And on this night…

Tonight is the third night of Chanukah, and I have so many beautiful friends who will be gathered in their homes, lighting that third candle.  Night is, for many of us, both a time of beauty and peace, and a time of terror.  I know that for many Jews across the world it continues to be so. So, on this day, I share with you my reflection on that all important book about night, the one by the great Elie Wiesel.  I imagine that the book is more appropriate for Yom Hashoah than for Chanukah, but maybe not.  In the end, it is about the miracle of overcoming -- just…
Read More

Santa baby…

Well, not really. Here's a little book about how Saint Nicholas became Santa Claus...that's kind of what it is about. For me, someone who did not grow up among the stories of the saints who came before us, this was a fascinating book about what we know about Saint Nicholas the men (yes, there are two), and the many ways that the legend has become part of the warp and woof of our lives.  It was a very pleasant read -- certainly made me feel like i was doing something scholarly while you are really just warming up to the season.  Give it read; it might change the way you…
Read More

A second dose of Strength…

Sometimes good things can get even better.  Someone who has formed me through her writing, possibly more than most who have tried to form me face-to-face, is Diana Butler Bass.  And she has updated and published a new version of one of the most important books in that formation, Strength for the Journey: A Pilgrimage of Faith in Community (2017). I haven't dug into the revised version yet, but the echoes of the first one can still be heard in my faith life each and every day.  I had a few things to say about it when I read it in 2012.  I can't wait to read what new words of…
Read More

Guilty pleasures, shared again

Truthfully, not every book that stirs our sense of oneness with the universe has to be deadly serious. Sometimes, that nudge comes from the most unexpected places. A few years ago, when traveling to Istanbul, I discovered an historical novel by the great mystery writer, Anne Perry.  That book, The Sheen on the Silk, stirs my faith imagination to this very day.  Take a look at my thoughts about that spark those now many years ago. And pick up a book like that this holiday season -- something that just seems fun. There is so much tension this season, try to relax a bit. Relaxation is, after all, a spiritual practice. …
Read More

Rites and rituals, the holy in the everyday

Today, on What We're Reading Now, we hear from a guest reader, Amelia Richardson Dress.  Amelia is a writer, a mom, a passionate advocate for children and families, and an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ who’s always excited to re-discover the holiness of her mundane life. She blogs at Barefoot Family, barefootfamily.me.  From time to time, you will hear different voices on this page.  And Amelia's is one we all need to hear, so I hope that you will read on about the book she has chosen to share with us. One Sunday while I was in high school I invited a friend to attend church with…
Read More

Just keep asking…

As you read this, I am winging my way to Columbus, OH, the landing point for my return trip to the Beyond Walls Spiritual Writing Conference at Kenyon College.  My experience there last year changed my view of myself as someone who writes forever, so I thought that I would go back for a little more transformation. One of the greatest things about this conference (and there are so many) is that it pushes me to read things that I might never otherwise read because, well, I don't read much fiction.  But I simply have to read what has been written by my teacher for the week.  Last year it was…
Read More

Where to put my focus?

Lent begins tomorrow, with the remembrance known as Ash Wednesday.  Right now, I'm sitting here anticipating a pancake dinner.  This morning I had a King Cake donut.  Shrove Tuesday is clearly covered, but what comes after?  I don't know about you, but I am still considering my options for a devotional series for the season (and the sugar rush is not helping, I am sure).  I've decided on a theme for this year, but I will write about that elsewhere.  Now I just have to pick a book to be my companion over these next weeks, so, while I have the list narrowed down to just a few, I thought…
Read More

Praying our Goodbyes

Even as we enter the season of Advent, for many of us, there are still so many reasons to seek help with our ever present grief.  Truthfully, the season brings that grief forward for many of us -- the loved ones lost, the opportunities missed, the dreams unrealized. The sparkling lights and merriment all around, these things meant to illuminate and dazzle, often, instead, shine a less than welcome spotlight on the emptiness and pain that lies just below the surface of our daily living. I myself continue to be in one of those dark places where, when the light of the season sneaks in, the first response is pain, not…
Read More

Turn my mourning into dancing…

"You have turned my mourning into dancing (Psalm 30:11)," such beautiful, comforting words.  I am, right now, in the middle of one of those difficult times in life, a time when mourning and grief fill my heart and my days, and sit alongside the joy of remembrance and the continuing if somehow diminished presence of a deep and abiding gift of love in my life.  The current state of my life is the topic for another forum, but, this present experience has caused me to seek comfort in reading, as usual. It is often a long path to the right words. My search began with questions that arose during my ecumenical experience…
Read More

A frequently asked question…

This past year, I have been training for the ministry of spiritual direction.  It is one of the many threads in my life, a life that lately is all about going plural.  A course in spiritual direction is a strange process, because the very training that helps you live into this gift is more about forming you and your own faith experience than it is about teaching you a skill or a particular kind of theory.  Yes, of course, there are ways of speaking and listening that are part of the training, but really, the process is more about, well, coming out as who you are.  These are charged words for…
Read More

And on this night…

Tonight is the third night of Chanukah, and I have so many beautiful friends who will be gathered in their homes, lighting that third candle.  Night is, for many of us, both a time of beauty and peace, and a time of terror.  I know that for many Jews across the world it continues to be so. So, on this day, I share with you my reflection on that all important book about night, the one by the great Elie Wiesel.  I imagine that the book is more appropriate for Yom Hashoah than for Chanukah, but maybe not.  In the end, it is about the miracle of overcoming -- just…
Read More

Santa baby…

Well, not really. Here's a little book about how Saint Nicholas became Santa Claus...that's kind of what it is about. For me, someone who did not grow up among the stories of the saints who came before us, this was a fascinating book about what we know about Saint Nicholas the men (yes, there are two), and the many ways that the legend has become part of the warp and woof of our lives.  It was a very pleasant read -- certainly made me feel like i was doing something scholarly while you are really just warming up to the season.  Give it read; it might change the way you…
Read More

A second dose of Strength…

Sometimes good things can get even better.  Someone who has formed me through her writing, possibly more than most who have tried to form me face-to-face, is Diana Butler Bass.  And she has updated and published a new version of one of the most important books in that formation, Strength for the Journey: A Pilgrimage of Faith in Community (2017). I haven't dug into the revised version yet, but the echoes of the first one can still be heard in my faith life each and every day.  I had a few things to say about it when I read it in 2012.  I can't wait to read what new words of…
Read More

