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Fatherhood Fridays: Always Beginning Again

The word ‘father’ has always carried a double meaning for me. At church, many people call me Father Jack. At home, my children call me Daddy. I was ordained a priest only two years before our first child was born, so learning how to be a priest and a father to my children converged around…

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Redeeming the Year Now Past

As this calendar year draws to a close, what will you remember? In some form or fashion, that’s become the dinner conversation my wife and I have on New Year’s Eve. I imagine some version of that conversation happens widely among couples, friends, and families as the year ends. Each year brings its share of…

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Sabbatical Time: Lessons from the Pew

What does a priest experience when he worships from the pew, not from the altar, for an extended season? That was a question I carried into my sabbatical almost twelve weeks ago. I will return to Apostles this Sunday after experiencing worship from the pew this autumn, and I will be a different celebrant and…

Cumberland River at Leatherwood Ford

Sabbatical Time: My Favorite Places of Stillness

Where can places of stillness be found? That’s a question about the area around my hometown that I carried into my sabbatical. Finding solitude has been an essential priority for these twelve weeks, but with two children under the age of 6, solitude isn’t happening very often in my own home. And that has meant…

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Sabbatical Time: A Time for Silence in Creation

Six weeks ago the parish leaders at Apostles removed my ordination stole, placing it on my seat in the sanctuary, a symbol that my priestly sabbatical had begun. The stole’s placement was a call to prayer for our church, to pray for me during this 12 week sabbatical. In response, I pledged that I would…