of coffee and a very loud alarm clock, wakes me up on most mornings, before the first stirrings of my children and the duties of the day.  And it’s to you that I raise my Ebenezer this last day of 2012, in anticipation of another year of togetherness in our saintly sinfulness and sinful saintliness.  It has been real.  Happy New Year!

 

 



Previous Posts

Lessons from the Valley of the Shadow of Death
Just over six months ago, a member of our congregation announced he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer: Steve Hayner, the outgoing president of Columbia Theological Seminary, and his wife Sharol, have come to be most associated in my mind with joy; yet Steve's announcement could not have been

posted 6:16:41pm Nov. 12, 2014 | read full post »

The Prodigal God—Inspirations from Tim Keller's Book
I've missed you! The challenge of writing for a full-time job is that it can relegate recreational writing to a distant backseat. But I want to keep coming back to this intersection, because I find that when I'm away from it, my capacity to carve out space for reflection and find spiritual breathing

posted 10:04:03am Nov. 01, 2014 | read full post »

The Neuroscience of Temptation
It's been too long. I hope you're enjoying God and life. That next book I'm working on is now evolving into a book about addiction and mental illness—and how churches can and must learn to love and wel

posted 1:52:23am Oct. 14, 2014 | read full post »

Brokenness—as Creative Tension?
This morning a meditation from Paula Ripple's Growing Strong at Broken Places sparks some thoughts about embracing brokenness as the very site where God seeks to form us, like a master po

posted 10:13:15am Oct. 03, 2014 | read full post »

Mental Health Break—The Worship Service To End All Worship Services
It's been a while since we've had a mental health break. As a little bit of comic relief at the start of another work week, this clip from a worship service somewhere in America comes from saint and sinner Paul. The comments from readers are just about as funny as the weird break dancing routine in

posted 2:12:30am Sep. 30, 2014 | read full post »




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