What Do Vicars Do All Day?

Recently, someone asked me, “What about ministry, exactly, makes it so stressful? Is it all the counseling you do for people and their crises?” “Well, the majority of what I do actually isn’t counseling,” I tried to explain. It’s hard to explain the stresses of ministry to someone who can’t imagine it intuitively. Before I could say more she asked, […]

Don’t Know Much Theology

A parishioner once recommended to me a particular book on theology he was reading. I was honest, “Thanks, Vince. But I struggle with reading and comprehending most writing about theology!” He cocked his head, “Huh. That surprises me, Rev. Heidi.” His confidence in me was gracious, but theology classes were the hardest for me. And I went to […]

On Still Loving A Shrinking Church

I wrote a blog post for The Christian Century on the Pew Forum’s Religious Landscape Survey, which shows further declining numbers for mainline churches like The Episcopal Church. I feel pretty conflicted about all of this. First, I think, “Who cares about numbers? Jesus didn’t care about numbers.”  Then I think, “At least the people left […]

Tumble Dry Alb

Alb (“No Tumble Dry”) drying on a hook on our shed on this windy day.

“The same night for years”

Today, The Christian Century blog posted a piece I wrote: “Three times a year, a worship service ends and I go back to the vesting room to change — and I feel as though I’m entering a time warp.” Read More…

Ten Ways To Be Silent

If you’re looking for a way to slow down during Holy Week, I recommend trying a little silence. You only need 3-10 minutes – even 30 seconds. But what do you do with any amount of silence? Just sit there? When I had the chance to stay at a hermitage on my sabbatical last fall, […]

Bolingbrook and Islam

Down the street from St. Benedict – less than a full block away – is a new mosque. “Mosque” in Arabic is “masjid,” which is the word the Muslim Association of Bolingbrook (MAB) uses for its two worship centers in the Village, one on the east side (Masjid al-Islam) and now, one on the west side (Masjid al-Jumu’ah). Note […]

Ash Wednesday Is The First Day of Easter

From my Ash Wednesday sermon, February 18, 2015 I want to say that Lent is the Extreme Sports Season of the church year. It’s when each one of us has the chance to test our spiritual mettle and try some truly dangerous feats. For instance, to not eat meat on Fridays for six weeks? I […]

What Happened On A Snow Blown Sunday

This morning, the five+ inches of snow on our street still hadn’t been plowed. This wasn’t a surprise. There are so many little subdivision streets and lanes out here that residential areas are almost never plowed until the snow comes to a full and complete stop. But I hate to cancel Sunday Eucharist. Communion is at the center […]

At The Hospital, Doing Nothing

When I sit with someone in a hospital, office, funeral home, or coffee shop, it can look and feel like doing nothing. Mostly, you sit. You listen. There are no magical things we are told in seminary or by the Holy Spirit to say or explain to people. There is small talk. There is prayer, out […]