in a day

This morning I was witness to holy leave taking.

A church member, vibrant of soul and young of age, breathed her last.

She was surrounded by the resonant beauty of her fine life: Her partner, mom and sister acted as resurrection midwives. She had prayed that her death might be grace filled. And so it was.

All day today the church has been alive with the sound of music.

Tomorrow we will celebrate the marriage of two amazing folk. They have collected a tribe of singers and dancers who will lead us in a full-hearted celebration of love. There is music happening in most every space available. Our day care children are in awe, as am I.

Love. It’s what life is all about.

Today as Lori let go and tomorrow as Drew and Cassie cleave it is love that moves the loosing and binding that is life.


Born in the heart of the Holy.

Savored by the wise.

This past week Minnesota United Methodists gathered for our Annual Conference. It is a reunion and a marathon of meetings and always Annual Conference stokes my desire for fruitful ministry to a fever pitch. I serve a church pregnant with possibility and sometimes being patient is teeth gnash.

This year’s conference, like those preceding it, was marked by a speaking of how it is the larger church is so very wounded.

There are some eighty clergy in the conference (myself included), and over 1,000 across the United States who have signed a document stating that we will joyfully offer services of marriage to same sex couples. In Minnesota, it is now legal! And, this offering of grace routine to heterosexual couples is against the polity of our church. Persons violating said polity can be disciplined for facilitating the speaking of love and covenant.

I feel such grief. I feel grief for the judicatories in our system who are tasked with upholding policies they may not agree with. We are compatriots in the preaching of the good news of the nothing-can-seperate-us-from-the love of God in Christ Jesus. And, there may soon come a day when polity trumps grace and preachers are exiled by their kin in Christ. Surely God weeps.

I feel such grief because the expanse of grace opened to us by Jesus seems so jealously guarded by fear and surely, God weeps.

I feel such grief because this mother is watching her children and their compatriots turn from the Body of Christ known as the United Methodist movement. They cannot understand a denomination that barricades from some the very grace said to be offered to all.

I feel such grief because there is so much work calling to the people of Jesus: poverty and racism and ecological devastation and the people of Jesus are called to respond and heal and bless and while we natter on about who it is who ought be united in marriage by our pastors, the world continues to be wounded and about this I know God weeps.

I’m a United Methodist pastor. While my church is pregnant with possibility it so very challenged by its being as a United Methodist Church. We are a people meant to welcome Spirit breath and life transformation. We want to live in the way of Jesus.

May the God who weeps hold us in this time.


Today Minnesota United Methodists voted to speak publicly against the marriage amendment coming before voters in November.

This is no small thing.

We join the ranks of Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians and the United Church of Christ in Minnesota; all have voted to speak out against this attempt to legislate oppression.

What makes this decision poignant is that unlike the above named denominations, our denomination corporately holds a stance on homosexuality much like that of the Catholic Church.  Many of us work hard on seeking change in that regard.

For the MN Annual Conference to overwhelmingly support public opposition to legislative oppression means that we claimed our call to advocate for justice.

I am a hope filled woman.  I am moved by the witness and advocacy that has taken place for decades in order for this church I love to step out and speak out.  I am aware of the work yet to be done and the wounds yet real.

But today.  On June 1st in St Cloud Minnesota, United Methodists spoke their hearts.

And I do believe we are a changed people.

Thanks be to God.



No Facebook.  No email.  No Words with Friends.

For ten days I will fast from electronic community.  Sound grim?  It isn’t.

I’ll be in Florida for ten days with my guy.  My agenda is to think my own thoughts and take in the thoughts of others through books and conversations.

And, maybe most huge of all, I seek to surrender myself to sun and wind and bare feet and water and space.

Somehow life (once again) got to be a race.  The “terror of abundance” that is my life is too much temptation for the likes of me.  I get to do so many things I enjoy and believe in.  The work with United Methodists for Marriage Equality is picking up, church is rich and hopping, and the faith communities of Richfield and Bloomington are starting to meet to figure out how we can be of some use to our respective communities.

There is so much to be done!

And, the land of my soul is needing a mini-Jubilee:  a time to lie fallow.

It seems a fitting way to enter Lent.  I’m not “giving up” anything (unless it is a compulsive need to busy too much).  Instead, I seek to add a dimension to my life sorely lacking.  Space savored in the sun. Space as spiritual discipline.  Space through which I can listen to the Holy woven into the song of seagull and sea.

If all goes well, I might get used to it.



The questions that walk with me:

How is it politicians can say they want government out of private lives while seeking legislation that invades bedrooms and bodies?  The (anti) marriage amendment and the continued encroachment around choice are an attack on the sovereignty of heart and body.

How is it politicians mouth words about caring about this nation while spending millions to gain office in order to decimate safety nets?

How is it the church is so often silent about justice issues?

How is it the Catholic Bishop and hierarchy create vendetta energy and monies around who is NOT allowed to live married when all families are being shattered by poverty?

What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus?

When will we live compassion?  Why spend so much time and passion around demonizing others?  When will we spend the energies to claim who we are instead of lobbing out incendiary verbiage about others?

How do United Methodists live into wholeness when our polity proclaims barricades to grace?

How do we live the despair and possibilities of these days?

And, who will go with us?