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. […]

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 […]

Hold to the Good

Recently I was invited to address a monthly meeting of a group of adults at the Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago where I served as pastor for 26 years. The invitation included the suggestion that the topic might be “Hold to the Good”, a phrase from the Charge to the Congregation that I used every […]

Created Equal

One of our favorite summer time activities is people-watching in a small park one block from where we live. Jane Byrne Park, named for a late former mayor, is flanked by the iconic Water Tower, a high gothic tower, part of the old pumping station across the street, still providing water from Lake Michigan to […]

A Woman’s Choice

The Word became flesh and lived among us. (John 1:14) In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself. (2 Corinthians 5:19) Incarnation has been, for me, the defining issue, the guiding light since I was ordained to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church. God, we dare to believe, cares so […]

The Bridge

We drove down from San Diego to the border last week. It’s a huge operation. Long lines of automobiles are lined up on both sides, driving south from the United States into Mexico and north from Mexico into the United States. 70,000 people cross that border every day; more than 1,000 walk over the border […]

The Children

Christmas is over but a singular Biblical incident is haunting me this year. The Christian story, from the beginning, is set in the context of political power, insecurity and cruelty. “In the time of King Herod” is the way Matthew begins. The Magi, mysterious seers from the east- modern Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, following […]

Tikkun Olam

For years, at the conclusion of public worship, I have used words that come from St. Paul, written 2,000 years ago. “Go into the world in peace and courage. Hold to the Good. Honor all God’s children. Love and serve the Lord, Rejoicing in the power of the Spirit.” Last Sunday, as a guest preacher […]

A Celebratory Dance of Gratitude

I cannot remember being this concerned about my nation and its immediate future. An American political party, which began with the election of Abraham Lincoln and stood for staunch anti-communism, a robust international American leadership, a commitment to democratic values–freedom of speech, freedom of the press, open participation in self-government, free trade, and above all, […]

The Little Children

I have never in my life been ashamed of my nation. I am now, profoundly and angrily ashamed. In recent weeks the president of the United State has insulted and alienated the allies who have fought and died with our brave soldiers, sailors and Marines, including members of my own family, fighting and defeating fascism, […]