crossposted with No Unsacred Place Every now and then we need to immerse ourselves in Nature.The idea of living in cities – much less in suburbs – is a very new phenomenon. Even after cities became commonplace – when “civilization” began – the majority of people still lived on the land. It wasn’t until 1920 that more people in the United States lived in urban areas than in rural ones. By 1990 75% of Americans lived in cities or suburbs – away from the land. That presents a challenge for those … [Read more...]

OBOD East Coast Gathering

I’m back from a wet but wonderful long weekend at the OBOD East Coast Gathering in Pennsylvania. We had rain, an Alban Elfed (Autumn Equinox) ritual, rain, Druid grade initiations, rain, Bardic grade initiations, rain, workshops by OBOD Modron Thea Worthington and Touchstone Editor Penny Billington, rain, workshops by various other participants (I led the Daily Spiritual Practice workshop), rain, good food, rain, mead, and rain.Did I mention that it rained all day Friday? It’s been so dry in Te … [Read more...]

The Death Penalty

The death penalty is in the news again. The national and international attention is on Troy Davis, set to die tonight in Georgia for a murder of a police officer in 1989, even though seven of nine witnesses against him have recanted their testimony and the physical evidence is questionable.Texas (the capital punishment capital of the Western world) has just executed one of the men involved in the racially-motivated dragging death of James Byrd. And another convicted killer received a temporary … [Read more...]


Star Foster at Patheos has a new piece up on Ephesus, which is best known in the West as an early Christian site but which was known in antiquity for its massive Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The history in Star’s article is good but what grabbed my attention was this musing on the religious implications of a people who built and rebuilt a grand temple, until they stopped.the creation of devotional objects and buildings, their maintenance and their use in rites, are a … [Read more...]

How Much Is Enough?

My biggest criticism of the “spiritual but not religious” crowd is that too many of them use the label as an excuse for avoiding the hard work of spiritual practice and the accountability of religious community. But that criticism raises the question “how much is enough?” How much spiritual practice is enough? How much study is enough? How much social action is enough? How much witness is enough? How much worship is enough?In the small Baptist church where I grew up, one of the preacher’s f … [Read more...]

Evolution – The Great Story

I’ve never been very passionate about evolution. 10th grade biology plus some extra-curricular science reading convinced me it was an accurate explanation for the development of life. That allowed me to check that box on my “things I need to know” list and move onto other subjects I found more engaging. But over the past couple years I’ve found myself delving into evolution more and more frequently, and referring to it more and more often in my religious-themed writings. I asked myself why … [Read more...]

Together in Faith

David Sparks of Temple Spiritualis Compassare and John Beckett of Denton CUUPSLast night I had the honor of participating in Together in Faith, a 9/11 Service of Remembrance and Hope held at the First United Methodist Church of Denton.  I was one of the "faith group representatives" who spoke on the theme "I believe" - what our religions teach that can help us all to live together in peace.When Rev. Pam Wat of DUUF asked me to represent Pagans in this service, I was a little nervous.  … [Read more...]

Social Security

Caring for our elders is the collective responsibility of society, not an individual responsibility. While I try to stay informed, I do what I can to stick to the news and avoid political commentary – it just gets my blood pressure up. But every now and then something slips through my filters and raises said blood pressure to the point where I have to say something. This is one of those times.I’ve had it with Rick Perry and Rush Limbaugh all the other right wing talking heads calling Social Se … [Read more...]