Savoring autumn days

It’s beautiful these days, cool and no humidity in Minnesota, but the days are also somewhat sad in my household right now. Dawn is breaking later every day, and sunset coming earlier, putting a dent in the time I have for gardening. Most of my high schooler’s friends are heading out of state to college. [Read More...]


In religion as well as in politics (and probably in innumerable other realms of human endeavor as well), any seeker after truth and meaning can be bombarded with an incomprehensibly vast heap of supposed facts and truths. It is very easy to encounter a multiplicity of voices which appear to assert, with the utmost confidence, [Read More...]


The moral and ethical questions surrounding abortion are complex, and although I have my own firm opinions, I know that good people disagree with me for good reasons. I have no intention of arguing the question here. No, what I’m wondering about at the moment is just what it means to be “pro-life.” After all, [Read More...]

Run for Your Life!

I have always been fairly athletic, and I enjoy playing a good game that gets my blood pumping.  But I loathe exercise.  I’ll run all day long if I’m on a court or a playing field, but ask me to run to get or stay in shape and I’ll kindly decline.  I’ve tried several times [Read More...]

Friends: The Spice of Life

If most of our life consists of basic repetitive tasks that are simple and predictable—some would say boring—it’s the people we interact with who make our days interesting. If our life were a soup, the people we know would be the spices. Some people, like salt and pepper, are always nearby, always present at the [Read More...]

Worship as Emotive Experience

This past Sunday, I became emotional in the pulpit… again. Ok, truth to be told, I’m always emotional in the pulpit. It’s part of why I never schedule anything for Sunday afternoon, because preaching a good UU sermon will wipe me out, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I usually maintain enough reserves to make it through [Read More...]

The Cost of Speaking

I try to be a nice person. Really I do. OK, it doesn’t always work, but I deeply believe in the practice of civility and respect toward all people. So I was genuinely sorry when a Facebook friend wrote to say that I had deeply offended her by questioning her integrity, and that we would [Read More...]

Hating Hateful Haters

Last week, advertisements began appearing at commuter train stations in the county where I live that, it would seem, blame all of Islam for the actions of violent extremists who are Muslim. Debate over the ads here in Westchester, including in the congregation I serve as minister, has centered on the question of “hate speech.” [Read More...]

All’s Fair

Here in Minnesota, where I live, the State Fair is the main thing going on. It upstages even the dreaded back-to-school days which are also dominant in hearts and minds. In other places where I have lived, State Fairs are about as central to life as, say, roller coasters, or ferret ownership, or balloon rides. [Read More...]