Advent Windows of Memory, December 13

The Sixth Window:  Scottsdale, Arizona, December 13, 2011 When my mother died in 2010, my sister and I did a cursory cleaning out of her things.  We went through the dresser and closet and donated boxes of her clothes and shoes to charity.  The next year, however, was harder.  Her house was up for sale [Read More...]

Advent Windows of Memory, December 7

The Fifth Window: Christmas Morning 1972 or 1973 The picture has lightened with time, fading like the memory attached to the scene.  There is no date stamped on the photograph, nor year scribbled on the back.  But the subject is still clear: a girl, thirteen or fourteen, in front of a Christmas tree holding a [Read More...]

Advent: Windows of Memory, December 5

The Fourth Window:  Scottsdale, Arizona Christmas 1972 Christmas 1972 is the lost Christmas.  As hard as I try, I can’t remember anything about the holidays that particular year. In November, my family moved from Maryland to Arizona.  The highway voyage across the United States in the yellow Ford station wagon, dad and mom, the three [Read More...]

Advent: Windows of Memory, December 3

The Third Window:  Early December 1968 A few weeks before Christmas, my mother pulled out a book.  Not just any book, this was the Sears holiday catalog called the Wish Book.  Every year, mom asked me, my brother and sister to go through the Wish Book and circle all the gifts and toys we wanted [Read More...]

Advent: Windows of Memory, December 2

This year, I’m going to do something different for Advent.  Here, on my blog, I plan to open up a seasonal memory each day to reflect upon my own story, the people I’ve known and loved, many of who are no longer here.  I have no idea where this Advent journey will take me; nor [Read More...]

Advent: Windows of Memory, December 1

This year, I’m going to do something different for Advent.  Here, on my blog, I plan to open up a seasonal memory each day to reflect upon my own story, the people I’ve known and loved, many of who are no longer here.  I have no idea where this Advent journey will take me; nor [Read More...]

Awakening or Bad Religion?

In the three months since my new book, Christianity After Religion, released many people have wanted to talk with me about “the end of church.”  But readers and interviewers seem more reluctant to talk about the other theme of my book: the possibility of awakening.  Not Welton Gaddy of Interfaith Alliance and State of Belief [Read More...]

Good Friday: Being With Jesus at the Cross

The following is my Good Friday sermon for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Alexandria, Virginia, a town across the river from Washington, D.C., the seat of politics and power. * * * * * In the name of the Great God, the One who creates, redeems, and sustains the world. Around Good Friday 1373, an English [Read More...]

Great Awakening?

These are difficult days for faith in America.  On one hand, we are experiencing a Great Religious Recession, an end of conventional church; on the other, it seems that nostalgic, fundamentalist, and authoritarian forms of religion are on the rise. If those are the only options, we are all in trouble.  But, as I explore [Read More...]

Ashes to ashes….

Today is Ash Wednesday, the day that we remember we come from the earth and shall return to the earth.  Everything is connected.  We live as part of creation, not above or separate from it. A blue grass song to help you embrace the day–and perhaps think about Ash Wednesday differently than you have in [Read More...]


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