Guilty pleasures, shared again

Truthfully, not every book that stirs our sense of oneness with the universe has to be deadly serious. Sometimes, that nudge comes from the most unexpected places. A few years ago, when traveling to Istanbul, I discovered an historical novel by the great mystery writer, Anne Perry.  That book, The Sheen on the Silk, stirs my faith imagination to this very day.  Take a look at my thoughts about that spark those now many years ago. And pick up a book like that this holiday season -- something that just seems fun. There is so much tension this season, try to relax a bit. Relaxation is, after all, a spiritual practice. …
Read More

Rites and rituals, the holy in the everyday

Today, on What We're Reading Now, we hear from a guest reader, Amelia Richardson Dress.  Amelia is a writer, a mom, a passionate advocate for children and families, and an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ who’s always excited to re-discover the holiness of her mundane life. She blogs at Barefoot Family, barefootfamily.me.  From time to time, you will hear different voices on this page.  And Amelia's is one we all need to hear, so I hope that you will read on about the book she has chosen to share with us. One Sunday while I was in high school I invited a friend to attend church with…
Read More

Just keep asking…

As you read this, I am winging my way to Columbus, OH, the landing point for my return trip to the Beyond Walls Spiritual Writing Conference at Kenyon College.  My experience there last year changed my view of myself as someone who writes forever, so I thought that I would go back for a little more transformation. One of the greatest things about this conference (and there are so many) is that it pushes me to read things that I might never otherwise read because, well, I don't read much fiction.  But I simply have to read what has been written by my teacher for the week.  Last year it was…
Read More

Where to put my focus?

Lent begins tomorrow, with the remembrance known as Ash Wednesday.  Right now, I'm sitting here anticipating a pancake dinner.  This morning I had a King Cake donut.  Shrove Tuesday is clearly covered, but what comes after?  I don't know about you, but I am still considering my options for a devotional series for the season (and the sugar rush is not helping, I am sure).  I've decided on a theme for this year, but I will write about that elsewhere.  Now I just have to pick a book to be my companion over these next weeks, so, while I have the list narrowed down to just a few, I thought…
Read More

Praying our Goodbyes

Even as we enter the season of Advent, for many of us, there are still so many reasons to seek help with our ever present grief.  Truthfully, the season brings that grief forward for many of us -- the loved ones lost, the opportunities missed, the dreams unrealized. The sparkling lights and merriment all around, these things meant to illuminate and dazzle, often, instead, shine a less than welcome spotlight on the emptiness and pain that lies just below the surface of our daily living. I myself continue to be in one of those dark places where, when the light of the season sneaks in, the first response is pain, not…
Read More

Turn my mourning into dancing…

"You have turned my mourning into dancing (Psalm 30:11)," such beautiful, comforting words.  I am, right now, in the middle of one of those difficult times in life, a time when mourning and grief fill my heart and my days, and sit alongside the joy of remembrance and the continuing if somehow diminished presence of a deep and abiding gift of love in my life.  The current state of my life is the topic for another forum, but, this present experience has caused me to seek comfort in reading, as usual. It is often a long path to the right words. My search began with questions that arose during my ecumenical experience…
Read More

A frequently asked question…

This past year, I have been training for the ministry of spiritual direction.  It is one of the many threads in my life, a life that lately is all about going plural.  A course in spiritual direction is a strange process, because the very training that helps you live into this gift is more about forming you and your own faith experience than it is about teaching you a skill or a particular kind of theory.  Yes, of course, there are ways of speaking and listening that are part of the training, but really, the process is more about, well, coming out as who you are.  These are charged words for…
Read More

And on this night…

Tonight is the third night of Chanukah, and I have so many beautiful friends who will be gathered in their homes, lighting that third candle.  Night is, for many of us, both a time of beauty and peace, and a time of terror.  I know that for many Jews across the world it continues to be so. So, on this day, I share with you my reflection on that all important book about night, the one by the great Elie Wiesel.  I imagine that the book is more appropriate for Yom Hashoah than for Chanukah, but maybe not.  In the end, it is about the miracle of overcoming -- just…
Read More

Santa baby…

Well, not really. Here's a little book about how Saint Nicholas became Santa Claus...that's kind of what it is about. For me, someone who did not grow up among the stories of the saints who came before us, this was a fascinating book about what we know about Saint Nicholas the men (yes, there are two), and the many ways that the legend has become part of the warp and woof of our lives.  It was a very pleasant read -- certainly made me feel like i was doing something scholarly while you are really just warming up to the season.  Give it read; it might change the way you…
Read More

A second dose of Strength…

Sometimes good things can get even better.  Someone who has formed me through her writing, possibly more than most who have tried to form me face-to-face, is Diana Butler Bass.  And she has updated and published a new version of one of the most important books in that formation, Strength for the Journey: A Pilgrimage of Faith in Community (2017). I haven't dug into the revised version yet, but the echoes of the first one can still be heard in my faith life each and every day.  I had a few things to say about it when I read it in 2012.  I can't wait to read what new words of…
Read More

Guilty pleasures, shared again

Truthfully, not every book that stirs our sense of oneness with the universe has to be deadly serious. Sometimes, that nudge comes from the most unexpected places. A few years ago, when traveling to Istanbul, I discovered an historical novel by the great mystery writer, Anne Perry.  That book, The Sheen on the Silk, stirs my faith imagination to this very day.  Take a look at my thoughts about that spark those now many years ago. And pick up a book like that this holiday season -- something that just seems fun. There is so much tension this season, try to relax a bit. Relaxation is, after all, a spiritual practice. …
Read More

Rites and rituals, the holy in the everyday

Today, on What We're Reading Now, we hear from a guest reader, Amelia Richardson Dress.  Amelia is a writer, a mom, a passionate advocate for children and families, and an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ who’s always excited to re-discover the holiness of her mundane life. She blogs at Barefoot Family, barefootfamily.me.  From time to time, you will hear different voices on this page.  And Amelia's is one we all need to hear, so I hope that you will read on about the book she has chosen to share with us. One Sunday while I was in high school I invited a friend to attend church with…
Read More

Just keep asking…

As you read this, I am winging my way to Columbus, OH, the landing point for my return trip to the Beyond Walls Spiritual Writing Conference at Kenyon College.  My experience there last year changed my view of myself as someone who writes forever, so I thought that I would go back for a little more transformation. One of the greatest things about this conference (and there are so many) is that it pushes me to read things that I might never otherwise read because, well, I don't read much fiction.  But I simply have to read what has been written by my teacher for the week.  Last year it was…
Read More

Where to put my focus?

