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 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 […]

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 […]

All, Finally, Shall Be Well.

I wrote these words for my adult children, Diane, Susan, John, Andy and Brian, and with their permission share them with you. I stayed up watching until 2:15am to hear Trump’s speech – which was surprisingly mild and included words of gratitude for Hillary Clinton’s years of hard work and service to our country. I […]

Labor of Love

Ever since Labor Day I find myself thinking a lot about my father. He was a laborer all his life. Labor Day was not a big deal in my home other than signaling the end of summer, swimming pools closing, back to school looming. Dad displayed the flag on our front porch as he did […]

The Little Ones Among Us

In a recent family conversation about the Trump phenomenon which quickly turned into what Biblical scholars call a “communal lament”, we concluded that the best, most effective thing we can do is ignore him: stop listening to his every word, stop fixating on his television appearances, stop searching the newspaper for the most recent ridiculously […]

A Very Hopeful Prospect

People my age have come a long way and have seen American culture evolve dramatically and profoundly. Among the many powerful images of a woman clinching a major American political party’s nomination for president the most powerful was not in the newspaper. Rather it came in the form of a text from my daughter-in-law in […]

A Scottish Love Affair

I began a private, very personal love affair with Scotland decades ago when I first learned that Buchanan is a Scottish clan name with its own colorful tartan and coat of arms and that our Presbyterian church came from Scotland. The more I learned about Scotland, Scottish history, Highland culture, the Scottish Reformation, the more […]

Light in the Darkness

New Year’s has always been something of an anomaly to me. When I was a child I was not at all sure what it meant, how the transition from December 31 to January 1 at midnight was different from July 31 to August 1. “It’s the end of one year and the beginning of a new year” my […]