A Congregation Gathering for Worship

Pastors are busy on Sunday morning, stretched thin, attending to a thousand and one details: have all the ushers shown up, are there enough bulletins, is the sanctuary warm, sidewalks clear of snow? Are the musicians in place, is the family on time and every child present and accounted for, and looming over all, is […]

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 […]

Working for Something Better

The President’s racism hits me like a body blow. Of course I know that people talk like that, and that both individual and institutional racism remain alive and well. But over the years I have harbored the hope and assumption that progress was being made. The old familiar words for racial minorities are no longer […]

No More Silence

At first I thought that David Brooks was on to something in his New York Times editorial, August 8, 2017: “Getting Trump Out of My Brain.” I nodded in sympathy with Brooks’ observation: “For the past two years Trump has taken up an amazing amount of my brain space. My brain has apparently decided that […]

As My Eyes Sweep Across the Fields

Why does it take almost eighty years to notice how many shades of green there are in the spring time? As my eyes sweep across the fields and the woods in the distance on my early morning drive to town for the newspaper I see a palette, the palest of greens – almost pastel yellow […]

For Mine Eyes Have Seen Thy Salvation

Late last Wednesday night something happened in Cleveland that no one has witnessed for 108 years. Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant fielded a soft ground ball and threw to Anthony Rizzo at first base for the final out of the seventh game of the 2016 World Series. The Cubs won. The Chicago Cubs are the […]

If the Answer is “Yes.”

I have resisted the temptation to weigh in more than I already have on the Donald Trump phenomenon because we are saturated. Television news and the newspapers can’t keep their eyes off of him and I confess that I watch the 7:00 a.m. news because I don’t want to miss the latest outlandish thing he […]

Humble and Riding on a Donkey

If there is anything better than a large group of children of all ages on Palm Sunday, marching down the center aisle of the church waving palm branches while the congregation sings the great Palm Sunday hymn, “All Glory, laud and Honor To Thee Redeemer King, To whom the lips of children Made sweet hosannas […]

In Support of Planned Parenthood

My wife, Sue, and I support Planned Parenthood. We have been financial donors for years and Sue has served on the Board of Planned Parenthood Chicago. The work of this organization is critically important. Planned Parenthood provides family planning consultation, birth control, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STI’s), 500,000 breast exams and 400,000 […]

To Love Your Neighbor

I have always thought that the conventional maxim – “religion and politics do not and should not mix” was not only wrong but misleading and downright silly. Of course they mix. We express our deepest values which often are rooted in our religious beliefs in how we live, how we order our priorities and spend […]