Bearings: Navigating Life-as-Ministry
April 2016

Finding Jesus Under the Golden Arches, and Other Tales of Religionless Christianity

After moving to Maine in my mid-twenties, I slowly emerged from a long stretch of having nothing much to do with God or organized religion. During my high school years, I was a devout Evangelical, and the only school I applied to was a Christian liberal arts college. But in that first year away from home, I found that my world—and my sense of the possibilities... Read more

Swimming into the Deep End

Parenting, Pastoring, and Common Discernment

As I write, I am just returning to pastoral ministry after parental leave. As I bonded with my newborn daughter—my second child—I spent time reflecting on how my vocation as a parent is reshaping my ideals and practices for ministry. Since I was ordained in my late 20s and didn’t become a parent until almost 40, I spent the first 15 years of seminary and ministry... Read more

The Ministry of Stories

Creating Space to Notice and Know

During the four hot, humid months between my junior and senior years of college, I waited tables at Beethoven’s Inn, a hole-in-the-wall deli that served sandwiches named after classical music composers. The realm of the “Handel, Bach, and Scarlatti” was a land of firsts for me. There, I ate gazpacho for the first time. I interacted with members of a traveling circus... Read more

Talking About Racism

While driving my seven-year-old to a doctor’s appointment for what was likely an ear infection, I noticed that the car was unusually quiet. Rain pattered on the windshield, and the wipers provided their usual rhythmic swishing sound. But my oldest kid is a talker—her waking hours are filled with questions, comments, knock-knock jokes, and observations—and she was... Read more