Grace Notes

Grace Notes – May 2017

Over the past nine months, we have explored the world’s religions in classes, book clubs, covenant groups, films, and in our services. We have found much to scratch our heads over – from the plethora of gods in the Yoruba religions and Hinduism, to the idea that there is no self in Buddhism. We’ve found … Continued

Grace Notes – April 2017

The twitch begins early – January, really. Sometimes December 25, if the right gift goes to the right person. But the twitch definitely begins in January, when the first catalogs appear in the mailbox. It doesn’t matter how much snow appears – the plans begin. On February 2nd, the words “the groundhog saw his shadow” … Continued

Grace Notes – February 2017

There has been a lot of emphasis lately – both in the news and from the pulpit – about our call to resistance. It’s a call, of course, to not just see when our principles and basic human rights are threatened, but to do something about it. But how do we see it? And how … Continued

Grace Notes – January 2017

My spiritual practice right now is to sing a hymn a day – I am going through the hymnal and singing them, one a day, in order, and then reflecting on it. Sometimes I’m caught up in the melody, or a memory, and sometimes I’m caught up in how much or little affection I feel … Continued

Grace Notes – November 2016

On October 23rd, members of the congregation gathered to choose a builder for the new church and parish hall. By way of opening the meeting, I shared these words: A year and a half ago, the unthinkable happened. And I have held you as you grieved and have been cheering you on as you make … Continued

Grace Notes – October 2016

Whenever a question came up at the dinner table – about history, or science, or art, or just about anything that wasn’t “how was school today?” – my father would send me to the book-lined living room with the words “go look it up.” As a result, I fell in love with books, ideas, facts, … Continued

Grace Notes – September 2016

One of the joys of my beginning a second year at this beloved congregation – for you and for me – is that we already know each other a bit. We have a sense of our relationships, how we approach projects and ideas, how we celebrate and mourn together. It also makes it possible to … Continued

Grace Notes – June 1016

I am afraid I have no witty or poignant start to my column today – most of the summer stories I could find involved baseball, a sport I don’t care for; and I can’t seem to come up with any personal anecdotes about summer. There are songs – “Summer in the City”, “In the Good … Continued

Grace Notes – May 2016

As a child, I was a voracious reader. I spent more of my time reading than just about anything – when I got too old for picture books, I absorbed Nancy Drew mysteries. By the time I finished those, I was reading well enough that Mom introduced me to Agatha Christie. Even ‘going outside to … Continued

Grace Notes – April 2016

One of the questions that I didn’t get to during the Question Box sermon was, “What propels evangelicals to believe their myths and strange convictions?” It’s a question that contains several other questions, about the basis of fundamental Christian theology, facing contradictions in sacred texts, and the one I am led to answer today, the … Continued