Holy Week – Is This Normal?

After serving in congregational ministry for most of my life, I'm still learning what its like to journey through Holy Week as a follower of the Way of Jesus who does not have any worship leadership responsibilities. Holy Week Schedule I have, however, managed to attend multiple services of worship and participate in an adult egg hunt. More specifically: Sunday: walked to a nearby church, and attended a service that included elements of both palm and passion Tuesday: Read More …

Walking to Worship

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. The fastest way to get to any local destination is by automobile. I learned these simple truths early in life, and rarely questioned them. Traveling to Church As a lifelong churchgoer I made my way from home to a house of worship exclusively by automobile for the first 40+ years of my life. Last year when my wife and I moved to downtown Fort Worth, we started rethinking our reliance on vehicles. And, we've adopted walking Read More …

Volunteer Appreciation – Closing Prayer

Earlier today the Mansfield Mission Center held its first annual volunteer appreciation luncheon. This event provided an opportunity to say thank you to many of the people who power this dynamic ministry. I had the honor of providing the closing remarks. After talking a bit about love and family, I concluded with the following prayer: Volunteer Appreciation Prayer Loving God, we have gathered here today in your Many Names to pause the natural rhythm of life and ministry of the Read More …

Top 12 Authors: 2009-2019

Over the last 10 years, I've reviewed, recommended, or rated more than 600 books here at So What Faith. Starting in 2011, I have provided a list of the top ten books I reviewed that year that were published during that year. To date, only 12 authors have appeared on more than one Top 10 List: Diana Butler Bass, 2012, 2015, 2018Marcus Borg, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2017Joan Chittister, 2011, 2017John Dominic Crossan, 2010, 2012, 2015Lillian Daniel, 2013, 2016 Tenzin Gyatso (the 14th Dalai Read More …

500 Authors Featured on So What Faith

Since writing my first blog post in the summer of 2009, I've shared book reviews, recommendations, and/or ratings on a regular basis. These efforts have focused on recently published books, and have allowed me to introduce my readers to more than 500 authors: Elias Aboujaoude, Mustafa Akyol, Jay Allison, Dianna E. Anderson, Keith Anderson, Christophe André, Michael J. Arena, Steve Argue, Sarah Arthur, Reza Aslan, Patty Azzarello, Cheryl Bachelder, Christopher Bader, Scott Bader-Saye, Alex Read More …

Book Recommendations – April 2019

During the first quarter of the year, I was fortunate to spend time reading a considerable number of excellent books published in 2019. The list below captures the best volumes I've read over the last few weeks. (5+) Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others by Barbara Brown Taylor (HarperOne, 2019) (4.5) The Good Immigrant: 26 Writers Reflect on America edited by Nikesh Shukla and Chimene Suleyman (Little, Brown, and Company, 2019) (4.5) The Right It: Why So Many Ideas Fail Read More …

Lenten Demolition

Lent is a season of preparation. It is a time when many who follow the Way of Jesus choose to give extra attention to discipleship. For some this means giving something up and for others it involves taking on something new. Demo Day Yesterday I heard unfamiliar sounds in my neighborhood. When I looked out a window I saw a large work crew unloading machines from trailers. Within minutes it became clear that these individuals had been hired to demolish a house. Over the next eight Read More …

Christians Don’t Own Jesus

Over the last 9 1/2 years, I've been rather active on Twitter. While the frequency of my tweeting has varied, I've never walked away from the platform for an extended period of time. After 14,200 tweets I was surprised to find that something I tweeted yesterday has been liked more than any of my other tweets. So What? The tweet is quote from page 157 of Barbara Brown Taylor's new book: Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others   I'm pleased to know that more Read More …

Search for a Church 2.0 – Discernment

10 days ago I shared that our 11 month long search for a church had reached its final stage. More specifically, after visiting 15 congregations we narrowed our options down to two finalists. Discernment We invested considerable time and energy in getting to know the two remaining congregations. This included attending at least six services of worship in each community of faith, and participating in classes, concerts, mission efforts, and social activities. During the last week, we Read More …

I’m Back: My Return to the Mansfield Mission Center

Mansfield is a family friendly city primarily in Tarrant County Texas that is nearly equidistant from Dallas and Forth Worth. I first experienced life in Mansfield when I purchased a home there in the 1990s. Since that time the population has nearly tripled, growing from around 25,000 to 70,000. As Mansfield has grown so has the need to care for all who call the city home. Individuals, businesses, government, faith communities and nonprofits have worked independently and collaboratively to Read More …