A Stranger, And You Welcomed Me

Hello everyone, I know I have been a bit quiet – that is an understatement! Anyway, I am popping in to say I hope to get back to more regular blogging.

In the meantime I wanted to make sure you all knew about this relatively new book, A Stranger, And You Welcomed Me, Homilies and Reflections for Cycle B, edited by Deacon Jim Knipper, from Clear Faith Publishing. Featuring the work of many renown Christians including Richard Rohr, Daniel P. Horan, James Martin SJ, Nadia Bolz-Weber, Deacon Greg Kandra, Jan Richardson, Phyllis Zagano the artwork of Br. Mickey McGrath OSFS, and many more, there is something for everyone in this book. Other contributors include Michelle Francl, Kevin Ahern, Margaret Blackie, Becky Eldridge, and Rory Cooney. And oh yeah, me also! There are so many fine contributions in this book and I hope you will consider making a purchase.

Proceeds from the book will go to several charities that welcome the stranger among us. Despite changing tides and times, we have lived through a long era of rejection of the stranger. I know that many of us believe that the rejection of the stranger is the rejection of Christ himself.

This is the first installment of a three part series that follows the great success of Clear Faith’s first homiletic series which can be found here. That one can be purchased as a box set or individually. All homiletic series are based on the Catholic liturgical year, but have always included a wide variety of Christian authors, both ordained and lay. Each volume supports different kinds of charities and well over $100,000 has been donated from the initial three books alone.

Please support the work by purchasing a hard copy or Kindle version at this link. If you are in the greater Albany area, I have a small supply of books and would be happy to get one to you if we can work it out.

Thank you and I will look forward to writing in this space again soon!

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Angels and shepherds, please!

51711dtHow we love the images and symbols of Christmas! Santa Claus, trees, angels, snowmen, candy canes, camels, Charlie Brown Christmas, nativity scenes, cows, drummer boys, or baby Jesus himself? We love them all, don’t we? How easy it can be easy to stick with just these images, no matter how much we might want to do otherwise.

Even the most religious among us gets tangled in webs of perfect-looking crèches, each with a delicate with very-western-looking baby Jesus smiling up from a bed of straw that is both unnaturally uniform and clean. Those symbols however are not the issue; stopping and staying with them for good is can become a problem, especially when you consider this Christmas message…

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race;
the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.
The Gospel According to John 1:1-5

Wait, where is the bright star over the little town of Bethlehem? And where are Continue reading

Disappointed? Stick around!

Nadia Bolz-Weber

Nadia Bolz-Weber

“I’m not idealistic about any kind of human project. I try and always keep that in check. I’m completely idealistic about God’s ability to redeem our stuff and our mistakes, but I think if we aren’t open about the fact that we’ve made them, that can be a barrier to experiencing that forgiveness and that redemption and that grace.

So I think in a way what might sound sort of cynical about, you know, don’t trust us, don’t be idealistic about this community or about me, to me that just opens a door for grace in a sense. Because what I say to people, I mean, I literally say that as our welcome to house brunches — like, I’m glad you love it here, but like at some point, I will disappoint you or the church will let you down. Please decide on this side of that happening if, after it happens, you will still stick around. Because if you leave, you will miss the way that God’s grace comes in and fills in the cracks of our brokenness. And it’s too beautiful to miss. Don’t miss it.” –Nadia Bolz-Weber, from On Being with Krista Tippett 10/24/14

If you are not familiar with Nadia Bolz-Weber is, this is a good time to go find out. A quick check of your google machine will Continue reading