• Church Ministry,  My Life

    Pay-What-You-Can Cafe: Meals with Dignity

    About a year ago on our way to author Anne Lamott’s book reading in Kansas City, I was having a conversation with three ladies from our congregation on our growing desire to invest in our community. As a church, we are growing in our understanding that we are here for our city.  God has placed us in Jefferson City and wants us to reveal His kingdom in this place. That requires getting out of our building and truly investing in lives and meeting needs. As we dreamed about ideas, one of the ladies, Heather Feeler, shared an article she had recently read about a ministry in Denver, Colorado, called the…

  • Church Ministry

    Bloody Church

    Writing is really quite simple; all you have to do is sit down at your typewriter and open a vein.  Red Smith Open a vein . . . quite simple?  I think not.  Painful . . . most definitely.  Messy . . . usually. In the days of early medicine when people would be under the daze of a high fever, doctors would open their veins to bleed out the “bad blood” so that the person might heal. Do successful writers open a vein?  Do writers who resonate with people bleed out?  In doing so, do writers heal? Does the opening of the vein benefit more the writer or the…

  • Church Ministry,  Faith Reflections,  My Life

    Hunger

    The doctor’s office was simple and bleak.  The walls were empty except for the chipping beige paint on stone walls connected to a stone floor.  There were two worn cots with a simple white sheet on each one and a small wooden desk with a chair on either side. This was the room where a young Somali mother brought her dying, infant son and the room where I came face to face with a malnourished baby.  This wasn’t an infomercial and there were no famous actors and film crews pleading to me through the television. Less than a foot away from me was a baby boy – barely breathing with sunken cheeks…

  • Church Ministry

    Our African Cow

    I own part of a cow in Africa.  I was thinking of her today and what a beautiful cow she is.  I haven’t seen her but she is beautiful because of God’s story in her.  Like so many of us – beautiful because of God’s story in us. In June, we went to Kenya to spend time with our friends and our partners. On the second morning, our partner Joel picked us up to take us to the House of Hope. ‘How did you sleep last night, Joel?’ I asked. ‘Not so well.  Our cow.  She died.’ Thinking my broken English was too broken, I said with the deepest compassion…

  • Church Ministry

    The Word on Church

    Stephen Colbert makes me happy. There aren’t too many folks who can make recession humorous. Wouldn’t it be liberating to have a time in church services for “The Word” and it referred to a Colbert-type segment rather than Scripture? The preacher could be preaching but the projection screens show little comments along the way that help to clarify what is really being said. There are several preachers that could really benefit from this. Actually, it would be the congregation that would benefit. Preacher man says “God says, ‘love your neighbor’.”. Screen says “Unless he is gay… or Muslim… or Jew … or a Democrat …. or …” Preacher man says…