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 […]

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 […]

No Story So Divine

Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow… Lamentations 1:12 For as long as I can remember I have been acutely aware of the conflict Christians experience during Holy Week. Long gone are the days when the culture acknowledged the sanctity of […]

The Unconscious Revolutionary

It was Confirmation day at our church last Sunday. Twenty-two 8th graders sat in the front pews, stood up and answered some questions about their faith and promised to be faithful members of the congregation and of the church wherever they go in the future, and knelt as the minister and Elders laid hands on […]

Community in a Time of Radical Individualism

It is intriguing that the Republican Presidential candidate who is leading in most polls at the moment, and the Democratic candidate very close to tying the front-runner are both outliers. Malcolm Gladwell wrote a bestseller by that title and defines outlier as “something that is situated away from or classed differently from a main or […]

A Church of Human Beings

Frederick Buechner has been my companion and mentor over the years without even knowing it. I have learned much from him and have enjoyed thoroughly reading his graceful, uniquely descriptive and imaginative writing. I suspect that I have read almost everything he wrote and published and continue, now and then, to pull one of his […]

Stop Judging, Start Listening

The headline in the Chicago Tribune announced: ” ‘Stunning change, say local Catholics.” The following article about the preliminary report of an international assembly of Roman Catholic bishops convened by Pope Francis to discuss church policy and attitudes regarding divorce and remarriage, same sex relationships and marriage, and heterosexual sexual relations before marriage, was remarkable […]

A Glorious Truth

Easter crowds are huge. Churches schedule extra Sunday morning services plus a Sunrise Service at the local park. Pews are full to overflowing at 11:00. People who don’t attend church all year are there on Easter Sunday morning. Sometimes preachers can’t resist the temptation and try to disguise their consternation in the form of hackneyed humor, wishing the congregation a […]

Jefferson Part 1.

President John F. Kennedy, hosting a White House dinner to honor Nobel Laureates famously said, “this is the most extraordinary gathering of talent, of human knowledge, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” Reading Jon Meacham’s fine biography, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, I was reminded again of how truly remarkable […]