Clergy Confessional (15) – Advent on My Mind

Advent is – visually – my favorite season at Calvary UCC in Reading. The candles, the colors, and the lights all help me to understand that the season that starts this Sunday is about preparing my spirit for the most special thing – for Christians – that ever was. We prepare for Christmas – we…

Clergy Confessional (14) – A New Beginning?

Billy Joel famously sang, “The good old days weren’t always good, and tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems.” Our recent presidential election was, in many ways, a challenge to America. It was a choice between the hope of going back to the “good old days” or maintaining the status quo. While Sec. Clinton won…

Clergy Confessional (13)

I admit it – I am disappointed with the results of this election. Not because I think Hillary Clinton would have been a great president – her flaws and sins are many and varied. It isn’t because a republican will be president – I think Clinton is more of a republican than Pres. Trump. Will…

Clergy Confessional (12)

I have a problem with Halloween – as a child, I remember how much fun it was – we might watch a scary movie like “Dracula” or “Frankenstein”. We would go out and knock on doors, collecting enough candy for the next 3 months, which my Mom doled out carefully. We took small boxes and…

Clergy Confessional (11)

https://www.facebook.com/AWMFaith/videos/1811883935757875/ This is the kind of nonsense that makes me crazy (as a Christian and an American). This video is offensive in a number of ways: 1 – The idea that we need to put Jesus back (because we have had a black, secret Muslim president for 8 years?) in the White House assumes that…

Clergy Confessional (10)

In 1995 I was serving as the part-time chaplain at Albright College, and was hired (at what was probably minimum wage) to be the Head Coach of the wrestling program. I was also the assistant coach, water boy, and everything else (except for the trainer – we had great student trainers!). The local paper caught…

Clergy Confessional (9)

I admit it – when it comes to how I dress, I tend to be pretty conservative. I think we should stay well covered up, and be especially concerned about how children are dressed. I come to this topic for a number of reasons. Reason 1 – I attended a wonderful concert last week –…

Clergy Confessional (8)

It happened again – somebody on Facebook who does not know what I do for a living apologized for using profanity. It isn’t that I mind the apology – I think it is very sweet that someone would be concerned enough about my delicate constitution to feel guilty about using bad language. But really, my…

Living in a death-denying culture

I am sitting in my office at church preparing for another funeral. At this point in my life, I feel old every time someone asks me how long I have been in ministry (32 years!), and I think about the many touchpoints in people’s lives I have been involved in over the years – baptisms,…

Clergy Confessional (7)

Here are some things you should know about the clergy – I speak only for myself, but I think lots of others feel this way. 1 – When you leave the church, it hurts us personally. Even when I have disagreed with members, I have still appreciated them and cared deeply for them. Religious institutions…