When We Don’t Want Others To Belong

  I’m looking for spaces that are a homecoming. I’m realizing it’s not easy to find places of true belonging and it’s even harder to be a person who offers it. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t want to belong, but I know many who want to disconnect, to distance, to separate and […]

Choosing to Belong

We hadn’t been going to any church regularly for a couple of years, yet we felt the yearning to belong to a local part of the body, to be connected. We had a few friends at a church who had invited us along, so we made a decision: we would go for an entire school […]

Does Your Church Smell?

I had read two books on Orthodox Christianity. That’s it. So obviously, I had no idea what to expect when I visited St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church for its Sixth Hour Prayer service. What I did know was that for some time now, I’d felt a deep desire to silence myself before the Lord, and […]

Is Masturbation Okay? . . . and Other Thorny Questions

The Mudroom is excited to be joining the likes of The Rumpus, the Chicago Tribune, and the Washington Post. We’re starting our very own advice column, “Dear Portia.” Every month, we’ll cover questions related to our monthly theme. First up is sex, sexuality, and singleness. Do you have questions about your sex life, about singleness, […]

Benediction For Unity

Benediction for Unity It is hard to admit this because we are kind people but we wouldn’t know unity from contempt we wouldn’t know togetherness from war we wouldn’t be able to say that the church body is whole we are too mixed up with who is for us and who is against us we […]

The Comfort of Luminous Lights

“He is my God though dark my road He holds me, I shall not fall Whatever my God ordains as right To him I leave it all. Sweet comfort, sweet comfort Yet shall fill my heart” –Sandra McCracken, Sweet Comfort   The past few years have been the most difficult of my life. I’ve been […]

Sometimes I Leave the Room

I can’t take it. I walk outside and text my husband to see when he would be back to pick me up. “Leaving now,” he writes. Soon, then. Thankfully. I don’t want to feel this way, like I have to leave a room when good, well-meaning people talk about people in poverty. I don’t want […]

Striving to Embrace Our Multi-Ethnic Community

One morning as I scanned my church email, most of the names and subject lines were familiar. Our guest speaker for the coming Sunday had sent her sermon title. Our music coordinator wanted to discuss the worship flow and congregational singing. Our denominational office had sent the usual weekly email of announcements and prayer requests. […]

Sitting on the Fringe

  I pass by the holy water font without pausing, fifty-three years of reflex gone. I slide into a pew tucked in the back corner of the cavernous church, an arm’s reach from the flickering votive candles. An arm’s reach from the nearest exit. It was not always thus between you and I. I spent […]