In response to the whole "spiritual but not religious" conversation (links within my link), I just want to say exactly what Pam said. That, and the funeral home in town sends all the grieving "spiritual but not religious" families to me for memorial services, and it's all sacred to me.
Last night I spent a little time with a family and lead a brief prayer service at the close of calling hours for a 27 year old son, fiance, and father of three. There was a lot of pain in that room. That, combined with a discussion at UMCommunities, has me thinking, yet again, about… Continue reading On being mad at God
I love my kid; she keeps life light. I was in the shower this morning, working on my eulogy (because that's where I always work on my sermons, don't you?). Arianna was obviously playing hide-and-seek with my brother-in-law, because just as I was reaching the second transition in the eulogy (and the conditioner), the bathroom… Continue reading In the midst of death, we also live.
Such silly things, like you can describe a whole person in a few paragraphs. The one in the paper/on the funeral home site isn't bad, even if I do think that referring to my mom as Jon's "long-time companion" makes her sound like either a live-in nurse or a canine. Is partner really so hard to… Continue reading Obituaries
I deal a lot in the business of death and, more importantly, its aftermath, and the ability to hopefully mourn well. We do ourselves and our loved ones a great service when we are able to honor and say goodbye to them, and process the pain and the loss in our lives at the same… Continue reading Grieving Well
If there's a pastor in town who doesn't have a funeral this week, I want to know who it is (because s/he must have some magic protection on the congregation, and I want it). It's a bad week, especially for unexpected deaths. Especially for young men. And the funeral director's own father, the former funeral… Continue reading Just Say It.
I was asked to officiate an odd funeral today. I didn't know the woman who had died, or her friend who had made the arrangements. That's not odd. What was odd was that the man who made the arrangements ended up being the only person who came. The deceased had been born, lived most of… Continue reading Where two or three are gathered…
I've only watched a few people pass away, but it's always hard and not in the ways I expected. It takes a long time. Much longer, usually, than we expect. It's like childbirth in that way, and there's something amazing in the fact that for a lot of people we leave this life as slowly… Continue reading Prayers with the dying
I evangelized in Starbucks today. Yep. First, I had a funeral this morning, under very difficult circumstances. As in the family was estranged from one another and rather than sharing bittersweet memories of the deceased took the opportunity to air some grievances that probably really needed to be aired. I hope I brought a little… Continue reading The mission field
I mean that in a good way. Last week at church may have been one of my best services, but today was one of those days that reminds me why I'm a *pastor* and not just a preacher/worship leader. It is Heritage Sunday, and my sermon (unrecorded) focused on "coming together"-- our denomination coming together… Continue reading One of Those Days