Jeffrey Metcalfe



Living as footnotes to the story

“To live in the church in North America is to assume that our critique of the church is the most important, that our problems are the most significant problems in the universal church.”

Seeing the fungus through the trees

I’ve always disliked church structures, an antipathy I credit to that potentially most monstrous of church creatures: the committee.

Ask more

Spring is the season of writing grant applications, not least of all for theological students. I know this season well because I am currently in

Not wholly innocent

Today is the day. The last feast has been prepared and the last family party has been attended.

Poking the wound

It has taken me a long time to write this column. Too long.

Aldo and his goat companion, Alli, have been dubbed "the delight of old Quebec" by the CBC. Photo: Diocese of Quebec calendar

Becoming a donkey church

I will be the first to admit that I have never really been a fan of large, herbaceous quadrupeds.

Photo: Kenneth Kullman/Shutterstock

Entertained by angels

Several weeks into my first tree-planting season, the company I had been working for finished its spring contract early, closing our camp and laying off my crew for a few weeks until the summer contract began.

They will change our values

It is a phrase I hear far too often these days, as our world continues to grapple with the effects of human migration.

Main gate of Auschwitz-Birkenau, one of three main concentration camps established by the Nazi regime in Oswiecim, Poland, in the 1940s. It was converted into a Holocaust memorial and museum in 1947. Photo: Olga Koverninska

But if the salt

It was the most strikingly mundane road I have ever walked. Set beside a pair of iron rails, the dusty grey gravel could have led anywhere: a path to a country church, an entrance to a store parking lot, a side street leading home.

Photo: JP Wallet/Shutterstock

You take them in

It was mid-afternoon when I got the call. Picking up the phone, I was greeted by a friend from a local refugee welcoming centre. Immediately I could tell from the strain in her usually cheerful voice that something was wrong. It didn’t take long for her to explain what it was.

Photo: Shutterstock

We are what we post

What is the purpose of posting on social media? It’s a question we don’t often stop to ask ourselves. As human beings, the longer we engage in a practice over time, the less we tend to think about it.

Photo: rudall30/Shutterstock

You are my witnesses (online, too)

Much has been said and remains to be said about the dramatic events that took place at General Synod this past June. Live streaming it from home, I found myself encouraged, dismayed, bored, embarrassed and astounded.

Photo: Denisgo/Shutterstock

Praying for patience

When I was a teenager, I remember my youth pastor telling me, “be careful when you ask God to give you patience. God might just answer your prayer by giving you the opportunity to practice patience.”


Checking privilege at the border

Flying back from a conference, I stand at the desk of an airport terminal’s gate, preparing to board, ticket in hand, passport at the ready.

Image: Christophe Boisson/Shutterstock

Sanctified in the truth

Walking home from a riveting lecture on Christianity and peace, I had just started to cross the quiet intersection that leads to my neighbourhood when a black SUV, creeping past the stop line, hesitatingly pulled through the intersection and cut me off.

Photo: Carlos Santa Maria/Shutterstock

Feet first

Feet can be gross. We walk on them. They get calloused. Sometimes they smell. We try to keep them in good order, but most of us wouldn’t consider our feet worthy of an act of worship. (And I suspect if we did, we wouldn’t tell anyone.)

Where your treasure is

“A budget is a moral document.” I’m not sure who first said it, but it’s a phrase I’ve heard at many a vestry meeting over the last several years

Why methodology matters

I’ve had the great pleasure of recently serving on a General Synod task force exploring the ethics of money. It was an exciting mix of interesting and talented people coming from diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

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