August 14, 2012

If I were a young adult (or any kind of adult) in the ELCA Gathering audience wondering what role faith would play in my life and whether the organized church had any place in it, Nadia Bolz-Weber’s presentation may just have changed my path in that moment. Whatever denomination or inclination, check out this powerful video. Read more

August 11, 2012

Ayn Rand was not anti-religious in the popular form of “spiritual but not religious”; she believed that any impulse to care about other people was either weak or disingenuous. Her version of economics and all of life celebrated only individual dominance as the driving force. I don’t think Paul Ryan — who says he got into politics because of reading Rand — believes this, but he, like a large portion of the conservative movement, has not resolved the inherent disconnect between their pure free market policies — based on this invisible hand mentality — and their professed religious values. In embracing Ayn Rand so wholeheartedly while insisting he’s also a devout Christian, Paul Ryan embodies this disconnect. This gives President Obama the opportunity to revisit the discussion of whether it is more consistent with Christian values to protect free markets or to help those in need. When framed starkly like that, it’s a loser for the Republicans. The presence of Paul Ryan on the ticket make it that stark. Read more

August 10, 2012

Here’s a short video about my church, St. Lydia’s, in Brooklyn, NY, where I am congregant, sometime worship leader and sometime lead cook (we make dinner every week). The video is by the wonderful and talented folks at StoryKeep, and though there’s so much more I’d like to tell you about St. Lydia’s and so much more of me I wish there was in the video 🙂 I think it really captures the spirit of what we do. Read more

August 9, 2012

We want winners and losers. And we don’t want the winning and losing to be arbitrary, so even when it is, we pretend it’s not. If ever there were arbitrary results, the tied outcomes of several women’s gymnastic events at the London Olympics fit the bill. Read more

August 2, 2012

Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós has just begun a world tour starting with two weeks of US dates. Here’s a reflection on the transcendent quality of their music, treating secular music as worship music, singing in glossolalia, and the heron that flew overhead with perfect timing during the band’s outdoor Brooklyn show on Tuesday. Read more

August 2, 2012

Very few things are actually important to know in real time. Some things are fun to know in real time, like live sports or reality shows, but it is rare that our knowing something sooner makes a difference. CNN’s fumbling on the health care decision is a lesson in false urgency we can learn from. Read more

August 2, 2012

Our new level of connectedness is a wonderful thing — perhaps the greatest blessing technology has brought us. But it has created a new problem. In this hyper-connected world, time in which you can do nothing is rare. Despite how highly I value and seek out serenity, I am linked continuously to my workplace and other obligations, so it’s all too easy to feel pressured by the things I could be doing. I want to talk with you about doing nothing. Read more

August 1, 2012

Hi Patheos community. Here’s a little about my journey from an atheist upbringing though Quakerism, deep ecology, Buddhism and Catholicism to the present, and what I have in mind for this blog about spiritual tools, contemplation, recovery, alternative worship, art and culture. Read more

November 4, 2009

Thousands of you read, responded to and shared my August piece about the health care debate and Catholicism. We are now in the final phase of the Congressional process and some things are clearer than they were then. Catholic Church leaders wanted undocumented immigrants included in the bill. They are not. Sadly, the Church stands almost alone among organizations in this country in its concern for the undocumented. They wanted universal coverage, and to the surprise of many, it looks… Read more

August 23, 2009

‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:37-40) People of faith are not of… Read more

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