Beauty of the Ordinary

Every experience feels new, right and good and calls out in me a gratitude for the grace and beauty of the ordinary. For more than a year we put life on hold. It was March 2020 when our adult children went into full protection mode, doing everything in their power to keep us safe. They […]

An Easter Sermon

April 4, 2021 When you are faced with the challenge of expressing a truth for which you simply do not have words big enough – the preacher’s dilemma every Sunday, particularly this one – it helps if you have a fallback position – a great poem or good music. I’ll spare you my singing, but here are some lines […]

Wilderness

I remember it well. One day in late February or early March, classmates showed up at Fairview Elementary School with what looked for all the world like a smudge of dirt on their foreheads. I was mystified – and fascinated. There was a large Roman Catholic population in our industrial, railroad town. I didn’t put […]

THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE

He pretty much defamed everything I love about my country: The affirmation of the dignity and value of every human being, created with unalienable rights; the open-armed compassion of “Give me your tired, your poor” emblazoned on the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor; the aspiration and slow but steady drive to assure equality […]

What the world needs now…

I recently read Walter Brueggemann’s new book, Virus as a Summons to Faith, and it was exactly what I needed. It is such a strange, unprecedented time. We are locked down here, as I suspect most of us are in some way or another. We can’t entertain or visit with friends in our apartments. Meetings and […]

The Beloved Community

I still regret not going to Hattiesburg, Mississippi with Gary Hickok.  Gary and I were the only Presbyterians in our class at the University of Chicago Divinity School. He and Maryjo and Sue and I became friends and when Gary and I graduated and were ordained as Presbyterian Ministers of Word and Sacrament we stayed […]

Truly Precious

Near the end of David Brooks’ recent book, The Second Mountain, he describes, of all things, his faith journey. It’s remarkable. I have been reading Brooks’ New York Times column for years and always find them thoughtful and provocative, even when I disagreed with his argument. Likewise, I rarely miss PBS’s “Evening News” on Friday […]

The Last, Best Hope

In recent weeks thoughtful, distinguished journalists and scholars have been suggesting that the era of American global leadership is coming to an end. For the last three and a half years I have watched in dismay as a president and his administration systematically dismantled, one by one, the elements of American global influence and leadership. […]

Eastertide

In the wisdom of ancient Christian tradition Easter is not a one-day event but a season, the fifty days between Easter and Pentecost. The idea is that the message of Resurrection is so huge, so transcendent that it cannot be contained in a one-day observance. As I write we are halfway through the Season of […]

Humble & Riding on a Donkey

I’m feeling like a displaced person, ripped from the familiar home where I have lived for years and set down in a strange, alien place. Since I was ordained a Presbyterian Minister of Word and Sacrament in June, 1963, and before that even as a student minister from 1960-63, time has been marked for me […]