• lenten journal: once again, with feeling

    by  • March 3, 2018 • 8 Comments

    First Annual. There’s no such thing. You can have a “first” something—an inaugural event—but it isn’t “annual” until there is at least a second one. You may intend for it to happen every year from the very first time you do it, but it’s only annual when it has happened before. On Friday, March...

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    lenten journal: of birds and bluebonnets

    by  • February 28, 2018 • 8 Comments

    Late Monday afternoon, Ginger and I drove to New Haven so I could have an MRI. The asymmetrical nature and rapidity of my hearing loss over the last year caused my audiologist to send me to an ENT doctor, who decided to do the scan just to make sure we weren’t dealing with tumors...

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    lenten journal: can I get a witness

    by  • February 27, 2018 • 12 Comments

    As Ginger and I traveled home from my father’s funeral, we tried to imagine what life would be like for my mother who had lost her traveling companion of almost sixty years. They loved being together. It was their favorite thing. Then we tried to imagine what we would do without each other. It...

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    lenten journal: an unreasonable request

    by  • February 25, 2018 • 2 Comments

    I preached this morning at United Churches of Durham, Connecticut as a part of a pulpit exchange between our church and two others. My sermon is my offering for today. “An Unreasonable Request”—Mark 8:31-38 At the risk of bringing up painful memories for some of you this morning, I invite you to step out...

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    lenten journal: an ear to the ground

    by  • February 23, 2018 • 9 Comments

    Last night I went to an ecclesiastical council, which sounds as though I should have been in a fancy robe with a funny hat, but in the United Church of Christ it simply means a gathering of people from the churches in our association to approve someone for ordination pending a call. The candidate...

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    lenten journal: stop, hey, what’s that sound?

    by  • February 22, 2018 • 2 Comments

    Watching the footage of student protests in response to the deaths in Florida set me to thinking about protest songs and the underlying protest that fuels our Lenten journey. Jesus went to the cross because he spoke truth to power—because he protested against oppression and the marginalization of people. When we stand up and...

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    lenten journal: the busses will wait

    by  • February 21, 2018 • 5 Comments

    I missed writing last night because we were traveling back from Richmond. I am still figuring out what to say about what I saw in heard in our days there. I keep coming back to the image of layers that I used in a different context a week ago as I began this year’s...

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    lenten journal: no joke

    by  • February 19, 2018 • 3 Comments

    Our trip to Richmond has given me more than I can begin to unpack right now. Those stories will come in the days ahead. Tonight, I offer another poem. no joke I once heard a comedian say the only way to get to the good jokes was to push past the easy ones: say...

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    lenten journal: listen, white people

    by  • February 18, 2018 • 6 Comments

    We worshipped today at First African Baptist Church in Richmond. It was a rich and meaningful service and the people there greeted us with extravagant hospitality. I have stories to tell about our day, but tonight, I am still dealing with feelings brought up by what I have seen while we have been here....

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    lenten journal: when is it time?

    by  • February 17, 2018 • 5 Comments

    Before I stared to write tonight, I scrolled through Facebook to see what folks had been up to today and found this video on a friend’s page. The poet in the video is responding to the shootings in Florida and asks, more than once, “When is it time to talk about it?” His question...

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