Apocalypse Never (and what we can do about it)

I grew up in the Pentecostal church. When I was ten, I knew just how the world would end: “the fire next time.” Tribulations. Seven seals. The four horsemen. Rainstorms of blood and fire. And what was more, this was coming any day now: the present terrible state of the world had been precisely prophesied [Read More...]

There Are Many Right Ways

This week, our kid’s favorite book-to-have-read-to-her is Lift Every Voice and Sing. Illustrated by Bryan Collier, the book creates a pictorial narrative for the words of the hymn written by James Weldon Johnson in 1900. It is not the lightest bedtime reading, for me—“We have come over a way that with tears has been watered, [Read More...]

What Bowling Taught Me About Patience

A couple of week’s ago, on a cold Chicago afternoon, after being cooped up for most of the week, my husband and I looked at each other and said, “Let’s go bowling.” Now, nothing says wholesome family fun quite like putting on some smelly communal shoes and listening to drunk men swear at the football [Read More...]

Beginning must not be the end….

As we conclude this month focused on beginnings, I am struck by the renewed interest in early childhood programs. In 1966, I began my career as a teacher in one of the very first Head Start day care centers, housed in the Plymouth Settlement House in Louisville KY. It was a quality program that changed [Read More...]

A Scream and a Theory: Natural Selection and the Higher Moral Order

Scientific theories do not occur in a vacuum. Like poems or paintings, theories reflect the times and characters or their authors. Darwin’s theory of natural selection, far from being a stark and cold scientific theory, was—and continues to be—an impassioned cry for equality and justice. A cry far more grounded and stirring than anything available [Read More...]

A Whole Heart: Remembering Pete Seeger

For the last couple of days my Facebook feed has been full of tributes to the late, great Pete Seeger—as well it should be. A genuinely remarkable man, Seeger spent his long life seeking justice, fighting oppression, telling the truth as he understood it, even in situations where the truth was most unwelcome. (If you [Read More...]

Take Good Care

I was taught in seminary to do ministry with sacred texts in one hand and the newspaper in the other. Our theological and ethical musings are of no consequence if they cannot be applied to what is happening outside the walls of our congregations, if they do not speak to people’s lives. As the Affordable [Read More...]

Worthy to be Entrusted

(Today, I preached at the ordination of a new minister in my denomination, Unitarian Universalism. Her name is Rev. Lara Campbell, and I shared the pulpit with Rev. Michael Tino. Here is my half of the sermon.) “Do not demand immediate results but rejoice that we are worthy to be entrusted with this great message,” [Read More...]

Flying Over the Squares (for small farmers)

The little towns in their squares light up, as do the scattered lights of farmyards in the tilting, fuzzy squares they’re locked in.   I balance a Chilian red on a bumpy flight out to one of those squares.   The West is red too, after we bump to a cruising altitude through clouds threatening [Read More...]


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