Why Does God Hate Suburbs?

I’m a city kid.  I grew up in Flint, Michigan and was only an hour away from Detroit.  The 1970s, my childhood, was the time when we heard a new phrase: white flight.  It was a time when whites who lived in cities like Flint and Detroit, left the inner cities to head to a new life in the burbs.  At least in Michigan, the move to places like Rochester Hills, Farmington Hills, Troy and Southfield created segregated metro areas with a black and poorer inner core and a white outer ring. So, I grew up with an antipathy towards … Continue reading Why Does God Hate Suburbs?

Follow the (Aspie) Leader

One of the things you don’t hear a lot about when folks talk about persons on the autism spectrum is to be an effective leader at work.  Most of the time when there is talk about the employment of aspies, it’s usually about how hard it is to keep a job or talk about how we prefer certain jobs.  The quiet assumption is that someone on the spectrum is not going to get to a place where they manage people or projects. But the fact is, we do sometimes stumble into positions where we have to provide leadership and vision.  … Continue reading Follow the (Aspie) Leader

Repost: Aspie Reflections: What Do You Do With An MDiv?

The following post is from May 2008, just after I received my Aspergers diagnosis. One of things I was thinking of back then is how to be a pastor with autism.  I don’t think I have the answers today, but I think I’m a bit more confident that God does have a place for me in ministry. Last night, I watched the Associate Pastor at the church I am a part of. We had our weekly prayer service- now biweekly during the summer months- and she was talking with two members of our congregation whose daughter, son-in-law and children were … Continue reading Repost: Aspie Reflections: What Do You Do With An MDiv?

The Miracle of Employment (Really)

Every so often, I wonder how I ended up with two good jobs.  I don’t know how I got my current full time job with the Presbytery and my call as Associate Pastor.  I am shocked that I haven’t made some mistake at some point that sent me packing.  It’s not that I have done some things that has really pissed a few folks.  But for some reason, I’ve been able to rectify the situation and try to be a better worker. The reason I’m surprised is that the number of folks on the autistic spectrum with a job is … Continue reading The Miracle of Employment (Really)

More About Young Clergy

Fifty-something Presbyterian pastor, Jan Edmiston chimes in on the young vs. old clergy smackdown: Several pastors seeking paid positions in the church are over age 65.  Maybe they still have mortgages, or maybe they’ve used their savings to help their children, or maybe they’ve depleted their savings to pay medical bills.  Several of those who come through my door have sick spouses who haven’t been  earning a paycheck themselves for many years and things have been tight for a long time. Yes, we have tiny churches who basically want a chaplain and they might hire an 80 year old pastor. … Continue reading More About Young Clergy

Thoughts About Young Clergy

Carol Howard Merritt has a post up about the young clergy crisis.  Here’s a bit of her post: Since I’ve been chairing a national Presbyterian Church (USA) committee on the Nature of the Church for the 21st century, I’ve been gaining a different perspective on many of the larger trends of our denomination. One thing that has been difficult to realize (and equally difficult to communicate to the larger church) is the young clergy crisis. Why would I call it a crisis? We’ve known for a long time about the startling decline of young clergy. The drop-out rates don’t help … Continue reading Thoughts About Young Clergy

Notes from a Scrapper

I’ve been meaning to share this post by Carol Howard Merritt, but life has been busy and so I never did get around to it.  But hearing about some fellow Disciples of Christ clergy who feel that they have no place in the church reminded me of it again.  She uses the term “Scrappers” to describe a generation (or two) of folks who have worked to piece together a ministry, in this time of diminishing resources.  Here’s a snippet of what she’s talking about: A Scrapper is pragmatic. We are people who have learned to work outside of institutional structures … Continue reading Notes from a Scrapper