• advent journal: peace, officers

    by  • December 5, 2014 • 7 Comments

    riot gear

    As soon as work was over this evening, I raced across Durham to meet Ginger at the Armory for the Durham Symphony Holiday Concert. Downtown was full of activity: something at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC), a crowd around the downtown Christmas tree, and the usual folks finding their way to one of...

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    advent journal: a day late

    by  • December 5, 2014 • 2 Comments


    Somewhere in the night I woke to remember I had not written. The day was full. Ginger and Rachel were driving back from the funerals in Birmingham, I cooked lunch for our UCC clergy group (as I do the first Thursday of every month), other food to deliver, and we had our regular Thursday...

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    advent journal: us.

    by  • December 3, 2014 • 4 Comments


    I don’t know who said it, or where I first heard it, but for years I have remembered the First Rule of Theology: there is a God and it’s not me. I find comfort in that sentence. Being God looks like an incredibly difficult job. There’s something about the Incarnation that flips that statement...

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    advent journal: the small fire of winter stars

    by  • December 2, 2014 • 2 Comments


    Mark Strand died this week. He was a poet, even a former U. S. Poet Laureate. In the middle of the violence that makes up our world, it feels worthwhile to say thanks for the life and words of a poet who held a sense of appropriate insignificance with grace; therefore I offer two...

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    advent journal: the big picture

    by  • December 1, 2014 • 5 Comments


    I have been ruminating much of the day on a contrast presented to me by The Writer’s Almanac this morning. Along with the daily poem, they marked two anniversaries. In 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in the front of the bus to a white passenger. In 1913, Henry Ford introduced...

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    advent journal: can jesus be born again?

    by  • November 30, 2014 • 9 Comments


    As Advent begins, I am breaking my blog silence — which was not intentional. I have been writing, but my energy has been aimed at a new book called This Must Be the Place: Reflections on Home that will come out next fall thanks to the good folks at Morehouse Press. To be able...

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    fifty years of freedom

    by  • October 24, 2014 • 4 Comments

    image from www.perfectafrica.com

    Fifty years ago today, I stood with a stadium filled with excited people to observe the birth of a new nation: Northern Rhodesia, a British colony, became Zambia, a free country. We had practiced the new national anthem for months in school, learned about the new currency. We were ready. We actually gathered in...

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    love wins

    by  • October 16, 2014 • 7 Comments

    This has been an important week in North Carolina, and our church has been at the center of things here in Durham. Here is a story that ran on our local NPR station, WUNC.   Peace, Milton

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    what love looks like

    by  • September 29, 2014 • 6 Comments


    I wish you could have been with me this weekend. It was end-of-summer-trying-to-be-fall weather in our little City of Encouragement, and it was the thirtieth North Carolina Pride Festival, which Durham has hosted for all three decades. One of the roles our church plays in the festivities is to host the Ecumenical Communion Service...

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    don’t lean back

    by  • September 15, 2014 • 4 Comments


    I am old enough to remember when it was fun to fly, which, of course, makes me old. The experience of getting in and out of an airport, much less the time spent on board the airplane have not been very enjoyable for a long, long time. The “legacy carriers,” as they are often called,...

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