Articles by wendy

Fact-checking and Faith

What’s the capital of Switzerland?  It was a relatively simple question for Eva, our German exchange student.  She had been to Switzerland and she had stood in the capital. “Bern,” she said confidently.  “No, anyone else?” the social studies teacher paused briefly then added, “The capital of Switzerland is Zurich.”…

Read More

A Different Animal

Sunday I met with a session to begin the process of closing a church.  It reminded me of this, the first chapter of a book I’m working on.  This is just a draft, so comments are welcome …. “That’s why the presbytery sent you, right?  To close us?” Ruth whispers…

Read More

Last Tuesday night, Dwayne and I wanted a pizza.  We have “pizza” on speed dial and called to order a pepperoni pie.  There was no answer.  I called again, and the ringing went on and on and on.  Why?  Why wouldn’t the pizzeria pick up?  We thought, maybe they’re very…

Read More

Determining “Quality of Life”

Lizzie at the foot of Dwayne’s desk … looking good after the morning at the groomer. Our Bichon Frise turned fifteen years old in November.  That’s 105 years old in “dog years.”  Actually it’s about the average lifespan for her breed.  She is suffering from cataracts, severe arthritis, a heart…

Read More

It’s OK to Feel Guilty

I don’t imagine anybody likes to feel guilty.  Owning up to our shortcomings is painful.  That’s why we get defensive when criticized, or blame others when we’re accused.  I can’t sleep for days when I know I’ve hurt someone.  I cry.  Taking responsibility for our faults is not only emotionally difficult,…

Read More

Prayer Doesn’t “Fix” Things, but It Does Change People

The front page of the New York Daily News shouted to the nation: “God isn’t fixing this.”  Clearly it was a call to political action to deal with the numbers of terror-producing mass shooting in the United States. The article described the many post-San Bernadino comments, particularly from Republican presidential…

Read More

“Here I Stand” a Reformation affirmation

Growing up Lutheran I sometimes think I was raised loving Martin Luther more than Jesus. I would imagine him nailing ninety five theses on the door of the church in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517.  My great grandmother told me stories of her small Bavarian hometown not far from there….

Read More

Default Living

In the nineties I served a church that defined itself a great deal by what it was NOT.  It was NOT, after all, like the church down the street which had defined itself as “bible based,” “contemporary,” “evangelical,” and “growing.”  I’ve seen this a lot in congregations since then, too….

Read More

Bumper Bowling Faith

We were sitting around the table after a great dinner of homemade fajitas, cheese dip and guacamole.  I loved talking with my nine-year-old nephew.  I loved how engaged he was in conversation, how quickly his mind responded to new ideas, how deep a thinker he was already, how articulate he…

Read More