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…

Welsh island of pastures and rocky headland with white and red lighthouse, surrounded by blue water. Text reads: "Common ground: '...we're all stuck on this world's edge together. And active participation is a choice.' www.reluctantmysticism.com"

Peace At The Edge of the World

The Welsh have a word that possesses no definite translation: hiraeth. Roughly, it means: missing something, longing for places and spaces that feel like home. It is a word heavy with sound, breath, beauty, and meaning. I’m reminded once again how impoverished the English language is, how careless. What’s worse, we English-speakers don’t even care about its poverty. We’re content…

Black & white photo of a bench on a grassy hill overlooking the ocean; a ghostly figure dressed in a hoodie & sneakers sits on the bench; text reads: "Luke 15:11-32, The Parable of the Absent Mother, 'Sometimes absence is my choice, and sometimes it's a choice forced upon me so that I walk upon the earth as a ghost."

The Parable of the Absent Mother

I had the chance to participate in a pulpit swap this past Sunday. My Lutheran congregation occasionally trades pastors for a morning with the local Anglican church a few blocks north of us. It was a great chance to discover different liturgical perspectives as well as meet new folks. The pericope, however, was the prodigal son — familiar to the…

Array of 3 photos of people standing with pride flags and signs at a rally. Text reads: "Without [cynicism], my curiosity revels in my privileges and permits me to question the world without questioning myself." www.reluctantmystcism.com

GSAs, Curiosity, & Cynicism

A rival political candidate in our upcoming provincial election announced that if he is elected, he will reverse the current government’s policy of supporting Gay/Straight, Queer/Straight Alliances (GSAs/QSAs). Essentially, he’ll allow teachers and school administrators to inform parents when their kids attend any such group on school grounds. His announcement, while not unexpected, remains devastating. It’s provoking peaceful demonstrations across…