“…over the last 15 years of pastoral ministry I’ve come to see that much of my job is listening to, and listening for, stories. Not fictional stories of Keillor’s Lake Wobegone, but the real stories of men and women within City Church—the pain and poignancy, the laughter and loss, the silly and sublime. ”
“In the course of reading your letters I realized something: your work on this devotional series is itself a great example of bringing cosmos to chaos…That’s why I decided that you—faithful writer of letters that you are—deserved a letter of your own.”
Lose 10 pounds. Exercise three times a week. Read 20 books. Stare at my phone less. The start of each new year sees many of us make resolutions like these in an effort to improve our diets, our health, our minds, ourselves. After conversations with some people who have far loftier ambitions for the coming year than I do, I’ve been thinking about resolutions.
“Chances are you’ll never see discarded Advent decorations littering the street. You won’t see Advent recipes hyped on glossy covers […] But because my job includes preparing church services and programming during Advent, I’ve been thinking about what the season means.”
“This fall I’ve been reading the reflections of Lesslie Newbigin, a British pastor and missionary who served as bishop in India 50 years ago […] Newbigin meditates on the nature and importance of Christian leadership. Spurred on by this book lately I’ve been thinking about leadership.”
What if you and I could simply be friends and be neighbors? Could we accept that as enough?
"The mysterious work of the church is gathering God’s beloved sons and daughters from different places and stages and stations and then living together as a family the best we can."
Due to a minor accident involving our minivan last month, I spent time at a local auto body shop this week...and I’ve never felt so vulnerable in my life.
"You really are a wonder, Auggie. You are a wonder."
During this time of year when ‘Best Of’ lists are appearing, I thought I’d add to the Internet noise by sharing my favorite books of 2017. These are not books that were published in 2017. Rather they’re books I read this year, specifically the ones I've been thinking about as my favorites.
Since our family returned from sabbatical, I’ve been thinking about rest. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about what rest is and how we can make it a regular part of our lives.
My sabbatical this summer was a gift from all of you: a gift to me, to my marriage, to my family, and to you.
"Friendship is born over time, not over one coffee date. It’s born through shared adversity, not just fun game nights."
From Memorial Day through Labor Day Erik will be on sabbatical from his regular job responsibilities at City Church. Here he shares his hopes for City Church while he's gone.
"Spiritual growth is often slow and gradual, even undetected except when measured across a long timeline."
We like snow days because we’re made to rest.
Particularly in the weeks before Christmas, our embodied practices help point to the reality of an embodied God, the Word made flesh, the miracle of the incarnation. Lately I’ve been thinking about Christmas traditions within Richmond, City Church, and within our own family.
It turns out that as a pastor I think quite a bit about friendship. And it’s usually not because people have too much of it.
The impending election has me thinking about our political moment. Specifically, it has me thinking about a hopeful, public faith conducted with civility at the local level.
Several months back a friend of mine told me I should come up with a vision for the upcoming year of ministry–some idea that could serve as a reference point for the staff of City Church and for the Church as a whole. Spurred by this friend’s advice, I’ve been thinking about what it means for City Church to be an always growing church.