Trauma-Informed Summer Programming for Youth Ministry

A tale of two confirmation camps, both planned and executed with the best of intentions. One group of caring youth leaders used a sensitive and contemplative model of listening. They asked young participants what they needed, how they felt, and to use feeling words to describe the epic journey of transition over the last year […]

Age-Appropriate Ways to Introduce Conversations about Race to Children

2020 was a year of reckoning that led many of us who are white to heed what people of color have been saying for many years: that racism is a persistent and deadly problem and that it will not be solved until white people learn, grow, and change. To that end, Sparkhouse has decided to […]

The Freedom of A(n LGBTQIA+) Christian

Originally published by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as part of their exploration of Martin Luther’s work, ‘Freedom of A Christian’, part of the ELCA 500th anniversary celebration. My essay and several other diverse and dynamic voices responding to the work can be found HERE. A few days before writing this piece, I gave […]

Getting Back to “Normal”

Originally published on March 11, 2021 by Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries at The story John 3:14-21 references in passing from Numbers 21:4-9 is actually a striking one. (Read both passages HERE)The Israelites are struggling along a meandering desert path, riddled with anxiety. There are venomous snakes all around, called up by the Israelites in their agitation […]

What Does Ash Wednesday Worship Look Like in A Pandemic?

This piece was originally published by ELCA Worship on January 15, 2021 as part of a longer article that can be found HERE with several other reflections. Most of my personal study and continuing education for the last several months has been focused on trauma-informed care, recognizing that living through the varied events of the […]

World Hunger Day

Originally published on October 16, 202 by ELCA Worship in conjunction with ELCA World Hunger. The original blog can be found HERE. 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 Just for fun, try something. Take this short passage and rewrite it as if it was being written about you. Imagine the saints of the church; the missionaries and the […]