Turning Millstones into Milestones

The Prayer-Filled Life of a Church on the Margins

Standing in front of giant doors of a 150 year old Lutheran Church, she waits for the Spirit to move. DeAnne Lilly Parks, a painter and sculptor, spent most of the summer painting a mural on  the outside doors of the church. Paint and brushes and willing heart at the ready, she shows up each morning and waits on God. I show up and say, “Okay, God whatya got... Read more

Lamentation and the New Religious Frontier

On September 28, 2018 at 12:30 in the afternoon, Mike McHargue, a.k.a. “Science Mike,” an evangelical author, podcaster, and member of The Liturgists, tweeted the following: I want you to know that I am a survivor of sexual assault. Not because I need sympathy or attention—quite the contrary. I want you to know because most of us have internalized wrong and harmful... Read more

There Will Always Be a Crisis

The Radical Politics of Finding Sanity, Grounding, and Grace in a Chaotic World

There has always been a crisis. There will always be a crisis until God reconciles the world to God’s self. Until that time comes, there will be crisis after crisis. In these days, it’s absurd to simply say that there is a crisis. There seems to be a crisis every 24 hours, if we’re lucky. Some days, the crises seem to pile one on top of the other into a fantastic... Read more

Leading with Love and Song

Lessons from Creative Arts Camp that Just Might Change VBS Forever (and for the Better)

My friend Christina started talking to me about Creative Arts Camp during Holy Week last year, when my focus was obviously elsewhere. She told me how amazing it had been the first time the previous summer—how they taught dance, writing, visual arts, culinary arts, and music to a diverse group of more than 50 kids signed up from ages 7-14. She filled my ears with... Read more

Can We Believe in Light?

Pittsburgh Poets Contend with the Tree of Life Massacre

We asked regular Bearings contributor Ellen McGrath Smith to gather some poems from Pittsburgh writers for our Tree of Life Special Issue. Alas, an email glitch kept the piece from getting to us before publication of the issue. We share them now as an opportunity for further reflection on the particular tragedy at Tree of Life and on the culture of gun violence... Read more