A Gift, A Letter, and a Drowning Man: The Legacy of “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

There’s an old Zen story that does like this:   Once there was a great warrior. He had never been defeated, and he continued to win every confrontation into old age. He was known far and wide as the only warrior who had never suffered a defeat. This of course was a challenge to younger [Read More...]

Saving the music, Saving our souls

Much talk is made of gentrification, but I want to take a moment and lift up the shadow side of all the cool new coffee houses and increased property taxes – dispossession. New Orleanians who managed to return post-flood are finding themselves pushed out of the city by the incredible post-2005 rent & tax increases [Read More...]

A Candle in the Window

As winter draws close around us here in the northern hemisphere, I find myself drawn ever more to the flame of candles. A couple of years ago, I spent the month of January in Oslo, Norway. Though the climate in Oslo is similar to my home in northern New York, the days are significantly shorter. [Read More...]

Unconditional Love: An Epiphany

Over winter solstice, I watched my father tending to KG, his first grandchild, with unconditional love. We had just celebrated her one year birthday and she was beginning to cruise around with increased confidence.  As she found herself standing in front of my mother’s highly breakable ceramic nativity scene, KG began to methodically hand each [Read More...]

On Building Bridges

“We build too many walls and not enough bridges.” Isaac Newton About five years ago, I sat in church one cold and dreary Sunday morning while our pastor, Jennifer, talked about bridges. I came into church that morning a little lost, a little frustrated, and utterly exhausted. I didn’t really want to be there and [Read More...]

Empty Suitcase

The cat snuggles down into my empty suitcase, out to fill for a trip. She   knows something’s up. It’s a bed, she insists. A warm place, even an   instrument of stasis. I let her nestle there, passing on to other   bustling that needs doing, done. That I’ve lived out of a suitcase [Read More...]

Joy to the World!

As the Community Minister for the Greater New Orleans Unitarian Universalists, I spend a lot of my time immersed in the injustice of layers of oppression. New Orleanians still trying to get back into their homes over 8 years after they were flooded out, transgender women forced to be housed with and often abused by [Read More...]

For the Beauty of the Earth…

I was walking in City Park with a community organizer this week when suddenly we were only the width of the boardwalk away from a Great Egret, its fancy fringe plumes fluttering in the morning breeze. We paused, taking in the beauty, marveling at the unexpected joy of such a close encounter. A few minutes [Read More...]

His Day Is Done

Since hearing the news last Thursday of the passing of Nelson Mandela, our beloved Madiba, I have been longing to be able to share the experience with my friends in South Africa. Although we all knew the time would come when he would no longer be physically with us, it has been hard to absorb. [Read More...]

Another Reason for the Season

There’s a certain Slant of light, Winter Afternoons – That oppresses, like the Heft Of Cathedral Tunes – Heavenly Hurt, it gives us – We can find no scar, But internal difference, Where the Meanings, are – Emily Dickinson   “Yule” (jul) means “wheel” in Norse. The Norse looked at this time of year, facing the darkest and longest [Read More...]


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