BBQ Church is Happening on Sunday

The Holy Smoker

What I Did on My Summer “Vacation”… Friends and readers of this blog will know that BBQ has become one of my passions in recent years. As a Southern boy who likes to eat, I’ve always enjoyed BBQ. But for the past few years it has become one of my most consistent hobbies, pastimes, and […]

The Vine is Dying

Photo by Hans Kylberg

I’m growing increasingly frustrated and impatient with mainline Protestant churches like the one I serve, the Presbyterian Church (USA). At every level of our system, from congregations on up to General Assembly agencies, we keep missing the big picture. We measure our success by how well we manage and deploy an increasingly small pool of […]

Into the Deep

Photo by Alan Wright

I preached this sermon yesterday at our afternoon jazz service. The scripture reading is Luke 5:1-11. My son is finally getting comfortable enough in water to enjoy swimming. My parents live on the beach in Florida, so he’s been exposed to swimming pools and the ocean his entire life. While he’s long loved playing in […]

A Denomination in Decline


This post comes directly from the PC(USA) Mid Councils Commission report (18-19). I wrote this section with input from commission member Karen Dimon. I am posting discrete sections of our report as a means of generating conversation, so please make comments. At the end of this post, I have suggested some questions to stimulate your […]

Dreaming of a Blues Church

Photo by Larry Johnson

Today the Chicago Tribune published the final installment of Howard Reich’s excellent series on Chicago blues. I first noticed the series a month ago, with the publication of the third installment, a fascinating article about the gap between struggling historic blues clubs on Chicago’s South Side and the touristy clubs on the North Side. The […]