Believing in Place

As has become my tradition (three times makes it a tradition I guess), I am posting the sermon that I gave yesterday in church.  The only thing that I want to say about it ahead of time is that, though I think its themes are universal, it has been tailored very specifically to my congregation […]

Juggling December

As you may recall, I recently whined and complained about the fact that December was the month for both auditions and concerts.  What I failed to mention at that time was the fact that it is also the month for extra things going on at church, as well as make-up voice lessons for students who […]

Church Choir Throwdown

I wasn’t nervous until I walked into the building.  It hadn’t seemed like that big of a deal, or perhaps I had only been trying to convince myself that this was going to be a low-key, low-pressure, informal gathering of choirs, but as soon as I opened the front door and heard the perfectly polished […]

Deep Theological Discussions with Elementary School Children

The scene: a gathering of Sunday School children.  The place: a church chapel.  The time: yesterday morning.  The joy: LEADER: “Okay everyone, as you might remember, this month we’re talking about the greatest commandment…” CHILD 1: “DON’T TALK TO ME ABOUT THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT!”  (runs off) LEADER: “Now, can anyone tell me what the greatest […]

Gypsies, Nomads, and a Firm Foundation

I was born in Connecticut almost three dozen years ago to a baptist minister and a professional “minister’s wife.”  We lived there until I was almost two and then left for New Hampshire where my father had been transferred.  My earliest memories are of that house in New Hampshire, and we stayed there until I […]

Avengers, Apostles, and Us

This Sunday was the second week in the “Screenings” series that our church has been running, and I got to preach for a second time.  We are spending the month looking for meaning in the media, specifically in movies and television.  The movie I decided to focus on is “The Avengers.” Not the 1998 film […]

Why People Don’t Go to the Opera Anymore

Do you want a list of reasons why people don’t go to the opera anymore?  Well, a simple Google search will give you plenty of them.  It’s too expensive.  People can’t understand foreign languages.  Operas are too long.  None of their friends are doing it.  It is for old people.  It is for cultured people.  […]

Surprise Tenth Anniversary Vow Renewal

For our fifth anniversary, I surprised my wife by flying her to Las Vegas and staging a vow renewal ceremony at an Elvis wedding chapel.  It was our thought at that time that every five years seemed like a good opportunity to recommit to each other, and so we started thinking about our tenth anniversary. […]

Jesus Went Viral

As some of you may know, in addition to my regularly scheduled duties as minister of music at my church, this past Sunday I was also in charge of the message.  Supposedly we are going to start live streaming and/or podcasting these things, but since that has not happened, and many people have asked for […]