Making Room for Paradise

There’s a certain mood that comes over me at times. I can be found staring into space, a grim look in my eyes. When dinner comes, I am quiet at the table, distracted and melancholy. Emily, my wife, usually senses the shift and knows the cause. “Are you reading another book on climate change,” she asks?

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Ragan Sutterfield
Mother's Day and Resurrection

We have a couple of things to get settled right up front. First, at one time I took a vow never to preach about Mother’s Day; it is not on the church calendar, and the sermons about the holiday that I heard in the country church of my youth were too saccharine for anyone’s spiritual –and perhaps physical—health. And they did not have too much to do with classical Christianity.

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Larry Benfield
A Failure Story

These days, the popularity of good storytelling is on the rise. People are flocking to live story telling events, and podcasts of engaging stories are in demand. Storytelling isn’t new, of course. It probably started as soon as humans sat around a campfire and tried to make some meaning out of life.

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Kate Alexander
A Six on the Enneagram

It is safe to say that America is obsessed with personality types. This isn’t a new phenomenon but it has changed over time. Thirty years ago, a common pick-up line was “what’s your sign?” referring to zodiac astrology. Today, you’re more likely to hear “what’s your Myers-Briggs type?” Or, if you visit the office at Christ Church, “what’s your Enneagram number?”

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Hannah Hooker
God's Rebuttal

Our rebuttal game is no match for God’s. God’s game is much stronger. No matter how squawky we get about what’s wrong with the world, or other people, or what’s wrong with ourselves, Easter comes along with a defiant little conjunction. But there is forgiveness. But there is grace. But there is resurrection.

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Kate Alexander
Liturgical Re-enactment

In the fall of 2013, I was midway through my first semester of seminary in Northern Virginia. I hadn’t gotten off campus much, but I was determined to change that. Northern Virginia is known for its stunning vistas and rich history, and I was ready to start soaking them up.

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Hannah Hooker
Effectiveness vs. Affection

My sophomore year of college, I traveled to London with friends. There were four of us–three with majors in philosophy and one in economics. With that mix, one stop on our trip was clear–University College London.

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Ragan Sutterfield
Severity and Grace

Yesterday was a Spirit-filled day for many of us here at Christ Church. In the morning, we celebrated our sister, Elizabeth Henry-McKeever, as she was ordained a deacon. Then a few hours later, we celebrated the life and mourned the loss of our brother Gus Fulk.

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Hannah Hooker
The Stories We Tell

We are all very good story tellers. We tend to reserve that praise for professional story tellers or talented grandparents and great actors, but we are all good at telling stories.

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Kate Alexander
Lost and Found

There was no cell signal so paper had to do, a Mapquest printout and an old Arkansas atlas stashed behind the driver’s seat.  The road was right, we’d double-checked at the last turn, but we’d been going for over an hour and…nothing.

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Ragan Sutterfield
Life Lessons from Glory

For all of human history until now, if you wanted to know what it felt like to do something, you had to do it. But something in our culture has changed, according to a recent episode of the podcast “Hidden Brain.” Now we can bring the whole world and a staggering variety of experiences into our homes on YouTube.

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Kate Alexander
From a Level Place

It was a Friday night, around 11pm. I was settled into my bed with a book and a cup of tea. The air was stale and the lighting was harsh, and the sound of a helicopter landing 100 feet away filled my ears and made my whole body vibrate.

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Hannah Hooker
Jesus and the Ferris Wheel

In these divided times, we often say that there are two kinds of people. Two camps, two types, two sides of the aisle, two sides of an argument. The dualism is everywhere – Coke or Pepsi, Target or Walmart, people who think BBQ is a noun and those who think it’s a verb, people who like pew cushions and those who don’t.

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Kate Alexander
Unleashing the Joy of God's Glory

Have you ever considered what kind of life God lives? What it is that God experiences? I have to admit that too often my thoughts of God are a mixture of what God can do for me, or the basic properties of God, or on the darkest days whether or not God even exists.

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Ragan Sutterfield
The Offensiveness of Grace

I’m a fairly calm, even-keeled person. Some would even say mellow. As a matter of fact, I pride myself on being slow to anger. Except perhaps in parenting. And maybe when reading the news. Also when the puppy needs to be taken outside at 3:00 in the morning.

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Kate Alexander
Powerful Waters

One of the funniest things I’ve seen lately is a spoof called “Virtual Reality Church.” The creator John Crist advertises his fictional product with this ad: “Tired of having to get dressed and drive across town? Introducing Virtual Reality Church! Choose your own denomination, worship leader and sermon topic, all from the comfort of your couch!”

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Kate Alexander
The Outsider's Perspective

Over the holiday, I had the privilege of serving as chaplain for the Diocese of Mississippi’s winter camp for 9th-12th graders. I had a fabulous time and I saw the Spirit at work in a variety of ways.

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Hannah Hooker
The Gospel in Glass

What a joy to welcome everyone this afternoon to the rededication of the stained glass windows. Christ Church has an amazing story to tell today, one of generosity and accomplishment.

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Kate Alexander