Grounded in Gratitude: The Benefits of Spiritual Formation

Grounded in Gratitude: The Benefits of Spiritual Formation

When I was asked to share about gratitude this month, I instantly thought of my experience with the Certificate in the Spiritual Formation program.

I continue finding to this day (and most likely for the rest of my life) experiences,…

A Layperson’s Guide to Practicing Gratitude

This post originally appeared in Faith & Leadership.


My wife and I recently relocated, which led us to visit a half-dozen churches in the past two months.

Each seemed to have a downside.

The music wasn’t that great,…

Photo by Kai D. on Unsplash

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

Our God,

we welcome with anticipation this Thanksgiving week

–our one authentic religious holiday shared by

religious and skeptics alike—time to rest and play,

to gather with family and friends

around abundant tables, football games,

and appropriate pauses in which…

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Be Virgil – A Coach as Companion on the Way

Be Virgil,” reads the Post-It on the windowsill in front of my desk, a reminder of the role I am to play when I meet with a coaching client.


I faced my biggest crisis in ministry within weeks of…

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

We’re Wired for Story…What’s Yours?

In times like these, you need a story.  “A story?” you ask. “A story? Why?”

Why? Because we are wired for story.

We are streaming stories every day on Hulu, Netflix and YouTube. When it comes to church, what is…

Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

Landscapes of Renewal: How to Read and “See” the Bible

Landscapes are important, particularly when they are identified with “home.”

Indeed, there is a newly coined clinical term shared by both psychologists and ecologists called “solastalgia,” a combination of the Latin word solacium (comfort) and the Greek root –algia (pain).

Photo by John Spencer on Unsplash

All Shapes and Sizes: What Does Youth Ministry Look Like?

It’s important to understand that there’s no set formula for youth ministry and how it operates.

It comes in many variations and looks different for every ministry. It comes in all shapes and sizes.

Church folks are typically very concerned…

Photo by Anna Samoylova on Unsplash

Sacred Creation: The Celtic Way of Christian Spirituality

Christianity first reached the Celtic people of Ireland and Britain as early as the second century C.E. and began to blossom by the fifth century.

This encounter between the Christian religion and Celtic tradition engendered a deep and distinctive spirituality…

How to Welcome Our Transgender and Non-Binary Neighbors in the Church

Rev. Linda Herzer and Gabrielle Claiborne will teach the course “Welcoming Our Transgender and Non-Binary Neighbors” in January of 2019. They are the co-founders of Transformation Journeys Worldwide, a transgender-focused diversity training and consulting firm. We interviewed Rev. Linda and…


How Coaching Improves Your Relationships and Results as Clergy

Most are familiar with the definitions of coaching in the context of athletic and business settings. In those worlds, coaching focuses on something both have in common – a bottom line.

Sports and business are goal-driven. They rely on clear…

What’s Your Number? How the Enneagram Helps You to Understand Yourself and Others

In the summer of 1991, a t-shirt changed my life.

I was on staff at Ring Lake Ranch, a spiritual retreat center in the Wyoming wilderness., when one mid-summer morning, Sister Agnes arrived in the dining hall wearing a t-shirt…

Making Religious Communities Safe for LGBTQ Kids

This post originally appeared in


Eight years ago this Saturday, my son, Tyler Clementi, died by suicide after vicious cyberbullying at Rutgers University because of his sexual orientation.

He was 18 years old.

Tyler was not the…

Photo Credit: webRNS-Clementi-Oped1-091918

How Community Can Help You Move Through Pain and Experience Spiritual Awakening

It is no accident that the people most likely to be eager for a personal experience of God in their lives are those who have been forced to discover, often at considerable pain, that they are not in control. Such…

Magnificent and Marvelous: A Look Inside Older Adult Ministry

This year I added two certificates to my office.

One I worked on for two and a half years.

The other was a surprise.

The first was an official looking document announcing the completion of my Certificate in Older Adult…

Exploring the Spirituality of Hope: Is Hope More Than a “Feeling”?

Is hope more than a feeling?

More than expecting the good guy to win at the end of the movie or that the weather will be pleasant for your event?

Yes. It is. 

We tend to relate hope with…