Of Lobster Traps and Aviaries: Finding Meaning in Shifting Narratives

It was the bright yellow color of the lobster traps that caught my eye at first, but it was the symmetry of the stack that held my gaze—small yellow squares forming bigger blocks, bigger blocks creating a large cube, the repeating patterns of the wires, of the green net funnels, and of the heavy rope handles on the sides of each trap. Just as I was about to... Read more

When Faith Goes to College . . . And Joins the Wrestling Team

Considering the amount of online commentary available concerning the millennial generation and the future of the church, the relative dearth of attention paid to young adults’ experience of faith and college is surprising. After all, college changes people. The 18-year-old who steps foot on campus during orientation week is, as students today would say, “super... Read more

Ordained in Community: A Tale of Exile and Coming Home

In less than two weeks, on Sunday, March 22nd—or April 12th if we need a snow date (please, God, in your warm-hearted mercy don’t force us to use the snow date!)—the United Church of Christ will ordain and authorize me for Christian ministry on its behalf. I am overjoyed and thankful for the privilege and opportunity. Yet I’ve been having trouble putting together... Read more

Challenges & Blessings of Soulful Leadership in the 21st Century Church

Editor's note: Part of this blog post is a further development of material in The Soul of a Leader by Margaret Benefiel (Crossroad, 2008). Used with permission of the publisher. The Western church rewards twenty-first-century ministry leaders, lay and ordained alike, for their drive, decisiveness, productivity, and long work hours. In such an environment, what... Read more