Soul: Fire in Preaching

In my experience, eighty percent of the fuel for preaching comes from sources outside the study. I do not mean scouring the countryside or the urbanside for sermon illustrations.

Don’t Be Mean: A Covenant Story

Ben says one of our Covenant mottos is, “Don’t be mean.” I really like that in a church. There are more Scriptural-sounding ways to say the same thing, but something about stripping wisdom of its religious jargon seems to keep us more honest.

Slow: A Covenant Story

Trying to rush something at Covenant Baptist Church is like trying to sprint in waist-deep water. It doesn’t work. Every time we think about cranking it up, some invisible force slows us.

Eulogy to the Trees: A Covenant Story

They tell me that when they built this building, they plotted its location just so, where as few trees as possible would have to come down. To this day, there are trees in the middle of the parking lot because no one wanted to take them out.

Letter to the Dying Church

Dying. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about dying. How things die and people too. Dreams die. Traditions die. The roles we’ve played die. Marriages, friendships, partnerships, institutions, buildings. So many things pass away.

Heal Our Fears

Heal our fears,
the jagged-scar fears
that slice the skin
of our communion,
rip us one from another,
bleed lines of division.

You (Plural) Are Not Lacking

“You Are Not Lacking.” That was the title of the sermon I planned to preach on Sunday, January 19. But before I got to it, on Friday, January 17, the daughter-in-law of some beloved church members went on a walk near the church in the afternoon and never came home. Her name is Leanne Hecht Bearden.