Declining church membership means rethinking church

“The proportion of Americans who consider themselves members of a church, synagogue or mosque has dropped below 50 percent, according to a poll from Gallup released Monday. It is the first time that has happened since Gallup first asked the question in 1937, when church membership was 73 percent.”...
Read More

Defending the status quo

Why do people invest so much energy in defending systems that are not life-giving? We have mass shootings. I don’t know of anyone who thinks this is a good thing. Yet, I hear plenty of excuses as to why nothing related to this can change? Why? Why are we...
Read More

Limits on rights?

Should we accept limitations on our rights? Should there be limitations on some rights and not on others? What is the extent of such limitations? These are the fundamental questions that haven’t been specifically voiced, but are the actual questions. These are the questions that rise up every time...
Read More

Fill the pages of your Gospel Account

(I preached this sermon on Easter Sunday in response to Mark 16:1-8. You can find the full sermon and service at www.ststephenlc.org.) I want you to think of a movie or a TV series that you have seen.  One where the ending just kind of leaves you unsatisfied.  A movie or...
Read More

Prayer for April 2, 2021

Prayer for April 2, 2021: Please pray with me. God who brings goodness out of evil, on this day, we remember the violence that Jesus suffered – mocking, shame, taunts, beatings, abandonment, the ripping of his skin, exhaustion, nakedness, crucifixion. All those present throughout this day thought they were...
Read More

Good Friday and Violence

It’s Good Friday. It’s the day Christians remember Jesus’ sham trial, beating, abuse, crucifixion, and death. Violence is on full display on this day. Violence looks like it has won on this day. Jesus suffers a violent death. He suffered violence in the form of words and physical acts....
Read More

Prayer for April 1, 2021

Prayer for April 1, 2021: Please pray with me. Servant God, you flip the script. We have this sense that the one at the top needs to be served. Yet, you show over and over that you self-empty yourself and serve in a loving manner. You give us the...
Read More

A worthy fight?

Want to know why the church is in decline in the US? There isn’t a nice single reason. The decline has been going on for decades though. A changing culture? The fact that the church doesn’t have its privileged place in the culture anymore and it has had difficulty...
Read More

Prayer for March 30, 2021

Prayer for March 30, 2021: Please pray with me. God of deep reflection, during this Holy Week, you invite us to walk with Jesus and reflect on so much. Each day, he takes us somewhere new. We observe the events of the week. We see what happens. We hear...
Read More