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Posts Tagged ‘worship’

Leaving My Denomination

By Bryan BlissJuly 10, 2018

The first time my wife and I worshipped in an Episcopal church, we were members in The United Methodist Church, the denomination that baptized, confirmed, and eventually called me to ministry. On any given Sunday across the globe, you can find a United Methodist congregation worshipping. And at least in the North American churches, there…

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The Problem with Spiritual Fruits

By E.D.April 11, 2018

The band quit playing at church because our priest asked them to sing from the choir loft rather than the altar of St. Joseph in front of the sanctuary. They not only refused, they left the parish. At the music ministry meeting, the guitarist had said, “We get energy from the audience. If we are…

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This Place is an Altar

By Jason BrunerApril 25, 2017

Pastor David—strong, sincere, and confident in his pressed shirt and polished shoes—greets me in the doorway. “This place,” he pauses, looking me in the eye, “is an altar.” He seems genuinely glad to have an American in attendance, but I am in an entirely different sort of mood. I’m in Kampala attempting to conduct research…

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Against “Amazing Grace”

By Caroline LangstonJuly 28, 2016

In a world in which it seems that just about everything seems to be complained about online—bitch, bitch, bitch, moan, moan, moan—ad infinitum, here’s a little beef I’d like to proffer, that I don’t recall having seen anywhere yet: I despise “Amazing Grace.” Mind you, I’m not complaining about the notion of grace itself, God’s…

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Gotta Dance

By Elizabeth DuffyJuly 11, 2016

My mother was a dancer. I use the term dancer in the most flexible possible way, to mean: “One who dances.” She said that she had always wished to be a ballerina—an image that didn’t compute with my childhood understanding of my mother, a labor room nurse who played racquetball at the YMCA, and otherwise…

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Thin Places, Part 1

By Alissa WilkinsonMay 9, 2016

A few summers ago, my husband Tom and I were in Dublin for a week, and one day, we took a tour bus to two ancient holy places—thin places, the Celts would have called them: spots where heaven and earth are very close to one another, where the ordinary distance between the two collapses. When…

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Dancing on the Way to Prison

By John BryantMarch 18, 2016

I’m standing in a circle with thirty singing and swaying old men and we hold each other’s hands because of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and signal the presence of His Spirit by fluttering our fingers during certain parts of the song, the fluttering strange at first and then completely appropriate and satisfying. There…

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How Much God Loves Us

By John BryantFebruary 1, 2016

He was born with cerebral palsy and he has it all the way up until he is completely underwater, when, he says, his whole body is pleasantly different, his limbs smooth and loose and elegant. I hold him under his arms in the pool and he can walk and tell me everything. He takes three…

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Listening to Simone

By Christiana N. PetersonJanuary 25, 2016

The woman stands in the entryway of our common building just before Sunday worship begins. It’s not a sightly place, but it has every necessity for common intentional community life: a kitchen, a large meeting space, tables and chairs for worship and meals, a bathroom and a prayer room. At first, the woman seems to…

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I Come Not to Praise the Megachurch

By Tony WoodliefSeptember 3, 2015

The church may have begun as a non-spiritual entity, a business of some sort that was judged insufficiently profitable. Maybe it was one of those sprawling climate-controlled storage facilities, for example, the kind assembled from pre-fab insulated concrete forms, crafted not for enlivening souls but for storing up the treasures that have no place elsewhere.

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