• lenten journal: hope and heartache

    by  • February 16, 2018 • 5 Comments

    I am writing tonight from Richmond, Virginia where Ginger is leading a group from First Congregational Church of Guilford UCC on our second annual Civil Rights Tour. The inaugural trip went to Birmingham, Selma, and Montgomery, Alabama. This year we are here along the James River in the town that was once the capital...

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    lenten journal: just get here . . .

    by  • February 15, 2018 • 13 Comments

    I earned how to read the funny papers from my Dad. That’s what he called the comics. One of the characters who lived in black and white in those days was Dagwood Bumstead, husband of Blondie, and lover of the biggest sandwich you ever saw—everything stacked high, one layer on top of the other....

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    still listening

    by  • January 14, 2018 • 8 Comments

    I preached at my church today. The person who was supposed to be our speaker for MLK Sunday was ill and Ginger and Sarah asked me to fill in. I am sorry she got sick and I am grateful for and humbled by the opportunity to preach today. Here is the manuscript of the...

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    dress code

    by  • January 3, 2018 • 3 Comments

    I offer an out-of-season weather poem, based on a first line I found in notes for an older version of this poem. Stay warm and dry, friends. dress code I dress myself with rain, shape a hat out of clouds, make a scarf of the wind, wrap myself in a coat of many shadows—...

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    advent journal: tell me a story

    by  • December 24, 2017 • 3 Comments

    Many years ago, Ginger asked me to write a story for the Christmas Eve service at North Community Church in Marshfield, Massachusetts. What came out was “A Faraway Christmas,” which I have posted here on several other Christmas Eves since. When we lived in Durham, I made a recording, along with harmonica accompaniment by...

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    advent journal: moving on to love

    by  • December 23, 2017 • 1 Comment

    When we mark time by the liturgical calendar, we only count and number the four Sundays before Christmas, which means the fourth Sunday—tomorrow—doesn’t have a week to go with it. We have had days to stretch out with hope, peace, and joy, but love get the short shrift, as far as Advent goes. So...

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    advent journal: ellipses

    by  • December 22, 2017 • 8 Comments

    ellipses I am fighting hard to hope . . . Well—now I’m staring at the page hoping to find a different verb. I’m not looking for a fight. why let my word choice turn to violence over things that matter? I am fighting hard to hope . . . maybe the problem has more...

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    advent journal: highway song

    by  • December 21, 2017 • 2 Comments

    highway song here is a well-traveled metaphor: life is a highway but not an interstate more of a two-lane blacktop that hits all the lights in every small town an intentional inconvenience that makes you decide to stop at one of those roadside cafés a filling station of the heart where whoever comes up...

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    advent journal: passive resistance

    by  • December 20, 2017 • 3 Comments

    passive resistance more mornings than not I find myself wishing there was no passive voice. I lose patience with a world where things are said, bills are passed, mistakes are made, women are harassed, damage is done, and lives are lost, as though the mistakes make themselves, the violence happens without perpetrators, and the...

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    advent journal: give me ten

    by  • December 19, 2017 • 6 Comments

    I am happy to admit that one of the traditions around our house this time of year is to watch a whole bunch of Hallmark Channel Christmas movies. This year, between my depression, the state of the world, and the fact that pitchers and catchers don’t report for another two months, they have been...

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