Celebrating 1,500 Posts

This is my 1,500th blog post here at So What Faith, which offers an appropriate  reason to to reflect.  As I do so, I want to thank my readers.  While you come from all over the world, the vast majority reside in the United States. Most Visits Originate  Florida California Texas New York Illinois After nearly 5 1/2 years of writing, I recognize just how unpredictable popularity can be.  In fact only a few of the posts I would have guessed would be among my most popular all time Read More …

PostChristian Opportunity

Christian Piatt's new book postChristian: What’s Left? Can We Fix It? Do We Care? topped my list of September reading recommendations.  In January, he will be making a stop in Southwest Florida at two UCC congregations: Tuesday, January 13 @ 7pm -  Naples United Church of Christ, and Wednesday, January 14 @ 10am - United Church of Marco Island. Note: Registration is not required for these free events. All are welcome. About the Book Check out Christian's new book tour trailer Read More …

Living in Happy Land

I often tell people I live in paradise.  It appears that many experts agree with my assessment.  The latest statistic to support my claim about Naples (and Marco Island), FL comes from a Gallup study on the wellbeing of American communities.  It ranks Naples-Marco Island as 7th highest level of wellbeing among the nearly 200 metro areas considered. A few years ago I shared Naples rank as the #2 happiest seaside town.  Earlier this year, Marco Island was named the #1 island by Trip Read More …

Diana Butler Bass: The Romance of Faith

I am pleased to announce that Diana Butler Bass is coming to Naples, FL for a Valentine's weekend that participants will always remember - The Romance of Faith: Exploring New Ways of Thinking about Love, Faith, Spirituality and Theology. The event is hosted by the Naples United Church of Christ, and is open to all.  Please purchase your tickets soon to receive the early-bird pricing shown below. Friday, February 14 The God Who Woos: The Romance of Spirituality  8:00 p.m. – 9:30 Read More …

Keeping Christ in Christmas

Christmas is now just a week away.  This Advent I have heard the phrase "keeping Christ in Christmas" more often than most.  It is a phrase with nearly endless possible meanings. A few weeks ago Ron Patterson, Senior Minister of Naples United Church of Christ (Naples, FL), wrote a helpful piece on the topic in the Naples Daily News.  Consider these excerpts: Taken literally "keeping Christ in Christmas" might mean imprisoning the power of God in a single day or single season. Did you Read More …

Virtual Connectivity

Writing for the Naples Florida Weekly, Ella Nayor explores how many congregations in Southwest Florida are using technology to connect people to one another and to the life of the faith community.  Clergy from multiple religions see value in leveraging technology for connectivity in a variety of use cases.  While some congregations have just a few dozen followers on Facebook, many have more robust offerings.   North Naples United Methodist Church's staff includes a cyber pastor (the Rev. Read More …

It’s Always Pentecost

While Pentecost appears on the liturgical calendar just once a year, it is something we can (perhaps even must) experience daily.  Watch my Pentecost sermon below and consider your experience of the Life-Giving Wind. So What? Wherever the Life-Giving Wind blows, the church is about unity not uniformity change not constancy renewal not repetition The Holy Spirit's activity is something worth pondering every day. Which of these is the most challenging for you? for your local Read More …

Living in the Happiest Place

I have the distinct privilege of living in a happy place.  According to a list just released by Coastal Living magazine, I live in one of America's five happiest seaside towns: Kiawah Island, SC Naples, FL Sausalito, CA Lake Bluff, IL Tiburon Bay, CA So What? The list was crafted using a list of the magazine's Dream Towns over the last 15 years and Facebook recommendations.  The editors narrowed then ranked this larger list by considering their ranks on the Gallup Healthways Read More …

A Still Speaking and Still Doing God

Offertory Sentences The God of creation and new beginnings The God of prophets and promises And the God of you and of me Is a still speaking God and a still doing God A God who welcomes us to participate in God’s ongoing work with our giving Prayer of Dedication Holy One, we acknowledge your power and welcome your influence in our lives and in the world.  Enable within each of us a heightened spiritual awareness – an ability to see the expansive tapestry of your Read More …