Get outside and discover God this summer!

Summer means camp!  Whether camping in the state or national parks with my family, or attending church camp, camp was a vital part of both my experience of summer and of my growth in faith.

Camping with my family meant tents, eating outdoors, exploring creation, but most of all, singing and storytelling around the campfire each night.  Stories about family, stories from books, but always stories about faith – both those found in the Bible and those lived. Read more »

Finding the Balance Between an Unscheduled & Scheduled Summer for Kids

Summer is coming...

Every year at this time, I re-read "Doing Nothing is Something," an essay by Anna Quindlen. Written more than a decade ago, this article still rings true today: doing nothing is something for kids.   Read more »

Vital Records, You and the Archives!!

What are vital records – and why should you care?  Let me ask you this.  How often are you asked for your driver’s license, your passport, your birth certificate or other document that establishes who you are?  Have you ever tried to prove your identity without the proper documentation?  Not easy is it?  These types of records are known as vital records and it is just as important for your congregation to maintain and protect its vital church records as it is for you to care for your personal records.  This will be the first of several blogs on this topic.&nbsp Read more »

Now here is an idea

So, this man I sponsored for confirmation recently gave me a lecture about the Daily Office and evangelism.  And how I ought to spread the word, help to make it more available in the diocese, tell people that it is a portal into the church.  Here is his trajectory:  he started attending Evening Prayer, found the rhythm and peace of the service to meet his needs, and then heard some of us talking about our forthcoming confirmation service (think “bread crumbs” for those of you who attended the recent evangelism conference), asked about it for himself, met with clergy and other Read more »

Keeping Easter Alive for the Great 50 Days

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
The Lord is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!

As we say in Godly Play, Easter is such a great mystery that we can't keep it in just one Sunday - it spills over for 50 days!  There is still plenty of time to "get yer alleluias on!" Which brings us to the question - how do we keep it Easter when the candy and eggs are eaten and gone?  How do we keep celebrating without becoming blase about the whole thing?
Read more »

Serving as a Sponsor

As you know, the Bishop asks people being baptized, confirmed, received or reaffirming their vows to write him a letter about their decision and their journey.  I think that sponsors should write a letter too, but I suspect we all would say variations on the same theme.  So, here is mine.
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Keeping Lent

As the Season of Lent comes to an end and the glory that is Easter approaches, I’d like to take you back to the Diocese of Olympia in 1914 and some thoughts expressed by Bishop Frederic W. Keator in the newsletter entitled simply, The Diocese of Olympia.  Read more »

Holding a mirror to our beliefs

In the last months, several friends have suffered terrible losses to health and to loved ones.  It seems like the perfect time to read the Bishop’s book for Lent this year,  The Dave Test, by The Rev. Dr. Frederick W. Read more »

Still Out of Space

My husband and I are in the process of moving from a large house to a much smaller house. I suppose some might call it downsizing.  I call it cramming.  Logically I know that only so much stuff can fit into a given space – but I’m doing my best to defy that notion.   I’m sure this is something we can all relate to. Read more »

2014 VBS reviews from VTS available now!

  • fun
  • hard work
  • laughter
  • discover
  • connected
  • collaborative
  • all welcome
  • outreach
  • music
  • camp
  • stories
  • opportunity

These words were all answers in a facebook survey this past week - "What do you think of when you hear 'VBS'?"  They're good words, words that make sense to me as the leader of many a VBS.  One of them stands out especially, however, and that is 'opportunity.' Read more »

What Are You Waiting For?

In my last blog I talked about being ‘out of space’ and listed some ways to address that problem.  So my question is: Have you begun to tackle those piles of paper, that inbox full of e-mails, those online documents and/or attachments, those stacks of photos (digital or not), etc.?  If you haven’t, what are you waiting for?  Read more »

A Great Cloud of Witnesses: proposed approach to commemorations of holy women and men.

An opportunity to join a very interesting conversation with the Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (SCLM). Read more »

Getting your Vestry/Bishop's Committee Organized - A Vestry/Bishop's Committee Notebook

Vestry Handbook

Want your Vestry or Bishop's Committee to be more productive this year? 

You're hoping that your monthly meetings can bear fruit for the mission of your congregation? 

You're wishing that the time in meetings were spent less on micro-managing and more on ministry and vision planning energizing the whole congregation? Read more »

Children, Youth and the Worship Service

Children, youth and the worship service.  These words bring up many thoughts, feelings and questions, sometimes contradictory.

 * What is the right age for children to begin participating in worship?
 * Children are noisy and messy - I like my worship quiet and meditative.
 * The youth should serve as acolytes - they'll feel connected and important.
 * Someone needs to talk to the youth acolytes - they should be wearing
dress shoes!
 * We don't really have any children or youth in our parish. Read more »

Out of Space

Are you out of space?  I know I am.  Every year at this time, I’m always amazed by how much ‘stuff’ I’ve managed to accumulate, collect, amass, gather, acquire, hoard – or any other verbal synonym you can think of – over the course of the past year!    On the one hand, this is the nature of archives.  They grow – and that’s a good thing.  On the other hand, there is a rule of thumb that true archival material makes up no more than 5 to 10 % of generated documentation – whether electronic or paper.  So how do I (or you) go from that giant pile of files Read more »