Lent begins tomorrow, with the remembrance known as Ash Wednesday.  Right now, I'm sitting here anticipating a pancake dinner.  This morning I had a King Cake donut.  Shrove Tuesday is clearly covered, but what comes after?  I don't know about you, but I am still considering my options for a devotional series for the season (and the sugar rush is not helping, I am sure).  I've decided on a theme for this year, but I will write about that elsewhere.  Now I just have to pick a book to be my companion over these next weeks, so, while I have the list narrowed down to just a few, I thought…
Read More

Praying our Goodbyes

Even as we enter the season of Advent, for many of us, there are still so many reasons to seek help with our ever present grief.  Truthfully, the season brings that grief forward for many of us -- the loved ones lost, the opportunities missed, the dreams unrealized. The sparkling lights and merriment all around, these things meant to illuminate and dazzle, often, instead, shine a less than welcome spotlight on the emptiness and pain that lies just below the surface of our daily living. I myself continue to be in one of those dark places where, when the light of the season sneaks in, the first response is pain, not…
Read More

Turn my mourning into dancing…

"You have turned my mourning into dancing (Psalm 30:11)," such beautiful, comforting words.  I am, right now, in the middle of one of those difficult times in life, a time when mourning and grief fill my heart and my days, and sit alongside the joy of remembrance and the continuing if somehow diminished presence of a deep and abiding gift of love in my life.  The current state of my life is the topic for another forum, but, this present experience has caused me to seek comfort in reading, as usual. It is often a long path to the right words. My search began with questions that arose during my ecumenical experience…
Read More

A frequently asked question…

This past year, I have been training for the ministry of spiritual direction.  It is one of the many threads in my life, a life that lately is all about going plural.  A course in spiritual direction is a strange process, because the very training that helps you live into this gift is more about forming you and your own faith experience than it is about teaching you a skill or a particular kind of theory.  Yes, of course, there are ways of speaking and listening that are part of the training, but really, the process is more about, well, coming out as who you are.  These are charged words for…
Read More

And on this night…

Tonight is the third night of Chanukah, and I have so many beautiful friends who will be gathered in their homes, lighting that third candle.  Night is, for many of us, both a time of beauty and peace, and a time of terror.  I know that for many Jews across the world it continues to be so. So, on this day, I share with you my reflection on that all important book about night, the one by the great Elie Wiesel.  I imagine that the book is more appropriate for Yom Hashoah than for Chanukah, but maybe not.  In the end, it is about the miracle of overcoming -- just…
Read More

Santa baby…

Well, not really. Here's a little book about how Saint Nicholas became Santa Claus...that's kind of what it is about. For me, someone who did not grow up among the stories of the saints who came before us, this was a fascinating book about what we know about Saint Nicholas the men (yes, there are two), and the many ways that the legend has become part of the warp and woof of our lives.  It was a very pleasant read -- certainly made me feel like i was doing something scholarly while you are really just warming up to the season.  Give it read; it might change the way you…
Read More

A second dose of Strength…

Sometimes good things can get even better.  Someone who has formed me through her writing, possibly more than most who have tried to form me face-to-face, is Diana Butler Bass.  And she has updated and published a new version of one of the most important books in that formation, Strength for the Journey: A Pilgrimage of Faith in Community (2017). I haven't dug into the revised version yet, but the echoes of the first one can still be heard in my faith life each and every day.  I had a few things to say about it when I read it in 2012.  I can't wait to read what new words of…
Read More

Guilty pleasures, shared again

Truthfully, not every book that stirs our sense of oneness with the universe has to be deadly serious. Sometimes, that nudge comes from the most unexpected places. A few years ago, when traveling to Istanbul, I discovered an historical novel by the great mystery writer, Anne Perry.  That book, The Sheen on the Silk, stirs my faith imagination to this very day.  Take a look at my thoughts about that spark those now many years ago. And pick up a book like that this holiday season -- something that just seems fun. There is so much tension this season, try to relax a bit. Relaxation is, after all, a spiritual practice. …
Read More

Rites and rituals, the holy in the everyday

Today, on What We're Reading Now, we hear from a guest reader, Amelia Richardson Dress.  Amelia is a writer, a mom, a passionate advocate for children and families, and an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ who’s always excited to re-discover the holiness of her mundane life. She blogs at Barefoot Family, barefootfamily.me.  From time to time, you will hear different voices on this page.  And Amelia's is one we all need to hear, so I hope that you will read on about the book she has chosen to share with us. One Sunday while I was in high school I invited a friend to attend church with…
Read More

Just keep asking…

As you read this, I am winging my way to Columbus, OH, the landing point for my return trip to the Beyond Walls Spiritual Writing Conference at Kenyon College.  My experience there last year changed my view of myself as someone who writes forever, so I thought that I would go back for a little more transformation. One of the greatest things about this conference (and there are so many) is that it pushes me to read things that I might never otherwise read because, well, I don't read much fiction.  But I simply have to read what has been written by my teacher for the week.  Last year it was…
Read More

Where to put my focus?

