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Tara Woodard-Lehman
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Tara Woodard-Lehman is a mom of two, salvage artist, lover of people, and PCUSA minister. Over the past sixteen years Tara has ministered to and with young adults and college students. Over the past six years Tara has been serving as the Presbyterian Chaplain at Princeton University. Tara is a contributor in the anthology TALKING TABOO: AMERICAN CHRISTIAN WOMEN GET FRANK ABOUT FAITH by White Cloud Press.

Entries by Tara Woodard-Lehman

Respectability Is NOT Faithfulness

(0) Comments | Posted April 20, 2015 | 11:59 AM

(At last Sunday's Princeton University gathering in the Chapel to "address issues of racism and prejudice" some students turned their backs on the University President. Later in the service, a manifesto was read by a student speaker and some students held posters, and then walked out as a form of...

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Thanks but No Thanks: Gratitude as Gimmick

(1) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 1:53 PM

Tis the season for gratitude, right? It's nearly Thanksgiving, after all. Facebook posts daily invite us to take some sort of "gratitude challenge." More than ever before we're being called, admonished even, to embrace an "attitude of gratitude." Gratitude is something everyone likes. No one is anti-gratitude.

But here's...

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Raising Arms

(0) Comments | Posted August 20, 2014 | 12:22 PM

If there's one thing I know for sure, it's this: most Presbyterians, (at least those in North America) don't like to raise their hands.

At least not in worship.

We'll wave them at sporting events. We'll sway them at concerts. We'll raise them in classrooms. But in worship? Nah.

...
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A Mother Without Children

(1) Comments | Posted May 11, 2014 | 11:19 AM

I was a mother long before I had children.

Before I was married.
Before I was pregnant.
Before I miscarried.
Before I labored for 33 hours.
Before I pushed and bled and my firstborn came into the world.
Before my second refused to turn.

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Unbind Him, and Let Him Go: A Lenten Challenge

(8) Comments | Posted March 14, 2014 | 6:42 PM

While some bible stories seem mostly about God being with us, other stories seem more about God for us. The story of Jesus raising of Lazarus from the dead, however, is about both.

In John's gospel, the scene opens with Mary and Martha desperate for a miracle. Their brother is...

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On Being Weak

(3) Comments | Posted February 20, 2014 | 4:38 PM

I am a woman. I am a leader. I am a Christian. And when I hear the words of Jesus, "This is my body, broken for you," I want to holler back, "Right back at ya, boss."

That may not sound very scandalous to you, but in my context, weakness...

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The Shadows of Advent

(7) Comments | Posted December 3, 2013 | 3:31 PM

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For most of my life I paid little attention to Advent.

I had vague childhood memories of singing melancholy hymns with minor chords. I occasionally lit candles around an Advent wreath. But that's about it.

As far as I could tell, Advent...

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Coming Out: Christian, Minister, Ally

(6) Comments | Posted November 18, 2013 | 9:46 AM

I just walked back to my office after a heart-breaking Transgender Day of Remembrance service at Princeton University.

During the service a well-known prosecuting attorney spoke of a recent case regarding a young person who was murdered because they didn't conform to someone's notion of "appropriate dress" for their gender....

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God's Script-Flipping Story

(13) Comments | Posted September 30, 2013 | 1:51 PM

I'm going to put myself out there and share something only my closest friends and family know: I love to watch "Christian television." From the time I was a young girl, I'd sneak into my parents red-carpeted television room, sit crossed-legged about a foot away from the TV, and tune...

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Do You Really Need Church?

(735) Comments | Posted August 14, 2013 | 10:12 AM

Not long ago I was having a conversation with a college student. Like many young adults, this guy was a religious "none." He wasn't some sort of jaded post-religious person, but he also wasn't actively trying to find a religious home.

Despite his state of self-described religious none-ness, this...

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God Loves Vaginas

(32) Comments | Posted February 17, 2013 | 11:32 PM

For a Christian lady reared in a conservative, small Pennsylvanian town, I'd seen my share of, ahem, vaginas. Not real ones, but large puppet vaginas affectionately called Wondrous Vulvas.

And wondrous they were. Comparable in size to a ginormous summer watermelon, my personal puppet was thoughtfully crafted with plush...

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Desperately Seeking Jesus

(9) Comments | Posted July 3, 2012 | 9:46 AM

Mark 5:21-43 tells two stories about people who are really, truly, desperate. One describes a powerful leader seeking healing for his daughter. The other describes a poor woman seeking healing for herself.

The scene opens with Jesus on the waterfront. After stepping off the boat, he's swarmed by a great...

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The Beast of Mental Illness

(9) Comments | Posted May 16, 2012 | 5:55 PM

2012-05-15-TheBeastandMe.jpg


After countless yards of duct tape, a few bodily injuries, and many false starts, I finally finished him. My creation. My vision of Daniel's vision. The beast.

A few months ago musician and seminarian Phill Eason asked me to make a...

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A Story of Redemption: My Secret Love for Garbage

(36) Comments | Posted April 30, 2012 | 11:23 AM

It started off, just a bunch of garbage. Literally. I stared down trash heaps and recycling bins and meditated. I prayed in salvage yards and next to garbage bins and even trash cans. And when I did, something welled up in my throat, something erupted from down deep in my...

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