Whisper Words of Wisdom
, November 19, 2014
For some time I have had the grace of a transition process leading to retirement. It has been fortifying and healing. There is so much to be thankful for. I love the New Zealand Prayer Book prayer at nightfall:
What's your path?
, October 22, 2014
I recently read an interview with English filmmaker and actor David Suchet. He spoke about growing up without religion but, to his surprise, became a Christian in 1986 at the age of 40 after reading Romans 8 in a hotel Bible. He later produced a documentary on St. Paul for the BBC. This is what he had to say about his conversion: “I‘ve always felt there must be something better than what we have here. And that certainly, for me, has never been found in a humanistic philosophy. I’m not impressed with us as human beings, with what we’re doing to the planet and each other. We’re a pretty cruel animal.”
Look up from your phone
, September 23, 2014
As social media becomes epidemic, one concern I hear repeatedly is the fear that we are abandoning an essential piece of our humanity as everyday experience becomes ever more virtual. I actually overheard someone say, “Why bother talking to anyone when you can text them a message!” Reliance on digital devices is accelerating and one wonders about the implications of a virtual world overwhelming our contact and learning from the actual physical universe. We have been “created from dust” but unto digital devices shall we return? As we lose touch with each other and diminish our presence to God’s glorious creation, aside from what we can squeeze out of it while on vacation, do we risk the hazards of artificial relationships that seem to have no limits of forever demanding us to be online?
, August 27, 2014
One of the wisdoms of transitions, I am learning, is to have mentoring conversations with powerful coaches in order to leave this amazing congregation and so many I have come to love—to leave well. The most helpful discussion I have had has been with my ingenious predecessor, Mark Anschutz. His advice was so insightful; I thought it would be useful to report to you.
Make a note
, July 30, 2014
During most of the forty years of being a priest, I tried to make regular use of a local library. I know my congregations wanted fresh and insightful thinking and they could always tell when I was not reading what they were reading. Having so many publicly used books at my disposal made me aware that people have this tendency to make notes in the margins, underline in yellow marker or fold the corner of the page to mark where they left off till they opened the book again. Some complain that defacing a library book is a misdemeanor for other patrons. I can remember my teachers in elementary school scolded us for such practices since the textbooks were used by succeeding classes. Before summer vacation, teachers kept us captive until we had erased all of the marks from our books with the remaining stubs of our pink erasers. But what is reprehensible in one context can be beneficial in another.
Make time for roses
, July 2, 2014
When you announce your retirement to the ones you work with and love, all kinds of shifts begin to happen. Some are expected and some are surprising.
Leave your mark
, May 28, 2014
All of us have dreams that psychiatrists call “escape plans.” We frequently have these dreams when the anxiety of our lives is running high. At other times we experience crisis and start scouting for a way out. And who is not looking for greener pastures?
, April 23, 2014
The announcement of my retirement to the Christ Church family has in so many ways brought me up short. I’m aware that I’m not always breathing and how I was reminded of the most profound of all spiritual practices—breathing. Mindful breathing is a discipline with more power and resources than most would expect.
Bounty of Hunger
, March 19, 2014
This year we are focusing on hunger. Inspired by our youth, each of us has been invited to take responsibility for alleviating hunger and malnutrition. One practice offered was to live on a food stamp budget for a period of time. Fasting from food can be a grace of identification with so many in the world who have little choice about when and what to eat. When I eat on a food stamp allocation, I am brought into greater solidarity with those who have little to eat and I am more passionate about its injustice. Other benefits of fasting let us experience other spiritual yearnings such as longing, thirsting and desiring.
Before and After: Sermon from March 9
, March 11, 2014
One of the enduring methods of advertising is to show pictures and watch testimonials, the before and after, of people whose lives have been dramatically improved using their remarkable products or services. Most are temptations for a makeover—to lure you into some cosmetic alteration so you will be more attractive, influential or commanding. Whether by suction on the one hand, or enhancement on the other, you are guaranteed to improve your beauty or success. Take this supplement or attend our training and you can be transfigured into a marvel of irresistible good looks and stature. Before and after.