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...]

The Coin That Wowed Me

  A very simple thing happened the other day. Someone bought me the 20 cent stamp I needed to mail my father’s birthday card. But it wowed me. You see, I had included in the same envelope a card from my spouse and myself and one I had made from my two-month-old daughter to her grandfather. [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...]

What A Miracle Is

  Once I crossed the Sierra Madres with a bus driver named Arturo who had one arm and a stick-shift bus.   Sometimes between the the shift and wheel Arturo’s good right arm would pause to make the sign of the cross toward a portrait of the Virgin that banged the windshield from a string. [Read More...]

After the Resolutions Die

OK, we’re now a week into the new year, which is about the time that people’s New Year’s resolutions generally start biting the dust. I have a theory about why this is the case, why all our good intentions dissolve so quickly. It’s my conviction that the problem with most resolutions is that we resolve [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...]

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

It’s supposed to be extremely cold this week, across the country. Many people we know are either reeling from it, talking about it, or bracing for it. Today is my partner’s day off, so we decided to go to Hawaii. By which I mean, we went to the “Hawaii” exhibit at the U.S. Botanic Garden in [Read More...]

The Eager Chaplain

Early in ministry, there are skills to be learned. Preaching, counseling, the coffee-hour nod that says, “Yes, I’m listening,” even if it’s not true. Oh, and another one. Boredom. Overcoming it? No. Letting it pull you down below where you can breathe, and then holding you there. For hours. It’s important to know how to [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...]


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