Lent begins tomorrow, with the remembrance known as Ash Wednesday.  Right now, I'm sitting here anticipating a pancake dinner.  This morning I had a King Cake donut.  Shrove Tuesday is clearly covered, but what comes after?  I don't know about you, but I am still considering my options for a devotional series for the season (and the sugar rush is not helping, I am sure).  I've decided on a theme for this year, but I will write about that elsewhere.  Now I just have to pick a book to be my companion over these next weeks, so, while I have the list narrowed down to just a few, I thought…
Read More

Praying our Goodbyes

Even as we enter the season of Advent, for many of us, there are still so many reasons to seek help with our ever present grief.  Truthfully, the season brings that grief forward for many of us -- the loved ones lost, the opportunities missed, the dreams unrealized. The sparkling lights and merriment all around, these things meant to illuminate and dazzle, often, instead, shine a less than welcome spotlight on the emptiness and pain that lies just below the surface of our daily living. I myself continue to be in one of those dark places where, when the light of the season sneaks in, the first response is pain, not…
Read More

Turn my mourning into dancing…

"You have turned my mourning into dancing (Psalm 30:11)," such beautiful, comforting words.  I am, right now, in the middle of one of those difficult times in life, a time when mourning and grief fill my heart and my days, and sit alongside the joy of remembrance and the continuing if somehow diminished presence of a deep and abiding gift of love in my life.  The current state of my life is the topic for another forum, but, this present experience has caused me to seek comfort in reading, as usual. It is often a long path to the right words. My search began with questions that arose during my ecumenical experience…
Read More

A frequently asked question…

This past year, I have been training for the ministry of spiritual direction.  It is one of the many threads in my life, a life that lately is all about going plural.  A course in spiritual direction is a strange process, because the very training that helps you live into this gift is more about forming you and your own faith experience than it is about teaching you a skill or a particular kind of theory.  Yes, of course, there are ways of speaking and listening that are part of the training, but really, the process is more about, well, coming out as who you are.  These are charged words for…
Read More

And on this night…

Tonight is the third night of Chanukah, and I have so many beautiful friends who will be gathered in their homes, lighting that third candle.  Night is, for many of us, both a time of beauty and peace, and a time of terror.  I know that for many Jews across the world it continues to be so. So, on this day, I share with you my reflection on that all important book about night, the one by the great Elie Wiesel.  I imagine that the book is more appropriate for Yom Hashoah than for Chanukah, but maybe not.  In the end, it is about the miracle of overcoming -- just…
Read More

Santa baby…

Well, not really. Here's a little book about how Saint Nicholas became Santa Claus...that's kind of what it is about. For me, someone who did not grow up among the stories of the saints who came before us, this was a fascinating book about what we know about Saint Nicholas the men (yes, there are two), and the many ways that the legend has become part of the warp and woof of our lives.  It was a very pleasant read -- certainly made me feel like i was doing something scholarly while you are really just warming up to the season.  Give it read; it might change the way you…
Read More

A second dose of Strength…

Sometimes good things can get even better.  Someone who has formed me through her writing, possibly more than most who have tried to form me face-to-face, is Diana Butler Bass.  And she has updated and published a new version of one of the most important books in that formation, Strength for the Journey: A Pilgrimage of Faith in Community (2017). I haven't dug into the revised version yet, but the echoes of the first one can still be heard in my faith life each and every day.  I had a few things to say about it when I read it in 2012.  I can't wait to read what new words of…
Read More

Guilty pleasures, shared again

Truthfully, not every book that stirs our sense of oneness with the universe has to be deadly serious. Sometimes, that nudge comes from the most unexpected places. A few years ago, when traveling to Istanbul, I discovered an historical novel by the great mystery writer, Anne Perry.  That book, The Sheen on the Silk, stirs my faith imagination to this very day.  Take a look at my thoughts about that spark those now many years ago. And pick up a book like that this holiday season -- something that just seems fun. There is so much tension this season, try to relax a bit. Relaxation is, after all, a spiritual practice. …
Read More

Rites and rituals, the holy in the everyday

Today, on What We're Reading Now, we hear from a guest reader, Amelia Richardson Dress.  Amelia is a writer, a mom, a passionate advocate for children and families, and an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ who’s always excited to re-discover the holiness of her mundane life. She blogs at Barefoot Family, barefootfamily.me.  From time to time, you will hear different voices on this page.  And Amelia's is one we all need to hear, so I hope that you will read on about the book she has chosen to share with us. One Sunday while I was in high school I invited a friend to attend church with…
Read More

Just keep asking…

As you read this, I am winging my way to Columbus, OH, the landing point for my return trip to the Beyond Walls Spiritual Writing Conference at Kenyon College.  My experience there last year changed my view of myself as someone who writes forever, so I thought that I would go back for a little more transformation. One of the greatest things about this conference (and there are so many) is that it pushes me to read things that I might never otherwise read because, well, I don't read much fiction.  But I simply have to read what has been written by my teacher for the week.  Last year it was…
Read More

Where to put my focus?

Lent begins tomorrow, with the remembrance known as Ash Wednesday.  Right now, I'm sitting here anticipating a pancake dinner.  This morning I had a King Cake donut.  Shrove Tuesday is clearly covered, but what comes after?  I don't know about you, but I am still considering my options for a devotional series for the season (and the sugar rush is not helping, I am sure).  I've decided on a theme for this year, but I will write about that elsewhere.  Now I just have to pick a book to be my companion over these next weeks, so, while I have the list narrowed down to just a few, I thought…
Read More

Praying our Goodbyes

Even as we enter the season of Advent, for many of us, there are still so many reasons to seek help with our ever present grief.  Truthfully, the season brings that grief forward for many of us -- the loved ones lost, the opportunities missed, the dreams unrealized. The sparkling lights and merriment all around, these things meant to illuminate and dazzle, often, instead, shine a less than welcome spotlight on the emptiness and pain that lies just below the surface of our daily living. I myself continue to be in one of those dark places where, when the light of the season sneaks in, the first response is pain, not…
Read More

Turn my mourning into dancing…

"You have turned my mourning into dancing (Psalm 30:11)," such beautiful, comforting words.  I am, right now, in the middle of one of those difficult times in life, a time when mourning and grief fill my heart and my days, and sit alongside the joy of remembrance and the continuing if somehow diminished presence of a deep and abiding gift of love in my life.  The current state of my life is the topic for another forum, but, this present experience has caused me to seek comfort in reading, as usual. It is often a long path to the right words. My search began with questions that arose during my ecumenical experience…
Read More

A frequently asked question…

This past year, I have been training for the ministry of spiritual direction.  It is one of the many threads in my life, a life that lately is all about going plural.  A course in spiritual direction is a strange process, because the very training that helps you live into this gift is more about forming you and your own faith experience than it is about teaching you a skill or a particular kind of theory.  Yes, of course, there are ways of speaking and listening that are part of the training, but really, the process is more about, well, coming out as who you are.  These are charged words for…
Read More

