Is Vermont like Livingstone’s Africa?

You may have heard the name David Livingstone before.  He was a famed British missionary, explorer, and abolitionist of the 19th century whose accomplishments included being the first European to discover Victoria Falls and travel across central Africa from the Atlantic to Indian Ocean.  One fact that does not escape many modern day missionaries is how Livingstone learned winning converts was more difficult in Africa than in his British homeland: he saw only one convert during the 1840s.

This past Monday I was snowshoeing with one of  BCC’s college students when he asked, “Do you think doing ministry in Vermont is like it was for David Livingstone in Africa?”  Continue reading

Social Justice Pharisee

I cannot easily dismiss the fact that at times I am a social justice Pharisee.
I have provided food to the hungry.
I have opened my home to the homeless.
I have given coats to those without adequate clothing.
I have befriended those frequently forgotten from foreign lands.

I have found myself not so different from those whom Jesus rebuked Continue reading

Pastor invited & disinvited from praying at inauguration

This morning I read several articles that caught my attention concerning Pastor Louie Giglio being invited and apparently disinvited from speaking at this month’s presidential inauguration.  I respect this guy a great deal and believe he handled the situation with incredible candor.  Several articles from the NY Times cover the controversy (listed at the bottom of this post) and Atlanta news 11 Alive has a thorough video and article on what occurred:

Some “master of the obvious” observations Continue reading


It all began during some downtime while loading furniture with the refugee move-in crew at the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program’s warehouse.  A young Nepali guy had seen me pull up in my car and overheard that we’re heading to Burlington’s Old North End neighborhood which was also his neighborhood.  Continue reading

Jesus’ Mission= Our Mission?

Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak at North Ave. Alliance Church in Burlington.  I enjoyed speaking there so much, but the one part I don’t always enjoy is the accountability that comes with teaching.  James writes, Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness (James 3:1).

So, here’s the big question I’m contemplating this morning for you, me, and anyone else reading this blog:

How does our functional mission as individuals and churches line up with the mission of Jesus?  Continue reading

Do we know God’s story?

How can we as American Christians have so much access to the Bible yet not really know God’s story?   Many of us know enough to recite specific stories, reference popular verses, and argue theological points.  We may be well poised to win a trivia contest or theological debate yet we can often miss the greater narrative of scripture and its implications for both our personal stories and those of our neighbors.  Continue reading

Celebrating BCC’s 1st Baptism!

On Sunday, June 17, Burlington City Church celebrated its first baptism!  Following our 406 North Ave. Home Fellowship’s Sunday morning meeting we strolled down to Lake Champlain with onlookers from the sand and bike path (even got a standing ovation from two power walkers).  We are so excited about what God is doing in Maura’s life as a new follower of Jesus. Continue reading