Looking for the Invisible Formation of Life

There has been a pattern to my life lately, a rhythm of books and papers. The rhythm has been so steady that it has started to feel like a weekly liturgy. The lectionary readings have not been spiritual per se, but they have been holy nonetheless. The Old Testament reading for the day comes from […]

Suffering as a Spiritual Discipline

When we talk about Spiritual Disciplines, we like to think of things we are adding into our lives. Rhythms, practices, prayers. Maybe it’s painting or journaling, perhaps it’s times spent wandering a trail in nature or a different way of allocating our time. Regardless of the method, the goal is the same: to connect with […]

Stirrings

This is an excerpt from Suanne Camfield’s new book, The Sound of a Million Dreams: Awakening to Who You Are Becoming.  The stomach flu was a bad one. Eric was sick. Clay was sick. Sadie had just gotten done being sick. It was the eighth time we’d had the stomach flu in four years, one of […]

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. […]