Washington “National” Cathedral

cathedral damage

I love it. It's a great space. I worked there for three years.  We shouldn’t be spending federal money to repair it.But according to the Los Angeles Times, Mayor Vincent Gray is seeking 15 million dollars in Federal Emergency Management funds to help the Cathedral make the repairs needed after an earthquake rocked the limestone perched high above our nation’s capitol.Why not?One: the separation of church and stateFar too many interpret the freedom we allow for religion as freedom from rel … [Read more...]

At Rest in the Sanctuary of the Soul

SancSoul

My thanks to the folks at Patheos for an invitation to participate in an on-line roundtable devoted to Richard Foster’s Sanctuary of the Soul.  Foster issues a fresh invitation to journey into God through meditative prayer. Exploring the way in which Scripture, icons, silence, and other practices can serve us on that journey, Foster succeeds in teaching us to pray without losing sight of the real invitation: a life of intimacy with God in Christ.  The post that follows is not a review, but a rea … [Read more...]

Sing a New Song

Musicalicon

I have the privilege of serving this year as chaplain to the Dallas Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.  I gave the brief homily that appears below at the opening convocation.  I have posted it here, for whatever value it may be to organists, other musicians, vocalists, and those who simply love music. Psalm 96Worship in the Splendor of HolinessOh sing to the Lord a new song;sing to the Lord, all the earth!2 Sing to the Lord, bless his name;tell of his salvation from day t … [Read more...]

9/11: A Loss of Innocence?

11

Reflecting on the events of 9/11, one veteran journalist called the events of that day "a loss of innocence."  According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the primary connotations of the word innocence (from the Latin, innocentia) are:1. Freedom from sin, guilt, or moral wrong in general; the state of being untainted with, or unacquainted with, evil; moral purity.2. Freedom from specific guilt; the fact of not being guilty of that with which one is charged; guiltlessness.3. Freedom from … [Read more...]

How is it with your soul?

how with soul

This week marked the beginning of a new academic year.  As in years past, I have spent a few days describing the nature of our spiritual formation program to new students.Over a decade ago the program looked very different from the one we have today.  We relied on outside facilitators.  The student experience varied greatly.  And oversight for the program was assigned to someone whose primary responsibilities lay elsewhere.  The program was also required for certain degree programs, but no one … [Read more...]

The “Life in the Real World” Excuse

Excuses

I work in both churches and the academy.  And, from time to time, people will preface their response to something I’ve said with the words, “Well, if you worked in the real world…”Frankly, all those comments demonstrate is how little people know about the church and the academy, where (as the saying goes) “the politics are so dirty because the stakes are so small.”  Both institutions could really afford to be a little less real, if by “real” what you mean is nasty, divisive, back-stabbing, gras … [Read more...]

Sleaze, Slant, and Assassination

Sleaze, Slant, Assassination

The New York Times can’t stop reporting on “The News of the World” debacle.  They run two or more “news” articles a day and throw in an editorial --- just in case the editorializing isn’t finished.  They devoted only one article to the work of American Bridge and stuck to “just the facts.” Aaron Fielding quietly stalks his prey — Republicans — with his video camera, patiently waiting for a political moment worthy of YouTube.  At 27, he is a full-time “tracker” for American Bridge 21st Century, a … [Read more...]

Signs and Wonders

Signs&Wonders

Nothing I said in What God Wants for your Life got me into more trouble than the chapter on signs and wonders:Don’t you believe in miracles?Don’t you believe that God is active in the world?Don’t you believe in the power of prayerYes…but I don’t believe that signs and wonders are necessarily indicative of the will of God.  Sometimes the exceptional is just exceptional.For example: I made a major move in employment some years ago --- prayerfully, I might add --- on the basis of what I fe … [Read more...]


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