Formations 03.02.2014: First Things First

The Didascalia is an ancient manual of church order. According to one of its provisions, before the church celebrates the Eucharist, the deacon recites the passage from Matthew in which Jesus commands those who know of any relational rift with a brother and sister to leave their gift at the altar and first be reconciled with that member of the community.

Uniform 03.02.2014: Making a House a Home

This time last year, my family and I were anxiously searching for a new house. We made the choice to relocate for various reasons, and though the move wasn’t far—just a few miles across town—it still involved high levels of stress, as all moves do.

Who Are My Neighbors?

As I sat down to the large banquet table, I began to quietly inspect the food sitting in front of me. I’m still learning about traditional, formal Japanese meals, and I wanted to prepare myself for what I would be partaking. I studied the small crab, bowl of soup, and some mysterious appetizers at my place setting.

A Lesson in Humility

A few days ago, during a respite from one of the many polar vortexes that have blown through Louisville, I took my dog for a walk. My neighbor called me over. “Hey there! I saw you fall the other day.”

Thrive: The Gospel According to Joshua – Erin Robinson Hall

In seminary, I served at Big Bethel AME Church in Atlanta. Along with jumping head-first into new traditions, I got to know some of the beautiful people of this historic church. One of my new friends was Joshua.

Crossroads: Conflict

When I was in the sixth grade, my church split. It wasn’t over doctrine, but instead was the result of a conflict between the pastor and the minister of music. This conflict grew from an argument to people taking sides, and the eventually splitting of this church. Both the pastor and the minister of music left, and the church was never the same.

Formations 02.23.14: Leniency or Law?

The command seems simple enough: “Do not commit adultery” (Exod 20:14). This fundamental moral principle, enshrined not only in Scripture but in virtually every human culture on the face of the earth, would seem like a no-brainer. Be faithful to your spouse, and don’t tempt anyone else to be unfaithful to theirs.

Uniform 02.23.2014: Talking with Toddlers

As the mother of a two-year-old, I spend a lot of time thinking about language. I delight in my son’s ever-expanding vocabulary, and I giggle at his sweet mispronunciations and the fascinating way he strings words together into sentences. But as much fun as it can be to help my son understand our complicated language, teaching him the power of words is a serious business.

Chopped: The Sunday School Edition

What if the producers of Chopped, the reality cooking show, created a similar series for Sunday School teachers? Slick videos of four contestants would introduce us to their classes, styles, and why they want to be the last teacher standing.

What’s in your “Honey Pot”?

There is a card on my desk that begins, “Dear Dad. Thank you so much for continuing to encourage and support me!” And, there is a picture that hangs on my wall, “Dear Dad, I love you very much!” And, I have a box full of other cards and notes my wife and daughters have given me through the years.

Thrive: Guess What Else? – Erin Robinson Hall

Sometimes Jesus comes to your workplace. My friend Emily and I can each point to the time this happened for us. We were in a small discussion group for women. Our conversations often made their way to confessions that our work just wasn’t cutting it as far as our callings were concerned.

Formations 02.16.2014: Our Deepest Need

I was struck by the subtitle of an article I recently encountered on psychosomatic illnesses. The article, by Roanne FitzGibbon, is titled “Psychosomatic Symptoms: You May Be Healthier than You Think.” The point of the article is that psychosomatic symptoms are a real thing. It isn’t just “in your head.”