Permission for Holy Rest

It’s odd that we so often need to hear permission for what we so desperately need. Rest is one such hellish need. Sometimes rest seems far too much like a luxury. It’s afforded to those of us who finish our to-do lists or who have salaries that cover expenses every month. Even when we have very little to do, our…

Angels & Demons: Do We Still Need to Believe in the Supernatural?

This past Sunday was the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels or Michaelmas (Michael’s Mass). In some countries in the northern hemisphere, it’s a Christian version of celebrating the equinox. For Lutherans, it’s one of the only feasts to commemorate supernatural forces in the world. It was a strange movement coming from evangelical worlds that took supernatural entities literally…

Celebrating Mabon: A Season of Thanksgiving

The autumnal equinox has wheeled around once again. Every year I am reminded how this season has become my favourite season. Historically lacking the consumerist trappings of Christmas or Easter, it has been free to explode a worthy celebration on the world without forcing it into a plastic mould. Without knocking the lovers of pumpkin spice lattes, I can’t help…

Those We Meet on the Road

Roads are thin spaces. I often romanticize thin spaces — their defiance of clear boundaries and their endless possibilities. They represent a reality of spiritual realms that are often rationalised in our pulpits and pews. And I love them for it. The world can drain for us even the desire to believe in what can’t be understood, and thin spaces…

When the Powers are Wrong

This week’s pericope is one that has troubled Christians for millennia. Jesus utters horrifying words like “no one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” For those of us raised in conservative traditions, flashbacks of discipleship Sundays, altar calls, and long sermons about unwavering loyalty to the King of Kings…

When Healing Make Life Complicated

When I skimmed this week’s gospel reading from the lectionary, I rolled my eyes a little bit (my mother would be so pleased, quite possibly declaring I was looking for my brains). Jesus heals the man at the pool. Lovely. It was an optional reading, but avoiding difficult texts is a sure-fire way for any clergy person to dive headlong…

A Mothering Jesus

This week’s pericope was a long one — John 21:1-19. The disciples are fishing all night long, Jesus waits for them on the beach, there’s a miraculous catch of fish, breakfast, and suddenly we stop talking about the fish and start talking about sheep instead. I needed to whittle down the text to a perspective often glossed over — a…

White church with black spire with cross on top against a white sky. Text reads: "40 Lifelong Gifts Over 40 Days"

40 Lifelong Gifts — Part I

Part of my Lenten practice this year was to think of one genuine gift each of the forty days that the world of evangelicalism gave me. It’s not an earth-shattering practice or one that will herald any second comings of Jesus or anything. I really only wanted to find beauty and meaning in a past that has done damage. It’s…

Photo of the front of an old church, front wall blown out, and view of a meadow at sunset. Text reads: "And with God-the-Father absent...or somehow remaining invisible ..., God-the-Mother must bear witness.", Erin Thomas

Women of the Crucifixion: The Sound of God

I’ve done it since I was young. Focus on the absence of God, I mean. Not that any one group has any precise, theological understanding of exactly what happened the day Jesus was crucified. No one was actually there — in Palestine or in heaven. If that’s where God-the-Father resides. Which I’ve come to have dubious suspicions about. We’ve fought…

Black background with triangle rainbow flags in each corner; small rainbow central top, text reads: "I can support GSAs however I can, support families as they seek to be healthy support systems for LGBTQ2SIA+ youth, and speak out against the darkness that threatens the lives and wellbeing of marginalised groups." www.reluctantmysticism.com

Honouring the Presence of GSAs

Film Production This past winter, Trinity Lutheran Church was host to local filmmaker Mark Koeppen (KTNexus), and video creator Katie Cutting (Big Sky Life, Lazy Kitten Productions), who shot and produced public service announcements for the importance of GSAs/QSAs (gay/straight alliances/queer straight alliances). The political and social climate in Alberta right now is incredibly tense, more so with the provincial…