And on this night…

Tonight is the third night of Chanukah, and I have so many beautiful friends who will be gathered in their homes, lighting that third candle.  Night is, for many of us, both a time of beauty and peace, and a time of terror.  I know that for many Jews across the world it continues to be so. So, on this day, I share with you my reflection on that all important book about night, the one by the great Elie Wiesel.  I imagine that the book is more appropriate for Yom Hashoah than for Chanukah, but maybe not.  In the end, it is about the miracle of overcoming -- just…
Read More

Santa baby…

Well, not really. Here's a little book about how Saint Nicholas became Santa Claus...that's kind of what it is about. For me, someone who did not grow up among the stories of the saints who came before us, this was a fascinating book about what we know about Saint Nicholas the men (yes, there are two), and the many ways that the legend has become part of the warp and woof of our lives.  It was a very pleasant read -- certainly made me feel like i was doing something scholarly while you are really just warming up to the season.  Give it read; it might change the way you…
Read More

A second dose of Strength…

Sometimes good things can get even better.  Someone who has formed me through her writing, possibly more than most who have tried to form me face-to-face, is Diana Butler Bass.  And she has updated and published a new version of one of the most important books in that formation, Strength for the Journey: A Pilgrimage of Faith in Community (2017). I haven't dug into the revised version yet, but the echoes of the first one can still be heard in my faith life each and every day.  I had a few things to say about it when I read it in 2012.  I can't wait to read what new words of…
Read More

Guilty pleasures, shared again

Truthfully, not every book that stirs our sense of oneness with the universe has to be deadly serious. Sometimes, that nudge comes from the most unexpected places. A few years ago, when traveling to Istanbul, I discovered an historical novel by the great mystery writer, Anne Perry.  That book, The Sheen on the Silk, stirs my faith imagination to this very day.  Take a look at my thoughts about that spark those now many years ago. And pick up a book like that this holiday season -- something that just seems fun. There is so much tension this season, try to relax a bit. Relaxation is, after all, a spiritual practice. …
Read More

Rites and rituals, the holy in the everyday

Today, on What We're Reading Now, we hear from a guest reader, Amelia Richardson Dress.  Amelia is a writer, a mom, a passionate advocate for children and families, and an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ who’s always excited to re-discover the holiness of her mundane life. She blogs at Barefoot Family, barefootfamily.me.  From time to time, you will hear different voices on this page.  And Amelia's is one we all need to hear, so I hope that you will read on about the book she has chosen to share with us. One Sunday while I was in high school I invited a friend to attend church with…
Read More

Just keep asking…

As you read this, I am winging my way to Columbus, OH, the landing point for my return trip to the Beyond Walls Spiritual Writing Conference at Kenyon College.  My experience there last year changed my view of myself as someone who writes forever, so I thought that I would go back for a little more transformation. One of the greatest things about this conference (and there are so many) is that it pushes me to read things that I might never otherwise read because, well, I don't read much fiction.  But I simply have to read what has been written by my teacher for the week.  Last year it was…
Read More

Where to put my focus?

Lent begins tomorrow, with the remembrance known as Ash Wednesday.  Right now, I'm sitting here anticipating a pancake dinner.  This morning I had a King Cake donut.  Shrove Tuesday is clearly covered, but what comes after?  I don't know about you, but I am still considering my options for a devotional series for the season (and the sugar rush is not helping, I am sure).  I've decided on a theme for this year, but I will write about that elsewhere.  Now I just have to pick a book to be my companion over these next weeks, so, while I have the list narrowed down to just a few, I thought…
Read More

Praying our Goodbyes

Even as we enter the season of Advent, for many of us, there are still so many reasons to seek help with our ever present grief.  Truthfully, the season brings that grief forward for many of us -- the loved ones lost, the opportunities missed, the dreams unrealized. The sparkling lights and merriment all around, these things meant to illuminate and dazzle, often, instead, shine a less than welcome spotlight on the emptiness and pain that lies just below the surface of our daily living. I myself continue to be in one of those dark places where, when the light of the season sneaks in, the first response is pain, not…
Read More

Turn my mourning into dancing…

"You have turned my mourning into dancing (Psalm 30:11)," such beautiful, comforting words.  I am, right now, in the middle of one of those difficult times in life, a time when mourning and grief fill my heart and my days, and sit alongside the joy of remembrance and the continuing if somehow diminished presence of a deep and abiding gift of love in my life.  The current state of my life is the topic for another forum, but, this present experience has caused me to seek comfort in reading, as usual. It is often a long path to the right words. My search began with questions that arose during my ecumenical experience…
Read More

A frequently asked question…

This past year, I have been training for the ministry of spiritual direction.  It is one of the many threads in my life, a life that lately is all about going plural.  A course in spiritual direction is a strange process, because the very training that helps you live into this gift is more about forming you and your own faith experience than it is about teaching you a skill or a particular kind of theory.  Yes, of course, there are ways of speaking and listening that are part of the training, but really, the process is more about, well, coming out as who you are.  These are charged words for…
Read More

And on this night…

Tonight is the third night of Chanukah, and I have so many beautiful friends who will be gathered in their homes, lighting that third candle.  Night is, for many of us, both a time of beauty and peace, and a time of terror.  I know that for many Jews across the world it continues to be so. So, on this day, I share with you my reflection on that all important book about night, the one by the great Elie Wiesel.  I imagine that the book is more appropriate for Yom Hashoah than for Chanukah, but maybe not.  In the end, it is about the miracle of overcoming -- just…
Read More

Santa baby…

Well, not really. Here's a little book about how Saint Nicholas became Santa Claus...that's kind of what it is about. For me, someone who did not grow up among the stories of the saints who came before us, this was a fascinating book about what we know about Saint Nicholas the men (yes, there are two), and the many ways that the legend has become part of the warp and woof of our lives.  It was a very pleasant read -- certainly made me feel like i was doing something scholarly while you are really just warming up to the season.  Give it read; it might change the way you…
Read More

A second dose of Strength…

Sometimes good things can get even better.  Someone who has formed me through her writing, possibly more than most who have tried to form me face-to-face, is Diana Butler Bass.  And she has updated and published a new version of one of the most important books in that formation, Strength for the Journey: A Pilgrimage of Faith in Community (2017). I haven't dug into the revised version yet, but the echoes of the first one can still be heard in my faith life each and every day.  I had a few things to say about it when I read it in 2012.  I can't wait to read what new words of…
Read More

