Congregation

Maurycy Gottlieb [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

An Improvised Family: Yom Kippur with Rome’s Progressive Jews

Normally people do not go to Rome to refrain from eating. But it was Yom Kippur, and I was on my way to afternoon services at Beth Hillel, Rome’s new progressive Jewish community. My long walk to the Beth Hillel service on the Janiculum Hill started on the banks of the Tiber River. In Piazza Navona […]

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By Wikipedia Loves Art participant "shooting_brooklyn" [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

When in Rome, Do as the Progressive Roman Jews Do

I was late to Rosh Hashanah services at Beth Hillel, Rome’s new progressive Jewish community. I meant to leave my apartment at 6pm but I scooted out the door by 6:45pm, realizing that the mistake would cost me 22 euros in cab fare. On the way up the Janiculum Hill I remarked how beautiful the […]

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Partners in Formation and Education

One of my fall responsibilities is getting our confirmation classes up and running. Confirmation, for many Lutheran Christians, is an intensive time of religious education for 7th and 8th graders leading to an affirmation of their baptism in their 9th grade year. Picture a small group of adolescents sitting around a table on a Wednesday […]

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Image courtesy of Disney.com

“You Ain’t Never Had a Friend Like Me”: On Robin Williams, Suicide, Ultimate Concern, and Actual Hope for the Rest of Us, Part I

*TRIGGER WARNINGS* suicide, self-harm, depression Over this past month, prompted by Ramadan, I’ve been thinking about what it means to be a good person in the world.  It’s way harder than it seems, and I’m still trying to sort out how to do that.  I imagine that this will be an ongoing process throughout my […]

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Enough of the “Nice Age”: Why Faith Communities Ought to Be at the Forefront of Advocacy for Immigrants

I love my faith community. But, in a lot of ways, we’re too safe. Granted, we are not unlike any number of faith communities populated by kind, caring people who genuinely desire to worship their Ultimate Concern and to live a life consistent with that Ultimate Concern. However, our “safe-ness” means the endangerment of others. […]

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God loves you?

I recently had my first opportunity to go through the grueling experience known as “applying for a pastoral ministry position.”  Going into it, I had no idea that this process would be intense in ways that other jobs I have applied for would not even come close to.  I completely understand and appreciate the in-depth […]

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The Valley of the Shadow of Death – Seeking a Jewish Afterlife

A month ago, my mother-in-law’s brother passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. Tom (may his memory be for a blessing), was far too young, too healthy, and too committed to his family for anyone to accept his sudden death as anything but a shock. When leaving the funeral, my mother-in-law, Linda — who is a catholic […]

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Taken by Jenn Lindsay in Rome on July 17, 2014.

The Roman Jewish Vigil for Israel

In the Piazza della Rotunda of the Pantheon, at the heart of Rome, there was a rally in support of Israel held by the historic Roman Jewish community. Traces of trauma from World War II are here, scattered throughout the cobblestone streets in gold plaques marking former homes of Jews murdered over the tortuous last years […]

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An Open Letter to President Lindsay of Gordon College

This article was first published at “NEWSPEAK,” a blog for POLITICS, RELIGION, AND EDUCATION. The recent ruling from the Supreme Court pertaining to the Hobby Lobby challenge to specific forms of birth control has caused quite a stir. Therefore, I am compelled to write this after President Lindsay of Gordon College, my alma mater, provided his support to […]

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Graves at Arlington on Memorial Day

The Military & Religious Devotees (A Memorial Day Reflection)

On my 18th birthday, I boarded a plane from Nashville, Tennessee to embark on an entirely new adventure.  I remember being absolutely terrified for a couple of reasons.  First, this was the first time that I had ever flown on a plane.  I grew up poor in a small, rural city in south central Kentucky […]

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