Showing posts from January, 2017

Now Is The Time

Last night my heart broke as we chanted Psalm 72.

When the poor cry, they will be saved. From oppression they will be rescued, for precious are their lives. Your anointed will intercede and all will receive blessings.
This morning we sang one of my favorite songs during Liturgy, Sing a New Church.
Summoned by the God who made us rich in our diversity, Gathered in the name of Jesus, richer still in unity.
Draw together at one table all the human family; shape a circle ever wider and a people ever free.
Trust the goodness of creation; trust the Spirit strong within. Dare to dream the vision promised, sprung from seed of what has been.
Bring the hope of ev'ry nation; bring the art of ev'ry race. Weave a song of peace and justice; let it sound through time and space.
Let us bring the gifts that differ, and in splendid, varied ways, sing a new church into being, one in faith and love and praise.
We also heard a tremendous homily on the way the Beatitudes might speak to us individually, but they c…

Embracing Vulnerability

I spent yesterday in solitude for my reflection day. With that gift, I was able to finish reading Brene Brown's book, I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't).

In the book, Brene outlines the way shame and fear affect the way we act and behave in so many ways that we often never even realize. She gives helpful reflection tools and outlines how empathy is the antidote to shame. Shame is a major focus of her research, as is vulnerability. I know many people are familiar with her work, but I feel like I cannot return to it enough. Embracing vulnerability has been a major part of my reflection during this novitiate year.

Here is Brene's TED Talk on the topic of shame.

Let us walk in the holy presence.

Love Trumps Hate

It seems as though just about every Women's March yesterday exceeded expectations - how beautiful?

Here in Erie, I had heard the number 300 for expectations. As for reality, the number I am hearing is somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000! I think my favorite chant from the day is "Love, not hate, makes America great!" Of course, "We want a leader, not a creepy Tweeter" is pretty darn good!

In addition to a marvelous turnout, the weather was pretty marvelous, too. To wear a spring jacket on January 21 in Erie is quite the gift. God was joyfully looking upon the world yesterday.

Here is a very cool interactive piece from the New York Times showing the different marches around the world, followed by some of my own from here in Erie.

Link to New York Times.

Here in Erie:

Let us walk in the holy feminine presence.

January 20

Let us walk in the holy presence.

An Important Sermon for the Upcoming Days and Weeks and Everything Ahead

I first encountered Nadia Bolz-Weber in the episode of On Being she did with Krista Tippett. She is a minister at a progressive church in Colorado. Since hearing that interview I have enjoyed reading her sermons, which she posts online most weeks.

This recent sermon struck me as January 20th quickly approaches. She titles it: "Sermon On Seeing More Than Just What We Look For." (From

Sometimes I do something so stupid that I just really want to share it with everyone. Maybe that’s the pathology that leads one to write memoir. I have no idea why, but when something super embarrassing happens to me – like something really cringe-worthy, for some reason my first reaction is to immediately be disappointed that it wasn’t caught on video. Anyhow, I was discussing this with some of you this week – and how one of the more ridiculous moments of my life happened when I was alone and fast asleep in a hotel. I guess I had slept in such a weird position that my arm had fallen …

Various Stuff

After Liturgy today I went up to some friends with "various ideas" for the day. Overall though, it's been a pretty quiet weekend, with not much to report, so I am going to share some "various stuff" I've encountered. Maybe you will enjoy something in this mélange.

Alec Baldwin's latest Donald Trump impersonation:

KenKen puzzles - see the instructions on the picture - sort of similar to Sudoku, sort of not:
Words from Henri Nouwen:
"Our minds are always active. We analyze, reflect, daydream, or dream. There is not a moment during the day or night when we are not thinking. You might say our thinking is 'unceasing.' Sometimes we wish that we could stop thinking for a while; that would save us from many worries, guilt feelings, and fears. Our ability to think is our greatest gift, but it is also the source of our greatest pain. Do we have to become victims of our unceasing thoughts? No, we can convert our unceasing thinking into unc…

Three Days Later

It is hard to imagine that what transpired over the weekend would vanish just as quickly. After some rain yesterday and warmer temperatures, I re-embarked on our Sunday adventure this morning.

Here then, quite different now.

While all the snow and ice did not vanish from the lake, the difference is pretty amazing.

And, the contrast should only expand. Tomorrow's high is 53 degrees! You can see, though, how the snow and ice built up at the water's edge. And, you can see the faintest traces of those huge icicles!

But, my two favorite discoveries were 1.) how the water melted leaving a heart on the pavement.

And, 2.) watching the ice melt. That one drop on the right side of the video looks just like a Plinko piece falling on the game board on The Price is Right! See if you can spot it!

Let us walk in the holy presence.

Wise Women Also Came

Happy Epiphany! My favorite Epiphanic poem comes from none other than Jan Richardson.

Wise women also came. The fire burned in their wombs long before they saw the flaming star in the sky. They walked in shadows, trusting the path would open under the light of the moon.
Wise women also came, seeking no directions, no permission from any king. They came by their own authority, their own desire, their own longing. They came in quiet, spreading no rumors, sparking no fears to lead to innocents’ slaughter, to their sister Rachel’s inconsolable lamentations.
Wise women also came, and they brought useful gifts: water for labor’s washing, fire for warm illumination, a blanket for swaddling.
Wise women also came, at least three of them, holding Mary in the labor, crying out with her in the birth pangs, breathing ancient blessings into her ear.
Wise women also came, and they went, as wise women always do, home a different way.

I took a walk with some wise women in my life this afternoon to enjoy the snowstorm. We could barely see at t…

Amazing Day

Life is pretty amazing. Coldplay decided to capture the beautiful simplicity and complexity of the daily life in a new music video for their song "Amazing Day." They asked fans to send in videos from a single day of life, November 19, 2016. Here are the results. (Click this sentence and scroll to the video.) It's pretty fantastic.

Let us walk in the holy presence.

Happy Words

I came across this on Facebook the other day. It is an article about the Positive Lexicography Project.  The goal is to create an "an online glossary of untranslatable words." To understand, you have to read the article and check out the glossary. Here are 26 of my favorite, choosing one from each letter of the alphabet. What a positive way to start the new year! Happy 2017, everyone!

Aroha (Māori, v., n.): (to feel) love, concern, compassion, empathy for someone.Bayanihan (Tagalog, n.): co-operative endeavour in the service of a shared goal; a spirit of communal unity.Cynefin (Welsh, n.): A place where one feels one ought to live; the relationship one has to the place where one was born and/or feels at home.Dadirri (Aboriginal, Ngangiwumirr n.): a deep, spiritual act of reflective and respectful listening.Erlebnis (German): living fully, experiencing life deeply and intensely in the here and now.Fjellvant (Norwegian) (adj.): Being accustomed to walk in the mountains.Gumusser…