Author: Elizabeth Drescher

Can Churches Build when the Walls Seem to Be Falling Down?

Creating New Imagination to Restore the Heart of Today's Church

This past January, the church I pastor, Pleasant Hope Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland, had its own “come to Jesus” moment during our Annual Church Meeting.  I had done my due diligence all year — studying the latest data regarding church growth trends and reading articles that examined societal shifts impacting congregations across the country.  Not much... Read more

Finding New Life by Sailing into the Void

As the sailboat continued to rise about the white capped waves, I gripped the side and leaned back as far as I dared trying to drive the boat down flat on the water. My feet slipped on wet floorboards and someone yelled, his voice constricted into a high-pitched squeak, “We’re going over!” I recognized that voice: It was mine. Wide-eyed and heart pounding,... Read more

Embracing Brave Change as Christian Identity and Mission

For people in ministry, one of the most frustrating phrases to hear from congregants and committees is, “But we’ve never done it that way before.” There is often a lot packed into that one sentence—fear (of risk, of failure), hesitation around trusting the pastoral leader, and even grief over the loss of the familiar.  For leaders this phrase can feel like a roadblock.... Read more

Obits, Prayers, and Sonograms

My friend Gary's father often re-told an old joke: in the morning he would read the obits; if his name didn't appear, he would go into work. I'm at an age now where I, too, read obituaries. Oh, I'm fine health-wise, despite the rebuilt knees. Everything seems to be working OK but I think the warranty is running out on some of my innards and not all of them have... Read more

Finding Friends of God on the Streets of Seattle

And Listening to the Dreams They Offer the World

She said it with a cool indifference, and like she meant it: “If I stayed in Salt Lake City, I would have killed myself.” She said she had options. She had an underwear drawer full of “benzos.” She could cook a lethal overdose of heroin. The drugs weren’t really for lethal possibilities. They were medications, she said—psychic shields to absorb the pain pillaging... Read more

Hanging out with Homeless Folks in Silicon Valley

Turning Off the Default Settings on "Service" to Begin Structural Change

On a warm Friday night in August I sat outdoors with my friend Xavier and three of his buddies, enjoying the pasta dinner I had prepared for the occasion. Xavier is affectionate and talkative, eager to regale us with pieces of his story—emigration from Cuba during the 1980 Mariel boatlift, life as a transgender dancer in San Francisco in the ‘80 and ‘90s, how these... Read more
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