Why People Leave Church When Leaders Fail

Back in August, (formerly) Roman Catholic political columnist Damon Linker announced that he’d left the Roman Catholic Church, and this past week, he explained why, noting along the way some of the reaction against his announcement: It’s hardly surprising that writers deeply devoted to the Catholic Church would reject the reasons for my decision to leave the church. The former editor of Commonweal Paul…

Why Do We Do Ministry Without God?

Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost / Tenth Sunday of Luke, December 10, 2017 Ephesians 6:10-17; Luke 13:10-17 In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of the darkness of this age, against the spiritual hosts of…

Whose Vineyard is This, Anyway?

Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost / Thirteenth Sunday of Matthew, September 3, 2017 I Corinthians 16:13-24; Matthew 21:33-42 Very Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. If you have something truly wonderful to share with people, how do you get it to them? How do you get this wonderful…

Church Work is Mostly Disappointing

Clergy often share ministry stories and then say, “They didn’t teach me that in seminary!” One of the things that I wasn’t taught in seminary (and wish I were) is that ministry in church life is mostly a disappointment. We clergy don’t often like to talk about that. I mean, who would like to say that most of the time, the work they do,…

The Transfiguration as Model for Ministry

Holy Transfiguration of Christ, August 6, 2017 II Peter 1:10-19; Matthew 17:1-9 Very Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Today we see God. Today we see Jesus Christ standing on Mount Tabor before His three inner circle disciples—Peter, James and John—and He is transfigured before them, His…

What I Saw at #AFCon

This past week I attended the Ancient Faith Writing and Podcasting Conference (AFCon), an event which I also attended last year (its inaugural year), where I spoke on ministry in social media. This year, though, I wasn’t one of the scheduled speakers but was just attending along with everyone else. Last year, I have to admit that I was a bit ambivalent about attending.…