August 13, 2017
Noticer. Adept at parallel play. Worker for justice; reporter of hope, advocate for children and the oppressed;
music-lover; student of comedy; follower of Jesus Christ.
Writer. Pastor. Survivor.
The name of this blog, Take Off Your Shoes, is taken from Exodus 3, the story of Moses standing before the burning bush, and hearing the voice of God say, “take off your shoes, you’re standing on holy ground.”
I am in my 17th year of ordained ministry in the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America). I am approaching the end of my second year at King of Kings Lutheran Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan; my 4th call.
There are many things I love about the community of King of Kings. I also appreciate the extent to which the folks at King of Kings value and take inclusion seriously. We are a Reconciling In Christ congregation, meaning we invite, welcome, and include LGBTQ folks in every aspect of our congregational life. We also believe #blacklivesmatter and actively participate in studies to understand the systemic nature of racism and our complicity in it, as well as how we act as allies and effect change to bring justice to people of color in this country.
King of Kings is filled with gifted musicians, thoughtful philosophers, and encouraging folks who care for the hurting in this world in numerous ways. They make me a better pastor by their witness.
The current events in the United States and in our world make proclaiming the Good News an increasing challenge. Still, it does not seem to be a matter of the Gospel being irrelevant, it is more relevant in the midst of tragedies than at any other time. It requires that we look deeper at the way things are intertwined and unfolding. It means that I have to be ever more diligent in locating myself in the story of Jesus Christ to effectively help others do the same.
It is a challenge that is both daunting and satisfying that makes me aware of the Holy Spirit in ways I cannot predict or deny. It remains a mysterious privilege.
I thank you for taking the time to listen with me and to me in this space.
May the stories, sermons, and poetry you read here bring you hope.