Be the Book

In her sermon this morning at Cathedral of Hope UCC, Bishop Yvette Flunder called on those present to follow in the Way of Jesus - the very Jesus who read the from the Book of Isaiah, sat down, and became the Book (Luke 4:14-21). Jesus' Reading Isaiah 61 (NRSV) begins with these words: The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release Read More …

TCT MLK Day of Service 2019

I spent the morning participating in the ninth annual MLK Day of Service - #MLKTCT - organized by Tarrant Churches Together.  As a first timer, I was encouraged by the diversity of faith communities represented, impressed by the breadth of service opportunities, and inspired to continue Dr. King's work in and beyond my community. Worship Baker Chapel AME was filled to capacity for the hour long service that set the tone for the day while also inviting those present to capture or recapture Read More …

Search for a Church 2.0 – Pastoral Transitions

In April 2018, my wife and I started what I've been calling Search for a Church 2.0.  We visited five congregations by May, and another five by June.  By August we expanded our visiting to include three more congregations.   Over the last several months we've focused our time in just a few of these congregations. Pastoral Transitions During our nine month search, three of the thirteen congregations have undergone or announced that they will soon undergo a change Read More …

Serving 9 Beautifully Diverse Congregations

Since the year 2000, I've served 9 different Mainline Protestant congregations. Congregational Diversity I'm thankful for the beautiful diversity of these congregations. Denominational Affiliation United Church of Christ - 3 Presbyterian (PCUSA) - 3 Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) - 2 Lutheran (ELCA) - 1 Location North Texas - 5 Southwest Florida - 4 Size - Average Weekly Worship Attendance Family (1-49) - 1 Pastoral (50-149) - 3 Program (150-399) - Read More …

Public Perception – Clergy Ethics at All-Time Low

Eight years ago I wrote about how clergy fared in an annual Gallup survey on the American public's views of the honesty and ethical standards of a variety of occupations.  In 2010, I noted that "clergy ranked 7th among the professions surveyed. Just over half (53%) of all respondents rated the honesty and ethics of clergy as high or very high." From the start of the poll in the 1970s till 2010 the percentage of those rating clergy honesty and ethics as high or very high had always been between Read More …

Top 10 Posts of All Time

I started So What Faith back in 2009, and added Google analytics to the site in 2013.  Based on data gathered from 2013 to present the top all time posts are Pastoral Prayer - Love (2014) Prayers of the People - Youth Sunday (2009) 12 Marks of Convergence Christianity (2012) My Visit to Next Level Church (2012) Valentine's Expectations (2013) Leaders Clear Obstacles (2015) Pulpit Plagiarism (2014) Review of Not a Fan (2011) Theology on Tap (2011) The Immigrants Creed Read More …

Top 5 Posts of 2018

2018 has been a year of new beginnings for me. The year began with my family moving into a new home.  As the year progressed other major changes followed including two that appear in this year's list of top blog posts (selected based on total number of views this calendar year): Top 10 Books of 2018 (December) Book Recommendations - May 2018 (May) Now Open (March) Book Recommendations - July 2018 (July) My Year of Social Enterprise (July) So What? This year's list includes Read More …

A Year of Change

Last week I was asked to summarize my experience of 2018 with a single world. After a slight pause, I replied "change." 2018 has been a year filled with personal and professional change. Here's my Top 10 List: Living. For the first time in my life, I'm living an urban lifestyle (in the 15th largest city in the United States). Moving. My wife and I moved from a two story suburban home with a golf course view to a four story downtown dwelling with a city view. Growing. The Adese Read More …

Top 10 Books of 2018

My ninth annual listing of the top books of the year features the ten best books published in 2018.  All books appearing on this year's list received a rating of 5 stars (or 5+ stars) on one of my monthly book recommendations lists. Author Title Diana Butler Bass Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks  Elena L. Botelho and Kim R. Powell The CEO Next Door: The 4 Behaviors that Transform Ordinary People into World-Class Leaders Virginia Eubanks Automating Read More …

Who Finds Meaning in Religion?

What makes for a meaningful, fulfilling or satisfying life? In an attempt to answer this question, Pew Research Center conducted two surveys late last year.  The first survey utilized open ended questions while the second leveraged forced-choice questions using a list of 15 possible sources. Family First In the open-ended survey nearly 7 out of 10 respondents (69%) mentioned family. This finding was consistent with the closed-ended survey result of those claiming that family provides "a Read More …