Until he finds it

I can go months without doing a funeral, but I’ve done two funerals now in two days. Yesterday’s was for Marge who I had known for almost 18 years. Today’s was for a woman I had never met; the funeral director called me up and said the family was looking for a Methodist minister. A […]


Irreplaceable persons

Various streams of thought in my life at the moment: Marge’s funeral later this morning at the church.  Once again, moved by the story of her life that I’ve been hearing — so much I didn’t know.  There is such nobility hidden away in ordinary lives. Monday I served a day of jury duty.  Called […]



Everybody loves a good story, and inside every human being there is a good story — the story of their lives. More often than not the story does not get told and therefore is never heard. And this is a shame. Although I wouldn’t go so far as to say our stories ARE our souls, […]


At Marge’s Bedside

Crammed into an ICU room A dozen persons brought together by shared affection Keep watch — A husband, two daughters, a son and assorted friends — All dressed in matching light blue robes of sanitized hospital gowns, Surrounding the beloved, As she — Robed in well-bleached sheets, Takes her final breaths — The scene strangely […]


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 […]


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 […]



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 […]


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 […]


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 […]