The Lost Evangelical


When I was 16 years old, I joined a 6-month youth discipleship class which met every Saturday for the entire day to pray, study the Bible, memorize scripture and do various outreach projects. It was a long, tough class!

One of our “outreaches” was something I will never forget. We had to go to downtown Tacoma and join other churches in a anti-abortion protest. I hated every minute of this experience. It just didn’t feel right to me and the contrarian in me kept wondering, “how is this considered outreach?”.

While I always have and always will believe that abortion is not part of God’s plan for humanity, I’m also not proud of the fact that I once took part in protesting abortion, and the kind of witness I was for the women who walked in and out of that clinic.

In today’s culture, we see and hear the trending topic of “evangelicalism”...the “evangelical vote”...the “evangelical church” so often. Its come to the point where I’m certain too many Christians aren’t even sure what the word evangelical means anymore.  Frankly...the word has been hijacked for political purposes and the Church faces a tough decision. Do we keep going along, or take the word back and start over?

The word evangelical is over 2000 years old and it means “good news”. When the early Christians confessed in their Roman occupied lands that Jesus is Lord, they were proclaiming good news! When the church feeds and takes care of the poor, this is good news!  When churches rally together in their communities for the sake of unity, this is good news! 

In John 10, Jesus describes himself as the gate. The gate by which his sheep have complete access to the Father. I believe this illustration is a crucial reminder for us today. Access to God has always been through Jesus. He is the gate...yet somehow too many Christians have positioned themselves to be the gatekeepers. Jesus never once taught that we are to be guardians. He taught us to be bringers and inviters!

This weekend, I will bring a close to our Trending series as we explore this complicated and sometimes controversial term - evangelical. We’ll look further into Jesus’s illustration of being the “gate” and ask ourselves...”have I become a gatekeeper?”  “How can I take back this word evangelical so that my family, neighbor and community can once again see it as Good News?”  I hope you’ll join us this weekend!

Grace and Peace.

Pastor Rex

The Grace Revolution


Terrorism is something that might come into our conversations. If not weekly, perhaps even daily. Read Psalm 46 and remember how we trust God instead of giving in to fear and faithlessness.

This weekend I am preaching on the Book of Jonah and terrorism.  I believe that we, as Christ followers, can be raised to a higher level of bold faith in this world that God has put us in to raise our families.  In addition, I am going to interview a member of our church who survived one of the worst acts of terrorism in U.S. history.  See how God was faithful in this dramatic story and how he is ready to unleash bold faith and revolutionary kindness on each of our lives.

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim

Sojourners In A Strange Land


I was raised in a small Northern California community outside of Sacramento.  My family had a farm and their main crop was eggs – so we raised chickens for our livelihood.  It was really a small family farm, not like some of the big commercial farms you see today.  My mom and dad and my brothers were pretty much the workers on the farm.  I can’t remember any time that we had a hired hand on the farm.  If we did go on a short vacation to our cabin in the mountains, one of my dad’s friends who had a turkey ranch would come take care of our chickens and livestock and then we’d do the same for him on his farm.

On our farm, we did not have a need for migrant workers, but several of the farms around us did.  Especially the farms that had harvest times – especially in the tomato fields and rice patties in our area.  So in my elementary school we often had children of migrant farm workers come to school for a few months out of the year.  I always felt sorry for them, because they weren’t with us long enough to get to know us.  Some of the kids in school were even kind of mean to them because they looked different, dressed different and usually they were even one or two grades behind, so some kids called them stupid.

When I told my mom about how mean the kids were to the “visiting” kids, she (as she often did) pulled out her Bible and read...“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him/her wrong.  You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt:  I am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 19:33-34)  

Then she explained to me that these “visiting” kids’ parents worked on farms and they had to go where there was work so they could feed their family.  Because of moving around so much, it was hard for their kids to keep up with their studies like those of us who had parents who worked in one place.   So, she said, God wants you to help them and encourage your friends to help them feel welcomed in your school.

Now I live in a neighborhood full of people who might be considered “strangers sojourning” in our land.  People who are here on job assignments from countries and lands far off.  They are much better off than the migrant workers from my childhood, but many of them feel lonely and out of touch.  Our native languages are different, our cultures are different, some dress different than we do, but I always remember – “you shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself.”  Whether in the grocery store, the bank, or walking down the sidewalk let’s greet all with enthusiasm and respect, because we have all been or will be “sojourners in a strange land.” 


Pastor Linda

Jesus, Social Media and The New Marketplace


This weekend at Washington Cathedral, we begin a new teaching series called “Trending”, where over the next few weeks, we will discuss trending cultural topics, explore how they influence our faith and what the Bible teaches us about them.

I’m really excited to jump into the series this weekend with a message called "Digital Divide: When Our Faith Collides with Social Media"!

When preparing for this message, I couldn’t help but first wonder...would Jesus have used Facebook, or Twitter? Assuming these online platforms would have been available to him, I think the answer would be yes.

Why do I believe this?

Of Jesus’s 132 public appearances, 122 had a marketplace context. The four gospels record Jesus telling 52 parables, with 45 of them having a marketplace context.

Jesus valued spaces where people of all backgrounds gathered. For Jesus, that space was the marketplace. media is the modern-day marketplace. In fact, on Facebook alone, there are currently 1 billion active accounts being used every day.

Just as in the marketplace spaces in the days of Jesus, people from all backgrounds are on social media. Lives are shared. Important theological and social issues are discussed. Culture is shaped. News is broken.

But as we know...not everything about the internet or social media is beneficial. The number of friends, followers and likes you have don’t always equate to real life friends and relationships. It can be deceiving and sometimes be very hard to represent Jesus when those political and theological discussions are taking place. [preaching to myself here]

Thankfully, the Bible has plenty to teach us about authentic relationships, being a witness, guarding our hearts and wise living. All of these can guide us into using social media in healthy, Christ honoring ways.

I hope you’ll join us this weekend and hear more about the trending topic of social media use and how our faith can influence it in positive ways!

Speaking of social media...are you following Washington Cathedral on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?  We’d love to connect with you there!

Grace and Peace.