Guilty pleasures, shared again

Truthfully, not every book that stirs our sense of oneness with the universe has to be deadly serious. Sometimes, that nudge comes from the most unexpected places. A few years ago, when traveling to Istanbul, I discovered an historical novel by the great mystery writer, Anne Perry.  That book, The Sheen on the Silk, stirs my faith imagination to this very day.  Take a look at my thoughts about that spark those now many years ago. And pick up a book like that this holiday season -- something that just seems fun. There is so much tension this season, try to relax a bit. Relaxation is, after all, a spiritual practice. …
Read More

Rites and rituals, the holy in the everyday

Today, on What We're Reading Now, we hear from a guest reader, Amelia Richardson Dress.  Amelia is a writer, a mom, a passionate advocate for children and families, and an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ who’s always excited to re-discover the holiness of her mundane life. She blogs at Barefoot Family, barefootfamily.me.  From time to time, you will hear different voices on this page.  And Amelia's is one we all need to hear, so I hope that you will read on about the book she has chosen to share with us. One Sunday while I was in high school I invited a friend to attend church with…
Read More

Just keep asking…

As you read this, I am winging my way to Columbus, OH, the landing point for my return trip to the Beyond Walls Spiritual Writing Conference at Kenyon College.  My experience there last year changed my view of myself as someone who writes forever, so I thought that I would go back for a little more transformation. One of the greatest things about this conference (and there are so many) is that it pushes me to read things that I might never otherwise read because, well, I don't read much fiction.  But I simply have to read what has been written by my teacher for the week.  Last year it was…
Read More

Where to put my focus?

Lent begins tomorrow, with the remembrance known as Ash Wednesday.  Right now, I'm sitting here anticipating a pancake dinner.  This morning I had a King Cake donut.  Shrove Tuesday is clearly covered, but what comes after?  I don't know about you, but I am still considering my options for a devotional series for the season (and the sugar rush is not helping, I am sure).  I've decided on a theme for this year, but I will write about that elsewhere.  Now I just have to pick a book to be my companion over these next weeks, so, while I have the list narrowed down to just a few, I thought…
Read More

Praying our Goodbyes

Even as we enter the season of Advent, for many of us, there are still so many reasons to seek help with our ever present grief.  Truthfully, the season brings that grief forward for many of us -- the loved ones lost, the opportunities missed, the dreams unrealized. The sparkling lights and merriment all around, these things meant to illuminate and dazzle, often, instead, shine a less than welcome spotlight on the emptiness and pain that lies just below the surface of our daily living. I myself continue to be in one of those dark places where, when the light of the season sneaks in, the first response is pain, not…
Read More

Turn my mourning into dancing…

"You have turned my mourning into dancing (Psalm 30:11)," such beautiful, comforting words.  I am, right now, in the middle of one of those difficult times in life, a time when mourning and grief fill my heart and my days, and sit alongside the joy of remembrance and the continuing if somehow diminished presence of a deep and abiding gift of love in my life.  The current state of my life is the topic for another forum, but, this present experience has caused me to seek comfort in reading, as usual. It is often a long path to the right words. My search began with questions that arose during my ecumenical experience…
Read More

A frequently asked question…

This past year, I have been training for the ministry of spiritual direction.  It is one of the many threads in my life, a life that lately is all about going plural.  A course in spiritual direction is a strange process, because the very training that helps you live into this gift is more about forming you and your own faith experience than it is about teaching you a skill or a particular kind of theory.  Yes, of course, there are ways of speaking and listening that are part of the training, but really, the process is more about, well, coming out as who you are.  These are charged words for…
Read More

And on this night…

Tonight is the third night of Chanukah, and I have so many beautiful friends who will be gathered in their homes, lighting that third candle.  Night is, for many of us, both a time of beauty and peace, and a time of terror.  I know that for many Jews across the world it continues to be so. So, on this day, I share with you my reflection on that all important book about night, the one by the great Elie Wiesel.  I imagine that the book is more appropriate for Yom Hashoah than for Chanukah, but maybe not.  In the end, it is about the miracle of overcoming -- just…
Read More

Santa baby…

Well, not really. Here's a little book about how Saint Nicholas became Santa Claus...that's kind of what it is about. For me, someone who did not grow up among the stories of the saints who came before us, this was a fascinating book about what we know about Saint Nicholas the men (yes, there are two), and the many ways that the legend has become part of the warp and woof of our lives.  It was a very pleasant read -- certainly made me feel like i was doing something scholarly while you are really just warming up to the season.  Give it read; it might change the way you…
Read More

A second dose of Strength…

Sometimes good things can get even better.  Someone who has formed me through her writing, possibly more than most who have tried to form me face-to-face, is Diana Butler Bass.  And she has updated and published a new version of one of the most important books in that formation, Strength for the Journey: A Pilgrimage of Faith in Community (2017). I haven't dug into the revised version yet, but the echoes of the first one can still be heard in my faith life each and every day.  I had a few things to say about it when I read it in 2012.  I can't wait to read what new words of…
Read More

Guilty pleasures, shared again

Truthfully, not every book that stirs our sense of oneness with the universe has to be deadly serious. Sometimes, that nudge comes from the most unexpected places. A few years ago, when traveling to Istanbul, I discovered an historical novel by the great mystery writer, Anne Perry.  That book, The Sheen on the Silk, stirs my faith imagination to this very day.  Take a look at my thoughts about that spark those now many years ago. And pick up a book like that this holiday season -- something that just seems fun. There is so much tension this season, try to relax a bit. Relaxation is, after all, a spiritual practice. …
Read More

Rites and rituals, the holy in the everyday

Today, on What We're Reading Now, we hear from a guest reader, Amelia Richardson Dress.  Amelia is a writer, a mom, a passionate advocate for children and families, and an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ who’s always excited to re-discover the holiness of her mundane life. She blogs at Barefoot Family, barefootfamily.me.  From time to time, you will hear different voices on this page.  And Amelia's is one we all need to hear, so I hope that you will read on about the book she has chosen to share with us. One Sunday while I was in high school I invited a friend to attend church with…
Read More

Just keep asking…

As you read this, I am winging my way to Columbus, OH, the landing point for my return trip to the Beyond Walls Spiritual Writing Conference at Kenyon College.  My experience there last year changed my view of myself as someone who writes forever, so I thought that I would go back for a little more transformation. One of the greatest things about this conference (and there are so many) is that it pushes me to read things that I might never otherwise read because, well, I don't read much fiction.  But I simply have to read what has been written by my teacher for the week.  Last year it was…
Read More

Where to put my focus?

