Important Disclaimer

Since I currently have several employers/supervisors/churches/etc., please know that none of the words on my blog represent them or their beliefs. This blog is my own creation.

It also does not represent my children's perspective, nor my mother's; they think I am funny, but misguided.
(Quick update: only my mother thinks I'm funny now.)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Monday Sabbath

It has been a very long time since I had a job where I didn't work Sundays. In fact, it has been since 2001, when I first started working for the church as an employee (how is it possible that was only 11 years ago??). For a long time now, I have simply rested on whatever day was open in the week. Most of the time that was the day of the week when I didn't have anything that had to be done immediately, so that a day off didn't put me far behind.

These days, though, there's never a day when there isn't work that needs to be done immediately. In fact, I am past due on all kinds of stuff, and the never-ending, self-critical ticker-tape parade of things that must be done keeps me going at quite a pace. It's good to be busy. It's good to be working. And it's good work too--the students and their families are a delight!

A few weeks ago I realized I hadn't taken a day off in a while, and there didn't look to be a good day to take off anytime soon either. So I decided to declare Monday my sabbath day.

It's a lot harder than I thought it would be.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Prodigal Daughter (reposted from Tiny Church)

(It's been eight years now since Maggie Kim's death. Three years since Gideon Addington left a lot of us reeling--in fact he died 3 months after I posted this sermon. It's National Suicide Prevention Day, so I'm reposting this sermon I wrote for our community long after Maggie died. It took a long time to find the words)

Reposted from September 2009:

Six years ago this month, a young girl committed suicide in my hometown. I never met her, but I always felt as if I should have, because she was friends with some of the students I worked with. This last year I wrote a sermon for her and for our youth group. I always wished I'd been able to find the words in 2003, but maybe it just takes time. A phone call today reminded me of Maggie and how much I wish I could have been there for her.

Here's a couple of links for help--either for yourself or for a friend:

     *Suicide Prevention Hopeline: 1-800-273-8255
           Lots of resources on this website. 

     *PostSecret Community: so you know you're not alone with secrets.

     *To Write Love on Her Arms:
          An awesome website dedicated to providing hope. 

If nothing else, e-mail me.

Here's some lyrics from Kimya Dawson's "Loose Lips"

So if you wanna burn yourself remember that i love you. 
and if you wanna cut yourself remember that i love you.
and if you wanna kill yourself remember that i love you.
Call me up before you're dead, we can make some plans instead,
send me an IM i'll be your friend.
Here's that sermon. Love to you all...

Luke 15:11-32

Psalm 139:1-12

This has to be one of the most overused parables in the Scriptures. I hesitate to bring it to you today, because it seems like after three years of seminary I should have developed more “sophisticated taste.” But this is the story that started me on this journey, and it seems fitting to pause and give thanks by returning to my theological roots. Perhaps you have your own connection to this parable—so many of us do. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Work IS Love

I preached this morning at the Lawrence Road Presbyterian Church, with gratitude to the Rev. Dr. Nina Reeder for the invitation. LRPC is one of the four churches where I serve as youth pastor, and they are the host church for the Love of God (L.O.G.) retreat program in New Jersey.

I have preached this sermon a time or two before. It's one of my favorites. I was just about to start re-working it this morning, when I was rudely interrupted by life. If you have read this sermon before, go on through. The second half is quite different.

Sunday, September 2, 2012
Sermon by Katie Mulligan

The Song of Solomon is also known as the Song of Songs, or the Canticle of Canticles. It is spoken of in this way as THE song of songs, as in the best of the songs, because the poem is about two lovers who are magnificent in every way. Tradition holds that the song was written by Solomon because his name appears once in the text. It is a difficult text to date, however, and it was fairly common to ascribe literature to Solomon or David or another prominent figure. Some scholars believe that the song was written by a woman. Regardless of who wrote the song, perhaps what is remarkable is that it has been preserved as scripture in our Bibles. The Song of Songs is eight chapters of scripture that speak frankly of passionate longing for another person. It begins with the woman calling out for her beloved. She desires to meet with him, and he tells her where she can find him, in the pastures at noon. They flatter each other playfully and sweetly, with tender words of love and adoration. She claims to be a rose, a lily; to her friends, the daughters of Jerusalem, she tells how wonderful is her companion. And then she says, “The voice of my beloved! Look, here he comes.”

Do you remember how it feels to be in love like that? Close your eyes for a moment and conjure the image of somebody you have loved. Perhaps it is the person sitting next to you in the pew. Perhaps