Clergy Confessional (38) The Best and the Worst of Christian Behavior

As a nation we are still reeling from the horrific attack on a Baptist Church in Texas. Another attack rooted in Domestic Violence (54% of all mass shootings are, by the way), by another deranged gunman that took lives senselessly. The pastor of the church, whose daughter was murdered in the attack, led worship last…

Clergy Confessional (37) – Why are we so violent?

Another mass shooting, this time in Texas. This was, again, a mentally ill man who legally shouldn’t have had a gun, lashing out at a church worship service because the family of the woman he committed violence against worshiped there. He hasn’t been labeled a terrorist (by some), but I think any act like this…

Clergy Confessional (36) – The Reformation isn’t over

I am fully committed to interfaith and ecumenical dialogue, and I cherish and respect the diversity of worship and theology I come in contact with daily. The worship service we had at St. Ignatius Roman Catholic Church on October 22nd was beautiful and moving, and as a member of the planning team, I am very…

Clergy Confessional (35) – When will men get it?

As a man, I am often frustrated by our (men, that is) inability to police our own and control ourselves. I will admit to having a temper, and on occasion being guilty of using my size and voice to intimidate, conscious or not. I am not proud of the this, and work hard to keep…

Clergy Confessional (34) You meet the nicest people in bars!

My wife and I have friends who live in Lancaster, and they frequent a very nice restaurant (with a very beautiful bar) on a regular basis. They like to go on Monday night for happy hour, so we decided to go. They were out of town, but there were other folks sitting there enjoying the…

Clergy Confessional (33) – Leave me alone! (Help me…)

The terrorist attack in Las Vegas last week has left us all bewildered and sad, and maybe a little bit angry. Renewed calls for getting rid of guns completely are being shouted loudly as gun rights supporters scream back, “You’ll have to pry them out of our cold, dead hands!” (Thanks Charlton Heston!) Now we…

Clergy Confessional (32) – That’s My Seat

A recent thread in a Lutheran clergy discussion page caught my attention. It was about people who¬†are territorial about the place they sit when attending church. We tease about it, and get discouraged when the “owner” of the space gets upset, but this is just an aspect of human nature. Over the years I have…

Clergy Confessional (31) – It’s Not About You

I feel like I have been a coach forever. From the time I served my first church (1984-86), I have volunteered in local high schools with the wrestling team. I took four years off from that to coach college, but as my children grew, I offered to coach their soccer and wrestling teams. These were…

Clergy Confessional (30) – Why are we so bad at sharing our faith?

Maybe it has to do with all of the (from our perspective) crazy people knocking on doors to convince you of your eternal demise. Maybe we watch the Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormons in their nice clothes and good haircuts¬† parading up and down the street and think “I wouldn’t be caught dead doing that!” I…

Clergy Confessional (29) Why the Church is Stuck

While I am occasionally prone to exaggeration, I am not prone to lying. I often say that most of our mainline churches are either stuck in 1850 or 1950 – and I think this is one of the main reasons they close. The church should be timely and timeless, but not trapped in time. It…