Rituals are central structures for common worship, and they’ve certainly been subject to scrutiny, critique—even conflict—and change over the centuries of the church. In this issue of Bearings, our featured contributors, Claire Dixon, a 21-year-old Catholic college student, and Max Grant, a “more life experienced” UCC pastor, share perspectives on the balance between... Read more
Our church has three regular worship services a week.
Two of them are in our smaller chapel space, have minimalist bulletins in lower case letters, pastors on barstools using iPads, Communion bread from the pop-up gluten-free bakery down the street, guitars and keyboards.
The other service is your father’s Oldsmobile: it features a pastor in a robe with... Read more
For a while I didn’t understand why Hollywood was obsessed with creating horror movies based on Catholic traditions. From “The Exorcist” (1973), to “The Da Vinci Code” (2006), and “The Nun” (2018), Catholic tradition seems to be on the chopping block when it comes to tales of supernatural fear and trauma. I voiced my confusion, and my friend matter-of-factly said,... Read more
In "Born to Believe," I reflect on the beliefs and rituals children inherit from previous generations as they attempt to express life’s importance as it occurs, and often when it is most out of control. At birth our religious choices are determined by our parents. For children in Mexico, where over 80% of the country is Catholic, this means that they will most... Read more
Some Bearings readers will remember (or may have read about) the 1984 Ronald Reagan campaign commercial to which my title refers, “Stronger, Better, Prouder,” or more popularly, “Morning in America.”
The ad used images rendered in pastel hues and sweeping orchestral tones in emotionally evocative major chords to create a nostalgic, optimistic dreamscape of an... Read more