The Spirit of the Season

Winter Solstice

 As we enter the winter holiday season I am struck by the discord that seems to arise each year at this time over whom the holiday “belongs to”. It’s as if there is a conclusion that the celebrations of the season are limited to one religion only, that the celebrations are a finite commodity to be “owned” by one group or another. How silly. Just because I celebrate Yule, someone else celebrates Christmas, and another joins with family to honor Kwanzaa doesn’t mean that any of us impacts … [Read more...]

Hometown Pilgrimage – 2015

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Every year the Interfaith Mission Service (IMS) here in Huntsville sponsors a Hometown Pilgrimage with the express purpose of celebrating and embracing the religious diversity of the City of Huntsville. This year's Hometown Pilgrimage is co-sponsored by the University of Alabama-Huntsville Office of Diversity and the City of Huntsville's Office of Multicultural Affairs. The Hometown Pilgrimage began on 2 September 2014 and runs until 2 November. This year the Pilgrimage has included a number of … [Read more...]

Bringing Them All Back Home

Moral Injury

In 2012 the suicide rate among combat veterans reached an all-time high with some 22 veterans dying by their own hand every single day. Deaths to suicide among these veterans were actually higher than combat-related deaths that year in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite efforts by the Veteran’s Administration and other agencies, suicide deaths among combat veterans continues to be a major problem with approximately one veteran suicide every hour. This rate is twice that of those who never served … [Read more...]

One River, Many Wells

fountains

In my work as a hospital chaplain I never know from day to day what I may be called upon to work with as I step into a patient’s room.  Huntsville, Alabama is a religiously diverse community which includes Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, Christians of many denominations, Pagans, Baha'i and others.  While most of my patient encounters to date have been with Christian families, I have also been called upon to act as chaplain in grief work with other faiths as well.  Such encounters demand that … [Read more...]

Growing the Interfaith Garden

redbuds

It is April now and here in the South that means that spring is all around us.  The redbuds and dogwoods are in bloom and the trees in the woods behind my house are covered in a pale green lace of tiny leaves.  As the earth has warmed I have been drawn more and more to get my fingers in the dirt.  I’ve been cleaning out the detritus of fall leaves, pruning the rose bushes, and planting new flowers and herbs for the coming season.  It is a fitting reminder that the promise of life renewed has been … [Read more...]

A documentary to you and me, real life for others

PetrGinz

This month of April is well-known for recognizing and remembering the Holocaust. The monthly ‘Journeys’ lecture series that I attend, 1st Sunday of each month (at the stark hour of 8am), showed a documentary that honored one of the victims of the Holocaust.  I could go into lots of gritty detail about the significance of this 50 minute film, but that’s not what I want to point out here.What is important to share with you dear reader, is the diverse crowd that was in attendance for the showin … [Read more...]

Commonality of Humanity

It’s amazing sometimes to sit with a retired minister of (choose your abrahamic faith). All these years I was under the impression that they had their act together – that they had all the answers and knew what life was all about. My eyebrows are raised in stock shock to recognize the complete opposite.I have learned that these ex-ministers that I now call friend are just as human as I am.  It makes me wonder though, if my new-found surprise is merely for the fact that I've yet had the oppo … [Read more...]

A pagan visit to a Hindu Ashram Community

Last weekend I went up to the Virginia mountains to become certified as a Laughing Yoga Leader.I am now trained in laughing exercises to use as a means to help people re-learn to laugh. :-) More on that in another post.  My focus for this blog is the center of which the two-day laughing yoga class was held: Yogaville, and the resulting observation that can only be heard from a neutral Pagan.Tell me, what does that word, Yogaville bring to mind for you?  Lots of people doing yoga? Healthy … [Read more...]


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