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November 7, 2019

The mums are wilted, Halloween is past and we have set back the clocks.

Don't even try to tell me you've already adjusted to the darkening-at-four misery that engulfs us every November. Four o'clock is tea time. You're supposed to be buttering a crumpet or ladling double cream and jam onto a scone. You are not supposed to be peering into the dusk and telling yourself that if you lived in Nova Scoti...

October 31, 2019

The larger-than-life French writer, Francois Rabalais, is reported to have said on his deathbed, “I am going to see a great Perhaps. Draw the curtain; the farce is played.”

I used to joke that the reason I went to seminary was to find out what happens after we die.I started in at a progressive Methodist seminary, a place known for being inclusive and diverse. But my favorite story was of the time t...

October 28, 2019

After visiting Barcelona two summers ago, I travelled up the coastal road into France where, quite by accident, I happened to cross the border at a place called the Coll de Belitres. On this stomach-lurching mountaintop, I found a memorial to the near half a million refugees who made their way over the wind-swept Coll de Belitres to the French border—open for ten days, during the deepest of winter...

September 30, 2019

           

In 2013, the German broadcasting network, Deutsche Welle, called Malala Yousefzai "the most famous teen-ager in the world" for her activism for girls' education. And rightly. Heavily influenced by her educator father, Malala started her blog for BBC Urdu at age eleven. She rose quickly in prominence, giving interviews in print and on tel...

September 23, 2019

Writer Adam Phillips wrote Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life in order to explain why the lives we wished to have, but don’t--and probably won’t—shape how we experience the life we do lead.

But how would he do that, anyway?

I mean, I love the idea of considering how the life I have not led conditions the life I do lead, but I don't really know how to. Twentieth-century theologian Paul Tillic...

September 4, 2019

Trust me, I don't want to start this column by quoting Martin Luther because then you will surely stop reading.

But--please don't.

"What does this mean?" was one of Luther's key questions. And it applies more than ever to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's recent decision to become a “sanctuary church" for migrants, including those who entered the United States illegally.

So--what does this...

August 7, 2019

                                                                             Jesus told them this story: “The farm of a certain rich man produced a terrific crop. The man talked to himself: ‘What can I do? My barn isn’t big enough for this harvest.’ Then he said, ‘Here’s what I’ll do: I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll gather in all my grain and goods, and I’ll say to myself,...

July 31, 2019

I had a Fourth of July to make a patriotic soul happy. And I was.

I packed us a picnic lunch and we made an early bee-line for Saratoga Springs State Park, a beloved spot since my salad days. Negotiating our way to my favorite spot on the stream, we walked close by a group of African American picnickers who wished us a happy Fourth. Then we fired up the grill and dished out the fruit salad and slaw...

July 9, 2019

Hmmm. I'm not much of a summer-books-beach-reader.

I didn't read Fifty Shades of Gray on a camp chair, feet in the sand, an Arnold Palmer in the cup holder. Truth is, I didn't read Fifty Shades of Gray at all. And I've never had an Arnold Palmer. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't like it. But I do have a couple of camp chairs.

When I have done summer reading, it's been more like this: I tore through John K...

June 17, 2019

Jo, a servant and follower of Jesus Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit,

To Lottie June, a little kid whose brilliant headgear stands as a symbol of how rich and varied her journey of faith will be as she grows into her calling as a child of God, beginning today with her baptism at a font where many have been bathed in the saving love of Christ Jesus:

May grace and peace be yours in abundance and t...

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I'm a writer, yoga teacher, Lutheran pastor, and music nerd living in New York. I find a feast in daily living - most days, anyway - and write about it here. 

Finalist for the 2017 Chautauqua Prize!
The frank and funny story of a church-geek girl who spent twenty years in the ecclesiastical trenches as a Lutheran pastor, preaching weekly words of hope she wasn’t sure she even believed.