What's Tony Thinking

Lenten Confessions

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February 20, 2018 — Before I turn to the topic at hand, a word of explanation about the accompanying graphic. I recently took an “Urban Sketching” class through the Gage Academy. This is a sketch I did the other day in the home of some friends on Guemes Island. It’s a fun activity. This Sunday’s Gospel lesson is the... Read More

Calling B.S.

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February 18, 2018 — Can the students of Parkland High School do what others have failed to do in the wake of mass shootings? Can they shake a nation from paralysis and despair? Can they change the debate? Can they create sufficient political pressure that politicians stop singing the same old, tired tune? “Gee, if someone really wants to... Read More

Progressives Repent!

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February 17, 2018 — Several days ago I wrote a piece calling on “Evangelical Christians” to repent of their support for Donald Trump. That piece included a paragraph suggesting that evangelicals aren’t the only Christians who need to think carefully and critically about their political alliances. While it would have distracted from my main point in that piece to... Read More

“Evangelical Christians” — Repent

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February 14, 2018 — I’m at the gym. Looking up from the latest John Grisham novel (my chosen distraction as I chug along on one aerobic machine or another), I see: Three television screens. Running on the first, the story of Trump’s personal lawyer having paid off a porn star who had an affair with Trump from his personal... Read More

An Ash Wednesday Miracle Story

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February 13, 2018 — Shortly after coming to Plymouth Church in Seattle as a new, and young, senior minster, I suggested to the Worship Board that we have an Ash Wednesday service, including the traditional imposition of ashes. “Isn’t that a Catholic thing?” said members of the Worship Board, guarded. “Well, no, it’s a Christian thing,” I said. I... Read More

Where Are the Prophets?

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February 10, 2018 — To those readers who are not into church leadership this post might sound like “inside baseball.” Stick with me, though, and you may find this of interest/ value. Hope so. Last week I was in Atlanta to speak at an event for clergy of the Atlanta Diocese of the Episcopal Church. There Bishop Rob Wright... Read More

What to Say (and not say) To Someone In Trouble

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February 7, 2018 — Possibly you saw a piece in the New York Times earlier this month from Kate Bowler? Bowler is a mid-thirties woman and mom, a professor at Duke Divinity School, an author and podcaster and a person with Stage Four colon cancer. “What To Say When You Meet the Angel of Death at a Party,” the... Read More

Thin Places and Transfiguration

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February 4, 2018 — Because I am preaching this coming Sunday, February 11, I’ve been mulling over the lectionary texts. This will be “Transfiguration Sunday,” marking the conclusion of the Advent – Christmas – Epiphany cycle and our turn into the Lent – Holy Week – Easter one. For Transfiguration Sunday, the gospel text is always one of the... Read More

More on “Me-Too”: The Amazing Witness of Rachael Denhollander

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February 1, 2018 — Today Christianity Today magazine published an interview with Rachael Denhollander. A member of the USA Gymnastics Team and a Christian, she was assaulted by Larry Nasser at age 15. Sixteen years later she was the first woman to come forward to accuse the highly respected Michigan State University faculty member. Her courage made a path... Read More

The Me-Too Movement: Some Thoughts

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January 31, 2018 — The Me-Too Movement to call out sexual harassment and abuse, and hold accountable those who perpetrate it, is inspiring, important and long-overdue. And it is not without dangers. It does take tremendous courage for those who have suffered harassment and abuse to come forward, to speak and to not be cowed by those who prefer... Read More