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Doubt is a familiar visitor for both ministers and congregational leaders. We doubt our faith. Even more, we doubt ourselves, as leaders, worrying that our faith is not strong enough, that we do not understand enough, that we are not expert enough to fulfill our...

In his 1974 essay “Vocation as Grace,” Baptist minister and writer Will D. Campbell (1924-2013) recounted a conversation he had once had with a high-wire performer for a traveling circus: I asked him why he chose that particular way of making a living. The first...

In a recent interview, Bruce Springsteen—45 years a rock icon, with those four-hour live concerts and last year’s sold out Broadway show—was asked about his family life.   Springsteen admitted that for years the idea of a home filled him “with distrust and a bucketload of...

  Every church board of whatever size will face a moment when the stunning complexity and reality of the needs they feel called to meet will make their efforts—even their very solid, organized, well-resourced, well-led efforts—seem inadequate.  What to do then?   The temptation is to try to...

  There’s a story about a church choir whose members processed in pairs down the long center aisle during the opening hymn at the beginning of worship. About halfway down, the members of each pair would separate momentarily—one stepping right and the other stepping left—before...

  After spending the last week noting the over-use of references to the Notre Dame fire in sermons and blogs, we find ourselves referencing . . . the fire at Notre Dame.  Actually, not the fire itself, but the response by the fire brigades.  News...

The tradition of “spring cleaning” springs up everywhere as daylight lengthens:  closets, pantries, desks, garages, to-do lists.  And right now, wherever we go, the advice of professional de-clutterer Marie Kondo is springing up, too: only keep items that “spark joy,”  she tells us. What can...

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