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, May 25, 2014

I Am Coming To You

Sunday, May 25, 2014
Sermon by Katie Mulligan

Scripture Reading: John 14:15-21
If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.

I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.
Did you know that it is still Easter? This is a thing I did not realize until a year into seminary, but perhaps some of you are better churched than I was!

Agape feast at L.O.G. (Love Of God) retreat.
Thanks to Pat Fletcher for the photo!!

He is risen!
And you say?
He is risen, indeed!
And we all say together? Hallelujah!


And again, please!
Again until the sanctuary
cries out with Hallelujahs!

Oh, my friends, it is still Easter! After 46 days of Lent, we move into 50 days of Easter. 50 days to think through resurrection and the enduring presence of Christ, even beyond the grave, until Pentecost. Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit will descend like tongues of fire on our heads.

For now, we wait. And ponder. And wonder.

Our text this morning from the Gospel of John takes us back to the Last Supper—and why, you might ask? Why focus on the night before Jesus was betrayed, in this time after the empty tomb? Why in a

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Into the Breaches

Sunday, May 18, 2014
Sermon by Katie Mulligan
Preached at Lawrence Road Presbyterian Church

Scripture Readings: 
Acts 7:55-60 (and truthfully, you need to read Acts 6-8:1 in order to get the context)
Ezekiel 13:1-7 (This text served as a backdrop for my sermon writing. I attended an urban ministry conference on friday this week, and we worked through this text as a group. I was struck by the way we sidestepped the reference in verse 5 to "battle on the day of the Lord." Many of the children and families we are in community with know they are in a battle zone, in a way that white suburbia does not notice. As I preached this morning, the community of Trenton--of which we are a part--was at the forefront of my thoughts and prayers.)
The word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are prophesying; say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: ‘Hear the word of the Lord!’ Thus says the Lord God, Alas for the senseless prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! Your prophets have been like jackals among ruins, O Israel. You have not gone up into the breaches, or repaired a wall for the house of Israel, so that it might stand in battle on the day of the Lord. They have prophesied falsehood and lying divination; they say, ‘Says theLord’, when the Lord has not sent them, and yet they wait for the fulfilment of their word! Have you not seen a false vision or uttered a lying divination, when you have said, ‘Says the Lord’, even though I did not speak?
I come to you this morning from a few weeks’ worth of travel. I am not quite done yet, as I leave directly from this morning’s worship services to drive to Camp Johnsonburg and pick up the last car load of our jr. high youth and the 2 patient chaperones I left with them to wait. And then I am not

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Joyful Submission

Originally posted on May 11, 2011 at www.lettersfrominsideout.blogspot.com

Last night (May 10, 2011) the Presbyterian Church (USA), in which I am ordained, both as elder and minister of the Word and sacrament, passed an amendment to change our ordination standards. There are about fifty-eleven news stories, blogs, tweets, and facebook statii which can explain about Amendment 10A. The biggest implication (although not the only one) is that the PC (USA) will now be able to ordain queer folk who are involved in same gender loving partnerships as deacons, elders, and ministers. The PC (USA) has published an official statement here.

It would be easy to raise my fist in the air and dance across this blog, and of course I am joy-filled. It would be disingenuous to say I wasn't, no matter how many pleas for graciousness go out. And I don't expect those who disagree to hide their sorrow. I am an openly queer pastor, and it has been a very stressful few years.

But I am left with deeper thoughts tonight than this celebration--a deeper joy at my own personal return to a right relationship with God and the church. I thought I might share what I mean.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Love Stinks: A Mother's Day Musing

I have been a mother for 15 years, ever since the first zygote sent me vomiting into every trash can and toilet in town for 9 months straight.

As a way of explaining that motherhood has been a bit of a rocky road, let me just say that I had an allergic reaction to that zygote's fetal cells, which, as it turns out, is not that uncommon (and if you don't like skin rashes, don't click that link).

Some Mother's Days are like this:


And some Mother's Days are like this:


I preached a sermon two years ago on Mother's Day called "Tolerating God". It was a good one--the highlight for those of you who won't click through:

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Love With the Whole Cookie

Today's children's sermon was about cookies. Oreo cookies to be exact. I brought a pound of oreos and offered them to the children. A couple of adults came forward and pretended to be children. Oreo cookies have great power.




This is something of how the conversation went:
"Would you like a cookie? Yes? Great! Let me take a bite out of it first."
chomp
"Do you want the rest? No? Oh. Okay. I'll just eat it then."
chomp chomp
"How about now? Would you like a cookie? Yes? Great!"
I pulled the bag away
"Just kidding!"
This child wasn't having my nonsense

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Never Pray Again by the Three Mosquitos

From Miami University Libraries
I spent the day reading Never Pray Again by Aric Clark, Doug Hagler, and Nick Larson (otherwise known as @TwoFriars @AndAFool on twitter). They have a long-standing blog with more of their foolishness which can be found at Two Friars and A Fool.

Full disclosure, I received a digital review copy and a print copy is coming in the mail. If it comes in time, I fully intend to bring it to UNCO14 next week to get it autographed by these three absurd men, who happen to be friends. Unconference is a few days of open source gathering to discuss the future of the church. Nobody has given us permission to meet, but we didn't ask either. You should come, by the way.

I first met the friars and the fool on twitter, where they inspired several #GetOffMyLawn tweets from me. I later met them at UNCO in person, and they have grown on me like mold on bread. I am, at this point, very fond of these three smartasses. I recommend their book to you, with the caveat that it inspired more than one utterance of #GetOffMyLawn as I read it. Two Friars and a Fool are forever provoking me like mosquitos; I am never bored when they are around. Through their provocation, they sharpen my wit, force me to articulate my muddy thoughts, and

Friday, May 2, 2014

Even There Thy Hand Shall Lead Me

"For to dare to hope to become--to dare to trust the changing light--is to surrender the dream of safety. It means doing one's utmost not to hide from the question perpetually in the eyes of one's lovers or one's children. It means accepting that those who love you (and those who do not love you) see far better than you will ever see yourself. It means accepting the terms of the contract that you signed at birth, the master copy of which contract is in the vaults of Death. These ruthless terms, it seems to me, make love and life and freedom real: whoever fears to die also fears to live. Whoever fears to die also imagines--must imagine--that another can die in his place..."

~James Baldwin, The Evidence of Things Not Seen

Yesterday, May 1, was the National Day of Prayer. I am a member of UMIO (United Mercer Interfaith Organization), an organization focused on gathering with people of faith around justice and peace in Mercer County. Last night we gathered with Shiloh Baptist Church to pray on their steps for the victims of violence in Trenton. There have been 11 murders this year within the city limits--4 alone in April.






After our communal prayer, several of us went out into the community to visit the sites where all 11 men were murdered in Trenton this year so far. It took 3 hours to make our way, stopping to pray at