September 19, 2023

The upcoming lectionary passage in Matthew 20:1-16 strikes me as timely. The attitude we see here—the attitude of the workers who worked all day and are angry about those who received the same pay for less work—this attitude is something exhibited prominently in recent years. I’ll get to that in a minute. But first: it is familiar for other reasons. All of us have felt this way when we are struggling and we see a good go to someone we... Read more

September 12, 2023

Last Sunday marked the anniversary of my ordination to the Episcopal diaconate in a pandemic, amid a day red with wildfires. It was a surreal time. The tiny, physically-distanced service became tinier as relatives and friends cancelled travels due to smoke. But my husband and sister did readings, my godchild came, along with clergy friends, and my daughter played beautiful music on my computer. Special, it was, despite all. In these years, diaconal ministry has looked different than I envisioned... Read more

September 5, 2023

What does it mean in our context to “take up one’s cross”? And how is it something life-giving, in the sense that we lose our life in order to find it—as Jesus expressed paradoxically? The story in last Sunday’s lectionary, which contains these phrases, gives us a glimpse into the late stage of Jesus’ ministry when he sees what it is all coming to. Even people who are not followers of Jesus, or not Christians, often acknowledge that Jesus was... Read more

August 29, 2023

In last Sunday’s gospel lectionary passage, Mt 16:13-20, we read about Peter receiving the “keys to the kingdom”: Jesus tells Peter he is building his church on him and what Peter binds on earth will be bound in heaven, etc. Traditionally, this story is interpreted as the time Jesus instituted the authority of the church or the beginning of the line of apostles that gave popes and priests authority—starting with Peter on down to today. But most scholars believe this... Read more

August 23, 2023

Over half of my life I operated not from a perspective of abundance but scarcity. During that time, according to my skewed perception, everyone was a competitor or critic, always judging and potentially threatening, and nothing felt secure. It seemed just when I had something in hand, it would be whisked away. So everything had to be white-knuckled and guarded, whether relationships, status, ideas, or things. But then in 2005, everything changed in an extraordinary season of wonder and transformation... Read more

August 16, 2023

This week, our farm acquired a rooster needing a home. He is big and bantam, and we christened him Snow White. Since he is afraid of the other chickens—in particular, the other rooster, he hangs out close to the house and I talk to him through the window. Because last Sunday’s lectionary passage (Mt 14:22-33) was about Peter, I was pondering when Jesus warns Peter he will betray him three times before the rooster crows. Of course, that’s what Peter... Read more

August 9, 2023

In talking about his book Range: How Generalists Triumph in a Specialist World, David Epstein frequently mentions the “zigzag,” the shift in career trajectory, the shunting from one hobby or art or sport to the next, the benefits of roaming. While Epstein’s book focuses a good deal on youth and early specialization, specifically the problematic strategy of “pick and stick,” he also writes and speaks about adult concerns: career zigzagging and the benefits of changing your mind. Epstein investigates highly... Read more

August 4, 2023

For six years in my mid-30s, I stopped attending church. I thought the only way to find truth was to get out of the pew and seek it within. Now that I am actual clergy, I smile at how much things change. I still believe in the church of the every day, the every moment, and that truth is no more available to us in a church than in the recesses of our hearts. I still believe many churches are afraid of... Read more

July 28, 2023

{For the beginning of this series, click HERE} July brought a turnaround from my early March lupus-crash, to which I credit Rx shifts, natural medicine, aggressive acupuncture, rest. Now, as I measure plans and activities against new limitations, my life is changed; but my gratitude is great for the reprieve. And some things I don’t want to forget, like the white space of silence. In the midst of the crash, down time was imperative, not a choice—in fact, down time... Read more

July 26, 2023

Let me tell you a little parable. The kingdom of God is like this: A young woman noticed in her lawn a tiny maple seedling that had grown from a helicopter seed that landed there. Instead of weeding it out, she decided to let it grow. Over the years she cleared around the small tree, and in times of drought, she gave it a drink of water. And over time, the tree grew and grew, casting shade over her family’s... Read more

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