Lent begins tomorrow, with the remembrance known as Ash Wednesday.  Right now, I'm sitting here anticipating a pancake dinner.  This morning I had a King Cake donut.  Shrove Tuesday is clearly covered, but what comes after?  I don't know about you, but I am still considering my options for a devotional series for the season (and the sugar rush is not helping, I am sure).  I've decided on a theme for this year, but I will write about that elsewhere.  Now I just have to pick a book to be my companion over these next weeks, so, while I have the list narrowed down to just a few, I thought…
Read More

Praying our Goodbyes

Even as we enter the season of Advent, for many of us, there are still so many reasons to seek help with our ever present grief.  Truthfully, the season brings that grief forward for many of us -- the loved ones lost, the opportunities missed, the dreams unrealized. The sparkling lights and merriment all around, these things meant to illuminate and dazzle, often, instead, shine a less than welcome spotlight on the emptiness and pain that lies just below the surface of our daily living. I myself continue to be in one of those dark places where, when the light of the season sneaks in, the first response is pain, not…
Read More

Turn my mourning into dancing…

"You have turned my mourning into dancing (Psalm 30:11)," such beautiful, comforting words.  I am, right now, in the middle of one of those difficult times in life, a time when mourning and grief fill my heart and my days, and sit alongside the joy of remembrance and the continuing if somehow diminished presence of a deep and abiding gift of love in my life.  The current state of my life is the topic for another forum, but, this present experience has caused me to seek comfort in reading, as usual. It is often a long path to the right words. My search began with questions that arose during my ecumenical experience…
Read More

A frequently asked question…

This past year, I have been training for the ministry of spiritual direction.  It is one of the many threads in my life, a life that lately is all about going plural.  A course in spiritual direction is a strange process, because the very training that helps you live into this gift is more about forming you and your own faith experience than it is about teaching you a skill or a particular kind of theory.  Yes, of course, there are ways of speaking and listening that are part of the training, but really, the process is more about, well, coming out as who you are.  These are charged words for…
Read More

And on this night…

Tonight is the third night of Chanukah, and I have so many beautiful friends who will be gathered in their homes, lighting that third candle.  Night is, for many of us, both a time of beauty and peace, and a time of terror.  I know that for many Jews across the world it continues to be so. So, on this day, I share with you my reflection on that all important book about night, the one by the great Elie Wiesel.  I imagine that the book is more appropriate for Yom Hashoah than for Chanukah, but maybe not.  In the end, it is about the miracle of overcoming -- just…
Read More

Santa baby…

Well, not really. Here's a little book about how Saint Nicholas became Santa Claus...that's kind of what it is about. For me, someone who did not grow up among the stories of the saints who came before us, this was a fascinating book about what we know about Saint Nicholas the men (yes, there are two), and the many ways that the legend has become part of the warp and woof of our lives.  It was a very pleasant read -- certainly made me feel like i was doing something scholarly while you are really just warming up to the season.  Give it read; it might change the way you…
Read More

A second dose of Strength…

Sometimes good things can get even better.  Someone who has formed me through her writing, possibly more than most who have tried to form me face-to-face, is Diana Butler Bass.  And she has updated and published a new version of one of the most important books in that formation, Strength for the Journey: A Pilgrimage of Faith in Community (2017). I haven't dug into the revised version yet, but the echoes of the first one can still be heard in my faith life each and every day.  I had a few things to say about it when I read it in 2012.  I can't wait to read what new words of…
Read More

Guilty pleasures, shared again

Truthfully, not every book that stirs our sense of oneness with the universe has to be deadly serious. Sometimes, that nudge comes from the most unexpected places. A few years ago, when traveling to Istanbul, I discovered an historical novel by the great mystery writer, Anne Perry.  That book, The Sheen on the Silk, stirs my faith imagination to this very day.  Take a look at my thoughts about that spark those now many years ago. And pick up a book like that this holiday season -- something that just seems fun. There is so much tension this season, try to relax a bit. Relaxation is, after all, a spiritual practice. …
Read More

Rites and rituals, the holy in the everyday

Today, on What We're Reading Now, we hear from a guest reader, Amelia Richardson Dress.  Amelia is a writer, a mom, a passionate advocate for children and families, and an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ who’s always excited to re-discover the holiness of her mundane life. She blogs at Barefoot Family, barefootfamily.me.  From time to time, you will hear different voices on this page.  And Amelia's is one we all need to hear, so I hope that you will read on about the book she has chosen to share with us. One Sunday while I was in high school I invited a friend to attend church with…
Read More

Just keep asking…

As you read this, I am winging my way to Columbus, OH, the landing point for my return trip to the Beyond Walls Spiritual Writing Conference at Kenyon College.  My experience there last year changed my view of myself as someone who writes forever, so I thought that I would go back for a little more transformation. One of the greatest things about this conference (and there are so many) is that it pushes me to read things that I might never otherwise read because, well, I don't read much fiction.  But I simply have to read what has been written by my teacher for the week.  Last year it was…
Read More

Where to put my focus?

