some tangible things that are representative of how I approach parish ministry
A 5-week class on using the Book of Common Prayer to develop one’s individual prayer life in midst of life’s everyday frustrations.
A 5-week class that introduces non-clergy to some of the things clergy are taught about how to care for other people with meaningful, purposeful conversations.
A very simple exercise for offering prayers of thanksgiving, based on the principle of appreciate feedback. Download PDF.
At Annunciation, keeping watch with the Sacrament between Maundy Thursday and Good Friday is a highly regarded tradition, a holdover from their Anglocatholic days. Yet, many folks who have arrived since then sign up but don’t really know what they’re supposed to do. So, I created a book called…
An ongoing series of round-table discussions I curated with our young professionals and grad student group. We got into deep topics while eating deep-dish pizza. I also invited folks who are further along life’s journey to offer their gathered wisdom about the selected topic. Download PDF
I developed something called “Outings,” which were basically adult field trips. In addition to being a social gathering, it was also a great way for church folks to connect with some cool Chicago institutions they may not know about or don’t know well. This photo is a guided tour of the Stony Island Arts Bank in Chicago, founded by Theaster Gates.
Way back in my seminary intern days at St. Paul & the Redeemer, I came up with this proposal for rearranging the worship space during Lent as a way of marking the fasting and repentance of this season. The altar, which normally sits in the center, is slightly removed from the people. The font is put far away, as we await the new waters on Easter. The focus becomes on seeing one another face-to-face as a way of overcoming the ways we hurt one another. It has became an annual custom to rearrange the nave this way ever since.
We didn’t record this, but over a few years, I coordinated the storytelling part of the Easter Vigil. I worked with a team of four parishioners to act as foley artists: steel sheets and rain sticks for the Flood Story; drums and chains for the Exodus story; creating a creepy wind with pipes and making the sound of bones with seashells for the Dry Bones story.
During Lent in 2017, I invited folks to fill out a simple Prayer Card, put it in an envelope, and place it in our emptied Baptismal Font. On Good Friday, we placed all the prayers at the foot of the Cross. Want to see the card format?
I helped develop and execute an annual Maundy Thursday liturgy that incorporated an agape meal directly into the Eucharist. We put banquet tables in the nave, celebrated the Eucharist with each table elevating its own bread and wine, and processed to our Food Garden for the Altar of Repose.
“I’m afraid to ask people’s names!” “I don’t know how to start up a conversation at coffee hour!” In answer to these anxieties, I came up with periodic Nametag Sundays, which we held every two months or so. In addition to giving everyone a chance to learn/remember names, we also included a different ice-breaker question each time.