Unusual Lenten Discipline

In recent years more and more people have chosen to embrace something new rather than give up something for Lent.  The list of possibilities for Lenten disciplines is nearly endless.  The most unique discipline I have heard this year is that chosen by Shawnthea Monroe. Monroe is senior minister of Plymouth Church - a United Church of Christ Congregation in Shaker Heights, OH.  She has chosen to wear a collar for Lent.  In doing so, she realizes many she encounters each day who would otherwise Read More …

What Would You Die For?

A week ago today, I reviewed Not Less than Everything: Catholic Writers on Heroes of Conscience from Joan of Arc to Oscar Romero (2013).  A few days after writing that piece, I received a request from Duane Arnold to take a look at what he and others are doing through "The Martrys Project."   The project has released a CD featuring prayers from a “great cloud of witnesses” from across the centuries and around the globe and include Oscar Romero, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a child from Ravensbruck, Read More …

Ashes of Transformation

Dawn Hutchings, one of the pastors of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Ontario, recently shared an Ash Wednesday homily she wrote from a progressive perspective.  On this day when the most familiar words serve as reminders of our mortality, Hutchings suggests another way to receive and embrace the ashes that will adorn our foreheads: Let the ashes you wear be the ashes of transformation; of awakening to the beauty and love of seizing the moment and living it to the fullest. So What? This past Read More …

The Light of Lent

Prolific author and progressive religious leader Sister Joan Chittister, recently shared an excerpt from her short book Journey into Light in a Lenten article for the Huffington Post.  She concludes that article with these powerful words: The light of Lent is the beacon that enables us to see under the obvious, the systemic, the hypocritical in both state and church to the evil they mask from us. It is the path to integrity, to righteousness, to the Spirit of God. So What? Lent is a season Read More …

Tattoos for Lent?

In recent years I have heard about many non-traditional Lenten disciplines.  Chris Seay, pastor of Ecclesia Church in Houston, provided his congregation a unique opportunity that "combines the ideas of sacrifice and devotion that mark the Lenten season."  More specifically, he asked them to consider getting a tattoo of one of the stations of the cross. So What? Writing for CNN, Dan Merica reports that more than 50 people associated with the congregation Seay pastors have responded. Read More …

Go Slow

Guy Chmieleski has served in campus ministry at four institutions of higher education associated with three different denominations (Baptist, United Methodist and Church of Christ).  He recently blogged about pace of life, reminding everyone that today's traditional college students have lived their whole lives in an instant culture.  The only real change these young adults have experienced is fast has becoming faster.  To help overcome this he proposes: I think we need to re-introduce our Read More …

Social Media for Lent: Fast or Engage?

Bruce Reyes-Chow is a forty-one year old Presbyterian (PCUSA) pastor who serves as founding pastor of Mission Bay Community Church, which  primarily attracts young adults in their twenties and thirties.  He served as  the Moderator of the 218th General Assembly of the 2.3 million member PCUSA.  Serving as the youngest person ever elected to that office, Reyes-Chow became a  pioneer in the use of social media in the mainline Protestant world.  To connect with him, read his blog, follow him on Read More …

One Year Later

My life has changed a great deal over the last year: Ash Wednesday 2010 marked the final day of serving my last church.  I spent most of the morning packing up my office and saying goodbye to other members of the staff. Ash Wednesday 2011 marked two and a half months working for a university.  I spent most of the morning leading a workshop for faculty. As I started my Lenten journey last year I did so having just resigned from a position without having first accepted another position Read More …