Showing up

18
Oct

Showing up

Once upon a time he had been a pastor. Some twenty years ago I had been with him on a retreat for pastors.  I didn’t known him well, but he had told a story at that retreat which had stayed with me over all the years.  The story was this: At the end of worship […]

17
Oct

Not really grumpy old geezers afterall

A conversation about compassion from last week with Joe lingers with me. I think that in our usual stressed out state of mind, our capacity for compassion seems extremely limited. Joe suggested compassion seemed “unnatural” to us. It seems rather to me that compassion is the natural state that is rediscovered when we are able […]

16
Oct

Homesick

Once again, I’m not sure what to write about. I was up late last night finishing off a eulogy for a funeral this morning, and getting a grant application together for our HIV/AIDS retreat in June (the deadline to get it in is today.) So I’m tired. I ate cookies and cereal late at night […]

15
Oct

What is

At the outset, I don’t know that this post will have a “theme.”  This morning is an unusual Sunday in so far as I won’t be preaching later.  My friend David is preaching, pre-arranged so as to give me a break from the process so I could focus on getting other stuff done; specifically, church […]

14
Oct

Getting candy for truth telling

In my children’s sermons, I generally just come up with an idea and run with it with the kids — not a whole lot of pre-planing.  Last Sunday, I was casting about for some way to connect to the Job passage I was going to preach about later in the service with the adults. The […]

13
Oct

My life in sports

When I was a youth, I was consumed with sports. I poured over the sports pages and soaked up statistics. I spent countless hours with my older brother throwing the football or having a catch with a baseball. In ninth grade, I remember having to write in my English class what I wanted to be […]

12
Oct

Autumn Days

These are some of the best days of the year, these autumn days when the colors burst forth so brilliantly in their swan song, before the leaves all fall revealing the trees so barren, before the grand larceny is committed with turned back clocks, robbing us of the exquisite late afternoon light. On crisp Autumn […]

11
Oct

Rorzak Tests and wondering who we are

I often have the impression that my sermons serve as a kind of a spiritual Rorzak Test, the psychological test where insight is revealed into someone’s psyche through the pictures the person conjures up in random ink blots.  What I imagine myself to be saying on a given Sunday morning and what people hear me […]

11
Oct

The Eulogy for Marge Mortensen

The Eulogy for Marge Mortensen Marge was born on June 27, 1935 in Newark. Her brother Henry followed her into this world in less than a year, so they grew up like twins.  Her father was a tool and dye maker. When Marge was a teenager, her parents bought a lot in Lake Parsippany and, over the […]

10
Oct

The Eulogy for Betty Jenninigs

Betty Jennings was born on September 13, 1924 into a loving family that consisted of her mother, her father, and her brother Wes.  Somewhat shy by nature and frail physically, Betty stayed close to her home and her parents, rarely venturing very far away, caring for her parents as their health declined, dealing with the […]

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