January 9, 2019

Let’s practice the art of adulting, take responsibility for what has happened and find creative and morally sound ways to move forward. The more the church looks like Mr. Trump, i.e., white, older, exclusive, isolated, intolerant of differing views, the less it looks Christian.  I’ve not made any secret of my dislike for President Donald Trump, for who he is as a person, and for many of the decisions he has made as the most powerful person in the world…. Read more

January 8, 2019

Perhaps the church needs training wheels to help it navigate the necessary turns and twists that demand doctrinal and social flexibility. Those who read religious history see with sad repetition how the insistence on unchangingly straight roads led to disastrous outcomes both within the church and in the effectiveness of its ministry to others.  Last year, my husband, an avid cyclist, and I had one of our (possibly not so) brilliant ideas: I would take up bike riding again so… Read more

January 1, 2019

What will the headline about the UMC read after General Conference 2019? Probably not much different than the one on this New Years Day, but will quote bishops, rather than patriarchs, for the comments. And it will be all about money, clothed with the language of “we are orthodox, and they are not.” The headline grabbed my eye when I opened the New York Times today. Without reading the sub-heading, I first thought, “Oh no–the coming UMC split has now… Read more

December 28, 2018

So first, I must know: what indeed do I control? Answer? Me. Only me. Try though I might, I can’t control anything or anyone else. I don’t have that power. And neither do you.  My husband and I recently returned from a long and fascinating cruise that eventually took us deep into the Amazon River. On multiple levels, the trip was eye-opening for me. I learned about the gigantic Amazon rainforest and its essential, and increasingly threatened role, in global… Read more

December 15, 2018

It dawned on me later that perhaps that large howler monkey, sensing that I was ill as animals are wont to do, may have been acting as a guard, effectively saying, “Worry not. I’ve got your back.” I do remember having no fear, no sense of discomfort, just the fullness of peace and the embrace of a world that is foreign to me.  Today, we sail in the somewhat calmer, deep blue, Caribbean. But a few days ago, after the… Read more

December 10, 2018

I managed to hold on until we got off the bus, headed to the pier edge, sat down on a fortunately placed piece of covered pipe and waited. The outcome was inevitable. After a few bouts of retching, I felt well enough to walk to the boat, but I also knew exactly what would happen when the blast of the ship air conditioner hit me.  Our travels sound very glamorous—and to some degree they genuinely are. We occupy a lovely… Read more

December 8, 2018

Do we need God when all our “needs” are met? Do we need God when we no longer operate out of an economy of scarcity or of a need to appeal an all-powerful deity to stay alive? Do we need God when food is plentiful, the weather always predictable?  It’s a rainy Amazonian morning. I am sitting on our deck, a few raindrops hitting my feet, and thinking about the last few days on this trip. We’ve been able to… Read more

December 3, 2018

In the history of the Amazon rainforest, missionaries murdered nearly as many people with their microbes, carrying measles and smallpox and God-knows-what-else into these areas, as the cruel colonists with their use of metal weapons and gunpowder.  My brain stays crowded with too many thoughts on this long ship ride from Miami that will soon take us into the Amazon River for a six-day sojourn. We’ve stopped at several lovely Caribbean Islands along the way–and have seen the kind of destruction that… Read more

December 3, 2018

Since the replacement of winter solstice celebrations with Christmas, the church has inextricably tied the Christmas celebration with the idea of the light pushing back the darkness. The problem? The idea has validity only in the Northern Hemisphere and distorts the real message.  The winter solstice this year takes place on Friday, Dec. 21, 4:23 PM. Immediately after, the days begin to lengthen and will do so for six months, until the summer solstice at 10:54 AM on Friday, June 21, 2019, and… Read more

November 26, 2018

As I make some new routines, undergo withdrawal from a too-constant feast of political news and move to the too-constant feast of endless food and drink, I think this is going to be a fascinating journey, both to a different part of the world and to a different part of my soul.  We both woke this past Friday morning thinking, “What HAVE WE DONE?” A long time ago, my husband and I booked a cruise that will take us from… Read more

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