Wild Goose Day One: Notes on Pilgrimage

The day began at the airport, the great temple to modern travel. Eleventh Busiest Airport in the Country, a placard proudly proclaimed.  The masses of people shuffled towards their encounters with the TSA and surly gate agents. So often our pilgrimages begin this way. Our sacred spaces are mapped out on the tiny napkins where [Read More…]

Wonderbolts of Thunderment

(See the study guide for my new novel, SOULJOURN, here…. the novel invites readers to explore the religions of the world in their own “back yards”.) Updrafts from the Rio Grande Valley pounded a white anvil against the stratosphere as the jet moaned over New Mexico while I looked out the window. I’d just finished [Read More…]

Of Chestnut Saplings and Wild Geese

I can remember a particular hiking trip with my family. I was probably seven or eight years old, and my parents and my brother and I had been camping, and we decided to hike a trail through some of the lush forests that cover the southeastern United States. My mother, who is a daughter of [Read More…]

A Search for the Historically Angry Jesus: A Review of Reza Aslan’s “Zealot”

A Review of ZEALOT: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan (Random House, 2013) On the page before the table of contents of Reza Aslan’s new book, ZEALOT, there appears one line from the Gospels: “Do not think I have come to bring peace on earth. I have not come to bring [Read More…]

Seeds, Leaves, Roots: Health Care for All

(I’m working now on a project called SEEDS, LEAVES, ROOTS: Faithful Rhetoric and Reflection for Progressive Social Action. It’s an initiative of Progressive Christians Uniting – I serve on its board of directors. We are creating a “virtual library” of progressive Christian positions on critically important issues. “Seeds” are one or two line “sound bites” [Read More…]

Seeking God in the Wilderness: Joining a Sacred Quest

I do not know how to begin that process of awakening to my kinship with creation without many and repeated journeys into non-human nature, both local and wilderness, in order to listen in a way that shows me my true identity over and over. [Read more…]

Silence with a Sloth: On Meeting the Divine in Costa Rica

I had heard about the Sloth-man a few days before meeting him in a Quaker house in the mystical cloudforest of Monteverde, Costa Rica. My friends Scott and Becca had a year earlier uprooted their church ministry jobs and two young children to move to this small mountain community that drew thousands of tourists each [Read More…]

Time with God

Walking in the early morning on the Lizard Head trail under the red cliffs of Sedona, Arizona, last Sunday, I repeated the mantra I often use while taking hikes: “Am I here? Am I here? Am I here?” Was I really present, really awake, to the crunch of dirt under my feet, the calls of [Read More…]

Getting My Goose On: A Q&A with Wild Goose Festival Director Gareth Higgins

With only five weeks to go to the third annual Wild Goose Festival in Hot Springs, North Carolina, I checked in with Festival Director Gareth Higgins about what to expect and look forward to at this year’s 4-day gathering at the intersection of spirituality, social justice and the arts. In addition to the stellar and diverse [Read More…]

When Robbers and Innkeepers Profit from Good Samaritans

By the Rev. Brian E. Konkol  Lake Edge Lutheran Church, Madison, WI The “Parable of the Good Samaritan” is one of the most well known, beloved, and influential portions of the New Testament. As a striking narrative about care and compassion for others, the content of Luke 10:29-37 has reverberated throughout the centuries as a clear [Read More…]

Movement for Justice: Changing the Story

Our stories are changed by the testimony of others. We are changed by the movement of time, by new understandings, and by the still-speaking Word. If this were not true, my ancestors would still be obeying masters, and my female justice-seeking voice would be silent. [Read more…]