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 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 […]

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, […]

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, […]

Good History

We all have ways of coping. Some have become compulsively obsessive about the news, network and cable, beginning every day with the 7:00 news to see if any new outrage has been committed overnight, any new allies insulted, any new payments made to hide yet another sexual dalliance, any new bullying insult leveled. These are […]

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, […]

Grace Notes

There were two grace notes that lifted my spirit in an otherwise dreary weekend in Chicago. It’s been in the upper 40’s and 50’s and raining. This morning, to make matters even more unpleasant, a thick fog rolled in from the lake. The gloomy weather reflects my state of mind as I read about the […]

Presidents’ Day

I listened to Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait” in the car this morning and had to pull over into a parking place because it was so powerful, so poignant, so moving. Henry Fonda was the narrator, reciting important sections of Abraham Lincoln’s public utterances: The Second Inaugural and, of course, the masterful Gettysburg Address. I never […]

Working for Something Better

A technological error resulted in the previous post being published without the final two paragraphs! Apologies to you all! Below is an updated version of “Working for Something Better” with the entirety of John’s reflections. Thanks for your patience.  The President’s racism hits me like a body blow. Of course I know that people talk […]