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    advent journal: limited perspective

    by  • December 2, 2016 • 1 Comment

    limited view Somewhere in the soundtrack of my life these words broke in: “the things we are bounded by make us capable of excellence.” Not bound like a prisoner— shackled—but bounded, perhaps even boundaried: put the rails up on the lane and we all throw more strikes. Freedom, at its finest is more than...

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    advent journal: one particular evening

    by  • December 1, 2016 • 7 Comments

    I know. It’s still the first week of Advent and I have already missed a day writing. I have a good reason: I went to see Billy Joel at his monthly concert in Madison Square Garden. Last night was his thirty-fifth show, and my first in the Garden. Last Christmas, Ginger and our friend...

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    advent journal: will you find me

    by  • November 29, 2016 • 9 Comments


    One of my early sixtieth birthday presents happened this summer when I got to go to Camp Copperhead, which is Steve Earle’s songwriting camp. Since he and Shawn Colvin put out a record together this year, she was there as well. There are many stories to tell of the week, but tonight I want...

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    advent journal: books, bells, and bicycles

    by  • November 28, 2016 • 5 Comments


    Writing everyday for Advent means reading everyday; if I have any hope of saying something fresh, it will be with the help of traveling companions willing to let me borrow their words. I have seldom had a plan for what I would read. I wander the house, or a bookstore, looking for the volume...

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    advent journal: starting in the darkness

    by  • November 27, 2016 • 7 Comments

    GUILFORD, CT; 6/7/2014: The covenant the first settlers signed while sailing from England to the New World June 1st, 1639. The monument was dedicated Saturday, some desendents of the original settlers were in attendence.    MICHAEL McANDREWS | mmcandrews@courant.com ORG XMIT: B583777658Z.1

    As Advent began last year, I did not see the gathering dark heading my way. I was preparing for my mother to come for Christmas so she could see our new home in Guilford. We were still unpacking boxes from our move from Durham and she was determined to see our new house. She...

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    by  • November 15, 2016 • 24 Comments


    I’ve allowed myself to become stuck in the aftermath of both the campaign and the election. The volume of discourse has been overwhelming, even when those talking on the same side. Opinions about everything from sexism to safety pins feel as though most all of them are shouted. I haven’t wanted to join in,...

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    by  • September 27, 2016 • 13 Comments


    aftermath   I didn’t watch the debate last night on purpose. I went to bed and woke this morning to screens strewn with the debris of comments and video clips like empty beer cups and hot dog wrappers left after a WWF cage match.   Orange is the new angry. No. It’s the same...

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    further along

    by  • September 19, 2016 • 4 Comments


    This is the manuscript of the sermon I preached yesterday at First Congregational Church of Guilford UCC. The text was Genesis 37 and the sermon was the beginning of a series on Joseph that Ginger and Sarah will be continuing. I titled it, “Further Along”. ______________________ Family: it’s one of the most comforting and...

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    tell me a story

    by  • September 13, 2016 • 7 Comments


    It’s a little after sunrise, an early autumn morning— a chill of hope in the air; the sunrise is the color of stories. Today is your birthday. I’m still keeping count though you are no longer celebrating: eighty-eight. I live in a house you never visited, in a town you never saw; I have...

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    quiet time

    by  • September 3, 2016 • 8 Comments


    I have been quiet for a long time, I know. One of these things I learned about myself is I grew weary of feeling I needed to respond to the issues of the day—and by “needed” I mean allowing myself the luxury of thinking I had something that had to be said. I stay...

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    a new old poem

    by  • May 12, 2016 • 9 Comments


    I spent the day in the yard installing the arbor and planting the climbing roses I got Ginger for her birthday. As I sat in the back yard, resting before finishing dinner, I thought of a poem I wrote as we settled into the house on Trinity, preparing for Ginger’s parents to move in with...

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    the end of poetry month

    by  • April 30, 2016 • 2 Comments

    daniel berrigan

    the end of poetry month also marks the end of a poet a protester a prophet a priest those are not often captured in one person he was already in his forties when I learned who he was a pastor asking questions that didn’t come up in most baptist circles by the time I...

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