There are six church seasons: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost.
Christmas is probably most people’s favorite. I like it as a secular holiday but not as a religious one—I see no reason to celebrate fairy tales. We have no idea where, when, or how Jesus was born, but we sure spend a lot of energy and money celebrating the unknown.… Read more >
I was in a Sunday morning adult education class about the book of Revelation (I call it the book of Revolting) when someone suggested that this book was a study of good versus evil. I asked the class who gets to decide who or what is good or evil.
Dictionary.com defines evil as “morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked.”
Most of the world says that Hitler and the Nazis were evil.… Read more >
I recently read a magazine article about an acclaimed Jamaican author, Marlon James, and his award-winning book, A Brief History of Seven Killings.
My interest was piqued when he shared his “deep secret.” Before his writing career took off, Marlon became a fundamentalist Christian to deal with the fact that he was gay in a country plagued with homophobia.… Read more >
I have a friend who reads the obituaries every morning, and if his name isn’t in there, he gets dressed.
I also read the obits every day out of curiosity.
With tongue in cheek, I present my future obituary.
William Hamilton Aulenbach, Jr.: October 28, 1932–February 29, 2042
Bil died surrounded by no one while skiing alone.… Read more >
The contrast between the church I grew up in and the church of today is like black and white. The church of my youth was alive and vital. Today’s church has rigor mortis.
I think I know. Change happened.
The church was strong and growing when I was ordained in 1960.… Read more >
The apostle born as Simeon or Simon was later in life called Cephas or Peter, both of which mean “rock.”
To me, Peter is an enigma. Most of the time, I see him as weak, dense, unfaithful, and confused, more of a pebble than a rock.
Most believe Peter was one of Jesus’s closest confidants and a great leader in the early church.… Read more >
About a dozen years ago, a young woman with outlandish attire appeared on the entertainment scene. At first, I thought Lady Gaga was a Madonna copycat, but as I watched her over the years, I found her to be a bright, articulate woman who has a social conscience as well as outstanding singing, acting, and songwriting skills.… Read more >
This old nursery rhyme plays in my head whenever I read about the women who were at the cross when Jesus died, most of whom were named Mary (Matthew 27:55–56, Mark 15:40, and John 19:25).
To me, the most important one, and the only one named in all three accounts, was Mary Magdalene from the tiny fishing village of Magdala on the west side of the Sea of Galilee.… Read more >
The definition of monotheism is “the doctrine or belief that there is only one god.” Christians and Jews claim that their religions are monotheistic.
I was baptized (at three weeks old) and raised in the Episcopal church, which I loved until I went to college. There, I learned to think, ask questions, and doubt many of my core beliefs.… Read more >
I was on my way to my spin class when I saw a pamphlet entitled “One Minute after You Die” on the ground. I picked it up and read it. Yikes!
It promised that one minute after I die, I’ll “either be enjoying a personal welcome from Christ or catching [my] first glimpse of gloom as [I] have never known it.”
Reality says that one minute after I die, I will start to decompose, and nobody will welcome me to the afterlife.… Read more >