CATEGORY: Contemporary Culture

Cultural Contempt

I had the pleasure of hearing Jonathan Walton of Harvard Divinity School speak at this year’s NEXT Church gathering. His answer to a participant’s question sticks with me; he responded that we must know and name our “moral frame.” How do we morally view life, people, situations? He noted that his moral frame meant he is always aware of who the most vulnerable person or people are in the room. He knows his moral frame, and others know it too because he names it.

Welcoming the Refugee, Loving Our Neighbor

Some folks who heard Tom in Kansas City went home and asked their churches whether or not they might be called to refugee resettlement ministry themselves. Here’s a reflection exercise appropriate for any faith community who might be engaging in discernment around this or other ministries.

If You Want to Know More About Appalachia

What I found in curating this series of blog posts is more questions than answers. So, if you’d like to know more, here are some places to start.

Hills of Appalachia

A poem.

Holding Tight to the Rhythm of Ministry

In my hometown of Philippi I was baptized and confirmed and ordained — all in the Philippi Presbyterian Church. This church took its baptism vows seriously and helped to nurture my faith that has led me to be an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for the past 9 years. But ministry looks a lot different now in West Virginia.

What is West Virginia for Me?

What is West Virginia (and Appalachia) for me? A photo essay.

Life and Ministry in Eastern Kentucky

The part-time ministry I have carved out since returning is providing pulpit supply to small churches without pastors and for pastors on vacation. There are still churches that won’t accept women pastors, while others have welcomed me with open arms because I was raised here and know the culture.