Work and rest

  This last month was a strenuous one in my youth ministry. It involved back-to-back weekend events, and I found myself putting in tons of extra hours and working for a 21-day stint with only a single day off. It involved late nights and early mornings. It was hard, tiring work. During one evening ofContinue reading “Work and rest”

80/20: following the rules of the Pareto Principle

If you have ever looked to improve your time management, you’ve most likely come across the 80/20 rule (more officially known as the Pareto Principle). The Pareto Principle states that frequently, the majority of effects (roughly 80 percent) come from a minority of causes (roughly 20 percent). You will most often find this principle appliedContinue reading “80/20: following the rules of the Pareto Principle”

Daily grind and reason to praise

Many of us are in the daily grind of ministry and we don’t really know for sure if we are having a positive effect. We show up at our service sites day-in and day-out. We chime in at meetings. We help others with willing hearts and joyful faces, enlivened by our belief that we’ll encounter ChristContinue reading “Daily grind and reason to praise”

A Visit to The Simple Way

Earlier this summer I was fortunate to be able to make a pilgrimage-of-sorts to The Simple Way, a Christian community in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia described as “a web of subversive friends conspiring to spread the vision of ‘Loving God, Loving People, and Following Jesus’ in our neighborhoods and in our world.” Like many thousands ofContinue reading “A Visit to The Simple Way”

Just sandals and a walking stick

Note from Sister Julia: A version of the following text was written for my coursework in my Introduction to New Testament course at Catholic Theological Union where I am a part-time student. The assignment was to write a Biblical commentary on a particular Gospel passage. The passage I selected was Mark 6: 7-13, which was the Gospel for this past Sunday.  JesusContinue reading “Just sandals and a walking stick”

Baltimore Life, Abundant and Boiling

Note from Sister Julia: I have asked my good friend and occasional Messy Jesus Business contributor, Amy Nee-Walker, to share her perspective on the recent events in Baltimore for our readers this week. Amy and her husband Ted presently live in the Jonah House community in Baltimore with their one-year-old son. Here are her responses to my questions.Continue reading “Baltimore Life, Abundant and Boiling”

A great big exciting God question

A vivid memory has been speaking to me all summer: a sunny spring day, as the fourth period of the school day began, a few excited ninth-grade boys came to class eager to ask a question. Their energy was animated and slightly nervous (“You ask her.” “No you ask her!”) for I believe they knew, atContinue reading “A great big exciting God question”

Get up and open the door

Sister Sarah Hennessey is a spiritual advisor for her local conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s National Council of the United States and serves as an emergency contact for those who find themselves in urgent need. The call came on a Sunday evening. A woman was at our grocery story and hadContinue reading “Get up and open the door”

Dear eighth-grade class of 2013

By guest blogger Steven Cottam I am a religious education teacher at a K-8 Catholic school in Chicago, Ill. The final assignment for my eighth-grade class, inspired by Epiphaneia Network’s Eighth Letter Project, is to write an open letter to the church, giving a piece of advice they feel the church needs to hear. ThisContinue reading “Dear eighth-grade class of 2013”

Over-Blessed

By guest blogger Elizabeth Diedrich It is 7 p.m. and there are two things on my mind: I am hungry and I need to use the bathroom. Dinner service ended a half hour ago but one person has yet to leave. I wait at the back door, ready to finish my job, which involves makingContinue reading “Over-Blessed”