January 14, 2020

I have a Facebook page, in fact, I have three of them.  I have an Instagram account, a Twitter feed, and a Linked In profile.  I preach and I teach, but I normally avoid political posts, and in the ones that I do post, I attempt to highlight the complexities that we face as a nation.  And I never, ever publicly advocate for a specific candidate or political party. I do this for a variety of reasons: One, although I… Read more

November 25, 2019

One of the great honors of my life was the opportunity to preach at my wife’s installation as the Rector of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, Brentwood, Tennessee.  The text of that sermon appears below and was offered under the title, “A Service of Implication”.  The sermon was also about models of ministry and that is the title used here.  For those interested in the biblical background for my comments, the texts read during the service were these: Exodus… Read more

October 25, 2019

Our dear companion, Hilda, slipped away from us this week. Over 11 years old, she was a gift.  A Gordon setter, she found us as a puppy in Wisconsin. We named her after Hilda, the Abbess of Whitby, who lived in the seventh century, and over the last 11 years she lived into her namesake.  Hilda was the founding abbess of Whitby and had a reputation as an administrator.  Our Hilda was the founding member of her three-person pack and… Read more

September 17, 2019

When you begin talking to people about their faith, if you are listening at all, you discover that almost all of us believe a lot of strange things about God and the Gospel.  It’s not uncommon for people to put together a spirituality that is a bit like a patchwork quilt – a combination of things, stitched together but not necessarily matching: A bit of what the church teaches, a bit of what the culture coughs up, a bit of… Read more

September 11, 2019

Events like those that occurred on September 11, 2001 challenge us. For those who mourn the loss of loved ones, the impact is beyond our imagining.  If those people are in our immediate circle of friends, there is little more that we can offer beyond our presence and the hope that we share in the power of the Resurrection.  There is no way that we can say with a shred integrity, “I know what you are going through.”  There is… Read more

August 19, 2019

What can we do when tragedy strikes on a large scale, rocking our sense of wellbeing and security?  That is the kind of question that Christian communities have been asking themselves of late in the wake of successive mass shootings, and it isn’t an easy question to answer. Much of what anyone can do seems to lie with other people and institutions.   That is the case, no matter what one thinks might be the cause or causes. If the issue… Read more

August 1, 2019

A good conversation with a friend brought up the topic of vocation, and I think that we have it all wrong.  That’s a problem because — if you thought the church was good at anything — you would have thought that helping people sort out the call of God in their lives would have been on the shortlist. But here we are.  People are still deeply befuddled about it.  Some people believe that God has a list and the challenge… Read more

July 22, 2019

In a recent article touching on the issue of immigration, John Pavlovitz told people, “If your church is silent right now – you should leave it.”  The article attracted my attention, in part because some months ago, the parish that I attend invited The Reverend Samira Page, founder of a ministry to immigrants in North Texas called Gateway of Grace to talk about the challenges of ministering to immigrants in an effective, hands-on, face-to-face fashion.  Mother Samira is a dear… Read more

July 8, 2019

In caring for those who are in one of life’s difficult places, the most common question is, “What can I do?” The desire to “do” something is entirely understandable.  There are countless realities in our broken world that we wish were different, and – in a culture that emphasizes problem-solving and competence — it is natural to think in terms of what we can do.  But, of course, there is often little or nothing that can be done.  Many losses… Read more

July 1, 2019

Gracious God, lover of souls, You have made us for community,   For relationships fixed in time and space, Woven through common experiences,   Inspired by shared struggles. Dedicated to common goals.   We give thanks for this nation of ours, For its commitment to liberty,   For the vision of its founders, For the bravery of its citizenry,   For its defense of the weak, For its love of justice.   We give thanks for our fellow Americans, For… Read more

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