invitation: opening the doors of the heart

Invitation means opening the door of our churches, of our choir rooms, and organ lofts so others can tentatively, confidently, or curiously step through. It requires a willingness to put our agendas aside and meet people where they're at. It's more than a handshake with a guest or visitor but instead taking time to know them and to affirm that their presence really matters to us. Invitation includes the possibility of carving out new spaces for others' gifts and talents, rather than assuming they will fit neatly into existing structures or schedules. Invitation is doing the hard work of opening our lives and hearts to all those God might bring to us, not just when it's convenient.

Read More

we need beauty as well as bread

Over the past year, I have found renewed joy, nourishment, and a profound sense of place in nature. Working in both northern and southern California has put me close to some of the country’s best national parks and I have been grateful for the resources and the time to visit several of them. 

Driving and especially hiking through such varied topography – from giant redwoods to high desert, and seaside cliffs to peaks in the Sierras – has filled me with wonder. I have been humbled by the astounding variety of plants and trees, of landscapes carved from the slow movement of glaciers or the fiery power of a volcanic eruption. The expansiveness of sky and sea has inspired prayers of gratitude. The sound of an ecstatic bird chorus or the twilight gurgle of frogs has motivated me to lift my voice in praise of the Creator.

Read More