Don Follis

Don Follis

Don Follis | Memorial, museum evoke painful memories

Back in the day, when I was a theology student, one of my professors handed the students an essay by a Southern white preacher from the mid-1800s arguing that the Bible clearly justified slavery. Our assignment was to read the essay and write a one-page response.

Don Follis | Let women rise up, speak the truth and lead

The #MeToo movement began by exposing predatory male behavior and hypocrisy in liberal enclaves in Hollywood and the mainstream media. Now it is spreading through the rest of society. The #MeToo movement has given birth to the #ChurchToo movement.

Don Follis | All moms need grace in the moment

My mother was not different from the other mothers in our Northwestern Kansas town in the late 1950s and early 1960s. She was not different from mothers across the country. She had one child after another, four of her five kids in less than seven years. I was number two, the first of three boys. I am 14 months younger than my first-born sister.

Don Follis | Learning to grieve well is crucial to a healthy life

When I meet caring pastors, I am reminded that the best pastors are great grievers. They take the words of Jesus seriously — "Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted."

Don Follis | 'Unsanitized version' of becoming God's friend

In almost 40 years in the ministry, I have had many a discussion with pastors about authenticity and transparency. How much should pastors tell their parishioners about themselves, some of whom unwittingly put their pastor on a pedestal? What is appropriate disclosure, especially from, say, the pulpit on Sunday?

Don Follis | Easter is the day to listen for your name

On Easter, I turn to the Gospel of Mark, flipping to Chapter 16. There I read of several women visiting the tomb where Jesus was buried.

Don Follis | I think Dad would have supported #MeToo campaign

My dad was an elder in the conservative church of my youth in northwestern Kansas. The elders were all men. However, most of the teaching in the church, except for the preaching on Sunday, was done by women. The most popular Sunday adult class was taught by a woman. Dad enjoyed her lessons, respecting her Biblical knowledge.

Don Follis | We hear God best when we listen to others

After years of consulting with churches, I am more certain than ever that having a good discernment process is crucial to decision-making. Process matters almost more than outcome. If you can trust the process, you can trust the outcome.

Don Follis: An unusual start to Lent

Ashes and chocolate don't go together very well. Last week, Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day fell on the same day. Even before I received ashes on my forehead at the 7 a.m. Mass at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Urbana, I already had decided that I would forego eating chocolate and conversation hearts.

Don Follis: We must courageously, kindly speak truth in love

Early one Saturday morning when I was in high school, I was doing my weekly chores when there was a knock on our door. When I opened it, an unfamiliar man asked if my dad was home. When dad came to the door, the man asked dad to speak with him out on our porch.