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 […]

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 […]

Church With Rachel

I sat beside Rachel in worship Sunday. Rachel is my 24-year-old granddaughter. She is a young woman with Down Syndrome. She is part of a remarkable program at National Louis University, lives in university housing, works part time with infants and toddlers in a day care center. She rides the El and the Chicago Transport […]

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 Wondrous Gift is Given

One of the important, and sweet, transitions in life is learning the truth that it is better to give than to receive. It is important, sweet, happy and much more joyful to give than to get: “more blessed” is the way Jesus put it. Earliest Christmas memories are about getting, receiving: childhood anticipation and waiting […]

Now Thank We All Our God

I love Holidays: the Fourth of July with its parades, picnics, fireworks and reminders of our nation’s brave but modest beginning: Labor Day, the end of summer, a time to remember and be grateful for the hard work of many of our fathers who labored for long hours at difficult jobs. My father was a railroader, […]

Gratitude Doubled

Yesterday I experienced the most unlikely, most wonderful thing that has ever happened. I carefully extended my sanitized hand through the small, round opening in the incubator and, with my forefinger, gently touched the cheek of my brand new great-granddaughter, just 18 hours old. And then I did it again, reached through the small, round […]

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 […]