I (Elizabeth Rawlings) am campus pastor for Lutheran Student Ministry at the University of Washington for the 2013-2014 school year, and mission developer (with 10ish years of ministry experience (5 in a congregation). I don’t fit in the church. I never really have. I like to push boundaries and hang out on the margins — this can be difficult when trying to work within a denominational structure. In conversation with someone about how I can work within the system and still be me, I was told to keep my feet rooted in the box with my arms stretched out to the world. I love this image.

I am not alone. There are many of us trying to figure out how to be Christians and denominational church leaders in the new millenium — and what that even means to begin with. This is my space to play with ideas as I read about, talk with others about and experience new ways of doing church and Christianity and as I get chaffed by old ways that are hindering us and new ways that don’t help much either. I’d love it if you would join me in working it all out.

A few people have asked me what the name of the blog is all about. It comes from a conversation I had about how I have a really hard time staying inside of the box, but the ELCA candidacy process likes inside the box, to a degree. A wise person told me, “Why don’t you think of it as having your feet rooted in the box, but your arms stretched out to the world?” That has really helped me through the process. Also, I really like the roller coaster image the phrase carries. After all, that’s what ministry and life are like, right?

14 responses to “About

  • Jon Jacobs

    Just got turned on to your blog. Thank you for your words, images and passion to be a gospel leader in today’s world. Peace and blessings,

  • Jimmy Madsen


    Your mother shared the blog with me and I love it. Your writing is very insightful and I hope you will keep up the good work. I would love to see you the next time you are in Ohio.

  • Woman on the Edge

    I apologize for using this format, but I cannot find a way to email you here. I am a wordpress blogger too. I just followed your page so I can read more. I am at work now and don’t have the time and shouldn’t anyway. The reason for writing is to ask permission to use a photo of stars you have here. I work for a newspaper and I’d like to use it as a representation on a webpage for a story we are running about stargazing. You can write to me at: rkcmrl@aol.com. This is also my blog email. I look forward to studying what you have written. I can relate. Seriously. Thank you. I’ve enjoyed the paragraph or two I’ve read.

    • ERW

      That isn’t my photo — in fact, I can’t remember where it came from. I just tried to find the home site, but I just wiped my computer and I think that information got lost in the transition. I’m sorry about that! Thanks for checking me out, though, and for the kind words 🙂

  • goosegeek

    HI! I’m new to the world of blogging and actually just started mine tonight. I came across yours and decided to follow and read more as I can. I’m a “Christian” but, at the moment, fed up with so-called “Christian” people and the church itself. I’m hoping that maybe, your perspective may help me a little. Thanks for being bold!

  • cherokee487

    Hey, I am a Diest with tons of Christian relatives, friends, and opponents so I spend a great deal of energy and time arguing and debating. Naturally, when a relative asked me to check out your blog I was ready for a fight but I truly enjoyed reading it. Your not going to convert me but I think I may be a little less aggressive now knowing that not all Christians are militant. (Although I sort of feel like I won a small victory if a Christian tells me to stfu or go to hell I would rather keep the debate adult minded).
    I even posted a link on my facebook page in hopes that some of my folk will read your posts. I’m looking forward to reading more from you,

  • Michelle Boyce

    Hi I would like to interview you for a radio show. Can you email me at michelle@betweenthemargins.ca

  • Darlene

    How encouraging it is for me to discover your blog, it helps me realize that I am not nearly as strange as some (or even I) think I am. Thinking differently from traditional church is not easy, sometimes resulting in feelings of isolation or just out of place. So thank you, I resonate deeply with much of what you write here.

  • Nathan

    a friend of mine posted your “How to be a Christian Without Being a Jerk About it” article on Facebook, and I was really impressed. As a Neo-Pagan, frequently “talked to” by my in-laws (and wife) about why I’m ‘wrong’, and at one point chased and almost beaten by a few Christians for my beliefs, this article gives me hope for the human race. Thank you.

  • may

    Follow Jesus and not your ways.

  • Jim Kulma

    Just read about your ordination in November! Congrats! Hope you are well. I get little bits from your Mom from time to time. Blessings on the days ahead! Jim Kulma

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