Creating Life

Standing in the doorway between the ticket table and the concert last night, the music from the incredible jazz trio on the chancel washing over me, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. This is my life! Somewhere between scheduling the termite treatments and the ceiling repairs from a leaky roof, between taxes and budgets, between making [Read More...]

Who Decides What Is “Value-Added?”

For whatever reasons having to do with time but also interest, I am the one in our family who sits down and pays the bills. I like doing it. I get a feeling of satisfaction from being able to pay the bills, a sense of security and peace of mind, however ephemeral, that we were [Read More...]

A Former Member Asks the Minister for a Favor

She says her family shuns her. She says it has something to do with God. She says the cancer has gone way too far. She says when her brother died the family pastor said he went straight to hell and “Let that be a lesson.” She says, “Will you do my funeral?” A light rain [Read More...]

For Mother’s Day

What will you be doing for Mother’s Day? I confess it’s never been a big deal in my family, either with my mom or as a mom. Somehow, we just never got on the breakfast in bed, flowers, greeting card bandwagon. I don’t know why. It’s not that I don’t think mothers deserve to be [Read More...]

Prayers for the Possible

In 1854, Rev. Theodore Parker prayed: “Help us to grow stronger and nobler by this world’s varying good and ill, and while we enlarge the quantity of our being by continual life, may we improve its kind and quality not less, and become fairer, and tenderer, and heavenlier too, as we leave behind us the [Read More...]

“You’re Keeping That?”

While nursing lately, I’ve been watching the sun move across the dusty piano. “I’ve got to dust that, the moment I get up,” I think, and then promptly forget, again. But I’ve also been wondering if that’s exactly why spring motivates us to some version of cleaning-tending-sorting-purging-reclaiming of space in our lives—is it simply because [Read More...]

Softballing with Spinoza

If a triangle could speak, it would say . . . that God is eminently triangular, while a circle would say that the divine nature is eminently circular. Thus each would ascribe to God its own attributes, would assume itself to be like God, and look on everything else as ill-shaped. ~ Baruch Spinoza I [Read More...]

For You Were a Stranger in Egypt

There are many biblical passages calling people to offer hospitality to the stranger. Here is one from the 19th chapter of the book of Leviticus: When strangers sojourn with you in your land, you shall do them no wrong, the strangers who sojourn with you shall be to you as natives among you, and you [Read More...]

Not Avoiding Forests, Though They Have All Those Trees

I sometimes (daily?) get overwhelmed by the minutiae of life. I often feel amazed at what others seem to accomplish while I feel like I’m drowning in dishes, dirty clothes, to-do lists, e-mail, and piles of papers. I’ve even been known to turn down a vacation because getting organized for all that just sounds like [Read More...]


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