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…

Green figs in a decorative white bowl and plate spilling onto a wooden table; one fig is cracked open to reveal red fruit inside. Text reads: "Jesus & the fig tree: when manure stands in the gap between us and judgment, Luke 13:1-9"

Judgment, Jesus,Figs, & Poop

Preaching on passages known for judgment during their integrative history is difficult. For some reason, we are overly attached to this notion of God as axe-wielder, ready to chop down the useless and pointless with divine gardening wrath. We want God to get rid of all that doesn’t measure up. Having said that, trying to preach a gospel of grace…

Red brick background, faded purple border, transparent white circle, with black text in foreground: "I have the distance to be both grieved and shocked at this heinous act of Islamophobia, as well as intentional about learning about the shooter."

When I No Longer Want to be Curious

How do I stay curious about ┬áthe people in front of me who act out in ways that are violent and destructive? I don’t want to. I don’t believe I should be forced to. I am supposed to write something inspirational about curiosity this week, but after the news of the shootings in Christchurch, NZ, I can’t seem to publish…

Thoughts on “Shameless: A Sexual Reformation”

I feel a rather satisfied sense of irony that my post about Nadia Bolz-Weber’s new book “Shameless: A Sexual Revolution” is set to go live today, March 08, International Women’s Day. There’s something rather authentic and volatile about sharing openly about sex, purity culture, and patriarchy on the day women around the world are celebrating each other, and affirming how…

Ashes and pieces of old vintage photographs strewn across the ground. Text reads: "Reluctant Mysticism: Ash Wednesday 2019, www.reluctantmysticism.com

Ash Wednesday: Embracing Healing for Lent

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday — the day in the Christian liturgical calendar that marks the beginning of Lent. The day we remember our mortality — we are dust, and to dust we shall return. The day we confess repentance and our need for God’s forgiveness. The text for the day was from Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 — Jesus criticising the religious…

Picture of open old gothic church doorway seeing out towards a misty coniferous forest at night.

Mist-Covered Mountains: Finding the Magic in Liminality

The Celts believed there was another dividing line that all people could straddle, if only they stretched themselves out a bit. And that’s the divide between the world and the otherworld. -Steve Rabery, In The House of Memory I was lying in a tiny berth in a cabin supposedly made for three grown people, but really could hardly accommodate one.…