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.
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December 28, 2019

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January 15, 2020

"The only other sound's the sweep/Of easy wind and downy flake." Maybe you don't recognize the quote. But you probably know this part: "But I have promises to keep/And miles to go before I sleep."

Yep, Robert Frost. He's the author of this disarmingly easy-to-learn poem about a snowy ride home at night in winter.

Well, maybe you had one of those last night, driving just this-side-of-legal back from...

December 28, 2019

A Christmas story for people who are all grown up:

The Rev. Stephen Bolden peeled off his gloves and climbed back into his car, cranking up the heat. The world is not full of happy stories, he thought. And funerals in December were always cold. Always so cold. He had just walked away from the grave of a man who had not been one of his parishioners. The man—whom he hadn’t known-- had been one of tho...

December 18, 2019

        

And the angel Gabriel came to Mary and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ 29But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.  --Luke 1:28-29

"I don't know why I love you like I do. I don't know why, I just do," my mother used to sing to me as she waltzed me on her hip around the kitchen.

Did...

November 25, 2019

Oh, no! It’s that time of year when we have to be grateful again!

Last year a reporter from a local news outlet called the church I was serving and asked me about what clergy did for Thanksgiving. Well, he had a job to do. I didn’t tell him that in many Christian liturgical traditions, the Great Thanksgiving is the central act of the worship service. I didn’t say that the word “eucharist” means “th...

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...

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