Congregation

Wikimedia Commons image by Blok Glo

Is God Afraid of Sexuality? – Part 1

When I facilitate quarterly Interfaith Spirituality & Sexuality discussions, I often encourage people to look at the authority in their lives by simply asking, “What is the Truth? What is the Lie?” Although some religions discount the wisdom of our bodies, they are excellent truth and lie detectors. When someone affirms my personal spiritual truth, […]

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Shirim in her field near Husan Village, taken by author Jenn Lindsay

“Just Tell Our Story” — Dispatch from Palestine

We met Shirim at her family’s olive grove plot. It falls just outside the Betar Illit settlement. More accurately, it falls on the entire hill but the settlement imposed itself right on top of the farmland that has belonged to her family for five generations. She is forbidden to access her land beyond the current […]

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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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