Becoming Capable of Life-Giving Failures

Becoming Capable of Life-Giving Failures This guest-blog was written by our good friend Jonathan Melton, the chaplain at St. Francis House Episcopal Student Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, on his blog the patience of trees which is filled with honest reflections on Christian living (aka you should probably check it out). In this post, Jonathan puts into words well what we be about ministry. Enjoy. Five years ago, right before St. Francis House sent a few of game people to our...

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Reflections on Lent: Transformation

The first time I remember hearing of Lent was when I was in college at St. Mary’s. I remember being confused why it was such a big deal to the friends around me and never quite getting a clear answer of what it entailed. So I went around taking a poll and asking different students what lent meant. There were students that told me they didn’t quite remember, other who quoted “for dust you are and to dust you will...

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Reflections on Lent: Silence

Silence. Silence is my least favorite thing. I have been known to turn on the radio in my car before starting the engine and changing the channel at least 10 times within a mile-long drive. I will turn on the TV or a YouTube clip and walk away to do something in the kitchen. This is just to feel like I’m not alone; to check out of everything that is going on. Even now as I sit here writing this,...

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Reflections on Lent: Fasting

Over the last year, Alli and I had our baby boy and purchased our first house which means one thing. STUFF. EVERYWHERE. Not only do we have an obscene amount of toys and books and clothes and baby gadgets but we also want beds and couches and patio furniture and a ping pong table (that may only be one of us) to fill our new house. My life has been so inundated with stuff I’m starting to lose my mind...

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Reflections on Lent:: Death

A couple of weeks ago we remembered we are dust and to dust we shall return and then spent the week reflecting on our brokenness, sin and looming death. Last week on Ash Wednesday I learned that a friend of mine had died. He didn't die on Ash Wednesday, he died about a month or so before. My friend Paul died without my knowing it, and this Lent as I reflect on death, I can not help but think of...

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Reflections on Lent: Connections

One of the most dramatic changes of the past decade is undoubtedly the explosion of the "smart phone" industry. iPhone's have become a ubiquitous aspect of American culture, and have, in my view, substantially changed human behavior. My addiction with my iPhone 5c began three years ago, when Wal-Mart ran a Christmas-time special featuring a brand new iPhone 5c for $27! Over the past few years, I have slowly became more and more connected to my iPhone, and less and...

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Reflections on Lent: We are dust and to dust we shall return

I did not grow up celebrating Ash Wednesday. I can remember very clearly the first time I ever encountered it, and it wasn’t until my junior year of high school. I was visiting my Aunt Jan in the hospital and everyone started walking around with these weird smudges on the foreheads. To the uninitiated, like myself, the ash looks less like a cross and much more like someone forgot to shower. In the years following this first Ash Wednesday I...

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Reflections on Lent: Preparations

  Lenten Preparations As a people heavily rooted in the liturgical life of the church, our spidey senses are tingling. Lent is a week away. For some of us it is a welcomed time to empty and reorient our lives, for others it is a dreadful time of fasting and sacrifice, and for others it means weekly fish frys at church. This season, as part of our Lenten practice, the crew at Vital is posting reflections every Wednesday about giving...

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