My Year as a Heathen

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My Year as a Heathen

Middle section, second pew from the front, left side.

That's where my family sat every Sunday morning. It provided easy access to the stage for my pastor dad, who was always positioned closest to the aisle. It gave me a sense of being under the watchful gaze of the whole congregation: significant, but scrutinized...

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Pauline Fell, 1916-2015

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Pauline Fell, 1916-2015

One of my heroes passed away today at the tender young age of 99.

I feel so far away from the community that mourns her in Vancouver.  As I was searching for ways to connect and remember, I found an article I wrote about her five years ago.   I hope it gives you a window into the life of this woman who so inspired me...

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Who is Welcome at the Table?

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Who is Welcome at the Table?

Just as I was congratulating myself, I recalled a question that had burned itself into my memory while listening to one of my favorite podcasts, The Liturgists... “Is there anyone you would refuse go to the Table with?”  The previous morning, members of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church had traveled all the way to Portland to picket our gay Christian conference and demonstrate their impressive ability to each hold four offensive signs with two hands. Thankfully, a crowd of local Christians had kindly stood in front of them, in the pouring rain, creating a wall of love to buffer us from that hatred. As one of these Portlanders remarked, “It was Christians protecting Christians from Christians.”  But suppose all these Christians, in all three categories, were invited together to the Table...

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A Lesbian & the Virgin Mary

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A Lesbian & the Virgin Mary

Two years ago, I was co-pastoring a little church in inner-city Vancouver. That Advent season, my co-pastor was leading us in imaginative storytelling: we'd take turns choosing a person from the Christmas narrative and telling the story from that character's viewpoint. I enjoyed listening to other people's reflections, but I whenever I tried to decide which character from the story I could best identify with, I lost focus.

My brain kept getting snagged on the fact that this would be my last closeted Christmas...

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Some New Years Reso-ma-lutions

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Some New Years Reso-ma-lutions

I can't help it; I'm a sucker for new year's resolutions.  I know January 1st is really no different than any other 24-hour day.  I know I can "start my best life now," whenever "now" happens to be.  But there's something about New Year's Day that feels like the first crisp page of a journal.  Plus it's a memorable marker in time.  So here I raise my Ebenezer...

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The (Un)expected journey - my reflections on our New Direction Epic Road Trip

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The (Un)expected journey - my reflections on our New Direction Epic Road Trip

It’s been two and a half weeks since our staff returned to Toronto, and I’m still sitting here, trying to make sense of what happened during the three weeks of our Epic Road Trip across western Canada. At risk of stating the obvious, the trek, for me, was a mix of the expected and the unexpected.  I expected to bond with my co-workers, and I did. We enjoyed so many shared experiences: the hotels (good and bad), the restaurants (good and bad), listening to the addictive Serial podcast (always good) as well as Danice’s highly educational musical playlists – overviews of music through the decades – and of course, lots and lots of Tim Horton’s, the one blessed constant across the many miles and time zones of Canada...

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Coming out on Thanksgiving

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Coming out on Thanksgiving

It happened again. I was watching an episode of the excellent new TV series “Transparent,” and Jeffrey Tambor’s character Maura was preparing to come out as a trans woman to her adult son, Josh. Maura stood on her balcony and watched Josh’s car pull up, and as she stepped back, anxiously considering what his reaction might be to seeing his dad as a woman for the first time, I suddenly noticed my own body reacting. My heart was pounding intensely. My palms glistened with sweat...

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