Commentary, Sermons, Memoir, and Book Reviews

I am a member of the Redbud Writer’s Guild, and the Collegeville Institute has hosted me for a writing residency. I write on the intersection of faith, culture, and politics, and I have written for Sojourners, Red Letter Christians, Geez, The Redbud Post, RevGalBlogPals, Awake Our Hearts, Englewood Review of Books, and Velvet Ashes. Check out some of those reflections here.

COMMENTARY

The Benefit of Sharing Our Poetic Words (2021): reflects on the value of poetry feedback groups, and concludes with a blessing for the hands of a poet

How to Journey in a Pandemic (2020): what silence and labyrinths can teach us when most other journey options are off limits

Leaning Against Trees (2019): a contemplative prayer reflection on the life and teachings of civil rights leader Howard Thurman

Social Media, Lent and Literary Citizenship (2019): social media can be a problem, but it can also be a blessing, as I learned during one Lent a few years ago

Crafting a Better World (2018): how Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman’s TV show Making It offers us a new vision not only of crafting, but also of community

What’s in a Name? (2011): God cares about names in Scriptures, as well as our names today. What do our names reveal about our identities, justice, and sense of belonging?

SERMONS

Beyond Words, Walls, and Temples (2019): what Ezekiel 1 can teach us when everything falls apart

The Judges God Sends Us (2018): God’s vision for leadership in Judges 4

MEMOIR

Products of Personal Care (2020): meeting needs creatively when it becomes difficult to find everyday toiletries

In the Beginning (2019): reflecting on an unforgettable small group leader God brought my way when I was a pastor at an immigrant church in Shanghai

What’s Missing from Immigration Conversations (2018): what American and German friends taught me about the weight of my US passport

Looking at My Nadir (2017): exploring sabbath and hitting a low point when I was serving as a pastor in Shanghai

How I Learned to Talk About Race (2011): my story of embracing the need for race-related conversations and justice, especially in relation to the church and Scripture

BOOK REVIEWS

Art + Faith: A Theology of Making (2021): this book by Makoto Fujimura is good news not only for artists, poets, and contemplatives, but also for the cultures who need their leadership.

30 Poems to Memorize (Before It’s Too Late) (2021): why memorize a poem? How do race, #ChurchToo, and embodiment relate to poetry? I explore these questions in this review.

Healing Racial Trauma (2020): as author Sheila Wise Rowe explains, how we heal racial trauma may depend on our race. Yet the results will be good news for all of us.

Invited (2019): as author Leslie Troutman Verner makes clear, hospitality involves keeping it real.

The Art of the Essay (2019): Charity Singleton Craig offers many pearls of wisdom for an art form that’s all about trying.