We spout and spew through our fingertips. We belittle and ridicule, we mock and shame with a quick tap on a glowing screen. Individuals fade to fuzzy gray and meld into an amorphous anonymous unit: the Other. Names are replaced with categories, identifiers with unmistakable connotations. “Oh her? She’s a democrat. Oh him? He’s conservative. Oh them? They’re gay. She’s black. He’s Latino. Are they even from here?” Just like that, we exonerate ourselves. We need not listen to them because they are Other. We need not show respect because they are Other. We need not control our violent impulses because they are Other, and the Other is less than us.
It has been crickets on the newsletter front, friends. The last three months have been a whirlwind as we have settled into our new home in Mount Vernon, OH and I have jumped in the deep end of my new role as
Campus Pastor at MVNU.
It has been quiet on the newsletter front for awhile. The last couple of months have brought about dramatic changes, the biggest of which I could not disclose until the time was right. A little over two weeks ago, my husband and I announced our resignation from the lead pastorate we share in Mountain Home, Idaho. I have accepted the position as the Campus Pastor (formerly titled Chaplain) at Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Mount Vernon, Ohio. (Read more about it here!)
These past three weeks have been a wild ride in our house with three separate trips to three very different parts of the country. I love ya, Southwest, but we need some space. It's not you, it's definitely me.
It never fails. I sign up for a conference, excited to see friends and family, eager to learn new things, giddy about attending a worship service I am not in charge of for once…and then it hits. The pre-conference panic.
This is not your typical Top Ten (or in my case, Top Twelve) book list. This is not a list of the best books that have hit the market in the last year. Quite literally, there are NO hot takes in this post.
On a scale of 1-10, how geeked out are for the beginning of Advent tomorrow?
I am a 20…as in 20 Advent-purple fingers and toes.
I hesitated to sign-up to pre-read Courtney Ellis’ book Uncluttered for a couple of reasons. First, the title alone, Uncluttered, made it very clear to me that this book would have something to say to me and my often-very cluttered life. Second, the author Courtney Ellis is, like myself, a co-pastor with her husband, a writer (um, obviously? She wrote the book…), and a mom to littles. Why would so much affinity with an author give me such pause? Because I knew she would not only “get it”, she would also see through my sanctimonious excuses as to why my cluttered life was a special kind of holy and thus merited a free pass. Rude.