Feasting on Liturgy

When I left the Evangelical church for an Anglican one in college, it was out of proximity rather than theology. I had decided to attend university in France and there were very few English-speaking churches in Paris. As a freshman in college living abroad, I sought the ease of a community that spoke my native […]

A Reflection on Failing Lent

Last year was the first time in my over half-century life I’ve observed Lent. I didn’t grow up in a church that acknowledged it, and only in the last few years have I begun to experiment with living by the liturgical calendar. Rather than think about giving something up, I chose to frame it as […]

Home-Grown Liturgy

It all started when the priest’s wife hugged me under the tall trees in my front yard and gave me her secret recipe to make Church of the Great Shepherd’s communion bread. Even though I wasn’t ordained, didn’t have a fancy robe, and didn’t own a Book of Common Prayer, I was invited to be […]

An Afternoon of Lectio Divina

Sometimes I miss lectio divina most of all. Years ago, when I first began serving in full-time ministry, a woman named Terry invited me over to her house for an afternoon of lectio divina. I didn’t really understand what she was talking about, but I did understand that I liked Terry, so her invitation was […]

Dear Portia: Annoyed, Irritated and Bored at Church

Dear Portia, I am annoyed and irritated and bored at church. My husband loves it, but to me, our church feels like a big show: entertainment, choir performance, giveaways, and a superficial sermon. How do I look past the trappings and experience a deeper relationship with God? If other people love church so much am […]

Pavlov’s Dogs, My Senator, and Knowing God

In Mark 10, a blind man named Bartimaeus sits by the side of the road literally screaming for Jesus’ help. When Jesus finally addresses him, he asks, “What do you want me to do for you?” I love that question. Jesus wants to know what Bartimaeus wants, presumably to give him exactly what he wants. […]

Keep the Lights On

Keep the lights off. Cover yourself up. Sex is for the girls that look like they just walked off the cover of a magazine. Be grateful for anyone who wants to touch you. Accept what you are given. These are all the lies that are told to me by the media, by people in passing […]

Black Love: A Sacred Oneness

In this country the Black body has always been subject to the breaking and the taking—yet we’ve clutched tight to the promise to love. Against all odds we willed our oneness. Finding the other half of ourselves in moonlit fields, dimmed juke joints and strobe-lighted clubs. Safe places allowed us to wash away the touch […]

Can Opener

When I think about you trying to open me I think of a can of tomato soup It’s the only thing you can afford when you’re so broke You let strangers into your body. I think of my can opener, how I can never find it in the gore of underused utensils. I think of […]