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 […]

Joyful, Joyful!

  I’m attaching an item I so enjoyed I simply have to share it. It is “Ode to Joy”, Beethoven’s magnificent chorus in the 9th Symphony, based on a Schiller poem, familiar to churchgoers as the great hymn, ”Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”. It moved me deeply, as music often does. But this presentation felt […]

We Will Find Refuge

Contagious disease has mystified and frightened humankind from the beginning. As I daily, almost hourly, hear myself counted as most vulnerable to Coronavirus, I find myself remembering how scripture lists “pestilence, deadly pestilence” as a threat to human life. Psalm 93 promises: “He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the […]

Christian Love & 8th Grade Girls Catholic League Basketball

I love whimsical contrasts. The Diocese of Chicago Parochial School System is huge, I am told something like the 5th largest school system in the country, public or private: 78,000 students in 217 schools, 183 elementary schools, 34 high schools. Sports rivalries within the system can be intense. When we arrived in Chicago 35 years […]

Across the Divide

Our minister, Shannon Kershner, read Matthew 5: 13-16 to us Sunday morning, told us we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world and challenged us to start acting like it. Shannon said that a clergy friend of hers was invited to the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington last week so […]

A Ray of Light

Long ago, in childhood and youth, I loved the weeks of heightened excitement and anticipation before Christmas: the first festive decorations appearing in store windows, never before Thanksgiving back then, Christmas trees for sale on corner lots, and at home searching through the pages of the mammoth Sears catalog for toys to add to my […]