Lent begins tomorrow, with the remembrance known as Ash Wednesday.  Right now, I'm sitting here anticipating a pancake dinner.  This morning I had a King Cake donut.  Shrove Tuesday is clearly covered, but what comes after?  I don't know about you, but I am still considering my options for a devotional series for the season (and the sugar rush is not helping, I am sure).  I've decided on a theme for this year, but I will write about that elsewhere.  Now I just have to pick a book to be my companion over these next weeks, so, while I have the list narrowed down to just a few, I thought…
Read More

Praying our Goodbyes

Even as we enter the season of Advent, for many of us, there are still so many reasons to seek help with our ever present grief.  Truthfully, the season brings that grief forward for many of us -- the loved ones lost, the opportunities missed, the dreams unrealized. The sparkling lights and merriment all around, these things meant to illuminate and dazzle, often, instead, shine a less than welcome spotlight on the emptiness and pain that lies just below the surface of our daily living. I myself continue to be in one of those dark places where, when the light of the season sneaks in, the first response is pain, not…
Read More

Turn my mourning into dancing…

"You have turned my mourning into dancing (Psalm 30:11)," such beautiful, comforting words.  I am, right now, in the middle of one of those difficult times in life, a time when mourning and grief fill my heart and my days, and sit alongside the joy of remembrance and the continuing if somehow diminished presence of a deep and abiding gift of love in my life.  The current state of my life is the topic for another forum, but, this present experience has caused me to seek comfort in reading, as usual. It is often a long path to the right words. My search began with questions that arose during my ecumenical experience…
Read More

A frequently asked question…

This past year, I have been training for the ministry of spiritual direction.  It is one of the many threads in my life, a life that lately is all about going plural.  A course in spiritual direction is a strange process, because the very training that helps you live into this gift is more about forming you and your own faith experience than it is about teaching you a skill or a particular kind of theory.  Yes, of course, there are ways of speaking and listening that are part of the training, but really, the process is more about, well, coming out as who you are.  These are charged words for…
Read More

And on this night…

Tonight is the third night of Chanukah, and I have so many beautiful friends who will be gathered in their homes, lighting that third candle.  Night is, for many of us, both a time of beauty and peace, and a time of terror.  I know that for many Jews across the world it continues to be so. So, on this day, I share with you my reflection on that all important book about night, the one by the great Elie Wiesel.  I imagine that the book is more appropriate for Yom Hashoah than for Chanukah, but maybe not.  In the end, it is about the miracle of overcoming -- just…
Read More

Santa baby…

Well, not really. Here's a little book about how Saint Nicholas became Santa Claus...that's kind of what it is about. For me, someone who did not grow up among the stories of the saints who came before us, this was a fascinating book about what we know about Saint Nicholas the men (yes, there are two), and the many ways that the legend has become part of the warp and woof of our lives.  It was a very pleasant read -- certainly made me feel like i was doing something scholarly while you are really just warming up to the season.  Give it read; it might change the way you…
Read More

A second dose of Strength…

Sometimes good things can get even better.  Someone who has formed me through her writing, possibly more than most who have tried to form me face-to-face, is Diana Butler Bass.  And she has updated and published a new version of one of the most important books in that formation, Strength for the Journey: A Pilgrimage of Faith in Community (2017). I haven't dug into the revised version yet, but the echoes of the first one can still be heard in my faith life each and every day.  I had a few things to say about it when I read it in 2012.  I can't wait to read what new words of…
Read More

Guilty pleasures, shared again

Truthfully, not every book that stirs our sense of oneness with the universe has to be deadly serious. Sometimes, that nudge comes from the most unexpected places. A few years ago, when traveling to Istanbul, I discovered an historical novel by the great mystery writer, Anne Perry.  That book, The Sheen on the Silk, stirs my faith imagination to this very day.  Take a look at my thoughts about that spark those now many years ago. And pick up a book like that this holiday season -- something that just seems fun. There is so much tension this season, try to relax a bit. Relaxation is, after all, a spiritual practice. …
Read More

Rites and rituals, the holy in the everyday

Today, on What We're Reading Now, we hear from a guest reader, Amelia Richardson Dress.  Amelia is a writer, a mom, a passionate advocate for children and families, and an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ who’s always excited to re-discover the holiness of her mundane life. She blogs at Barefoot Family, barefootfamily.me.  From time to time, you will hear different voices on this page.  And Amelia's is one we all need to hear, so I hope that you will read on about the book she has chosen to share with us. One Sunday while I was in high school I invited a friend to attend church with…
Read More

Just keep asking…

As you read this, I am winging my way to Columbus, OH, the landing point for my return trip to the Beyond Walls Spiritual Writing Conference at Kenyon College.  My experience there last year changed my view of myself as someone who writes forever, so I thought that I would go back for a little more transformation. One of the greatest things about this conference (and there are so many) is that it pushes me to read things that I might never otherwise read because, well, I don't read much fiction.  But I simply have to read what has been written by my teacher for the week.  Last year it was…
Read More

Where to put my focus?

Lent begins tomorrow, with the remembrance known as Ash Wednesday.  Right now, I'm sitting here anticipating a pancake dinner.  This morning I had a King Cake donut.  Shrove Tuesday is clearly covered, but what comes after?  I don't know about you, but I am still considering my options for a devotional series for the season (and the sugar rush is not helping, I am sure).  I've decided on a theme for this year, but I will write about that elsewhere.  Now I just have to pick a book to be my companion over these next weeks, so, while I have the list narrowed down to just a few, I thought…
Read More

Praying our Goodbyes

Even as we enter the season of Advent, for many of us, there are still so many reasons to seek help with our ever present grief.  Truthfully, the season brings that grief forward for many of us -- the loved ones lost, the opportunities missed, the dreams unrealized. The sparkling lights and merriment all around, these things meant to illuminate and dazzle, often, instead, shine a less than welcome spotlight on the emptiness and pain that lies just below the surface of our daily living. I myself continue to be in one of those dark places where, when the light of the season sneaks in, the first response is pain, not…
Read More

Turn my mourning into dancing…

"You have turned my mourning into dancing (Psalm 30:11)," such beautiful, comforting words.  I am, right now, in the middle of one of those difficult times in life, a time when mourning and grief fill my heart and my days, and sit alongside the joy of remembrance and the continuing if somehow diminished presence of a deep and abiding gift of love in my life.  The current state of my life is the topic for another forum, but, this present experience has caused me to seek comfort in reading, as usual. It is often a long path to the right words. My search began with questions that arose during my ecumenical experience…
Read More

A frequently asked question…

This past year, I have been training for the ministry of spiritual direction.  It is one of the many threads in my life, a life that lately is all about going plural.  A course in spiritual direction is a strange process, because the very training that helps you live into this gift is more about forming you and your own faith experience than it is about teaching you a skill or a particular kind of theory.  Yes, of course, there are ways of speaking and listening that are part of the training, but really, the process is more about, well, coming out as who you are.  These are charged words for…
Read More