Spiritual Formation in the Cemetery

Sometimes clergy and seminarians will have a slip of the tongue by referring to the seminary as a “cemetery.” This is usually followed by an ironic chuckle, as if to say, “Yes, sometimes seminary is a place of death.” Antony the Great, 4th century Egyptian Christian, had a similar experience during his early spiritual formation. … read more

Profetiza

Russell Schulz-Widmar, associate professor emeritus of Church Music at Seminary of the Southwest, asked my permission several years ago to include a meditation that I had written on the hymn, Profetiza, as part of his book, Praises Abound, published in 2012.  Russell’s book is a compendium of reflections and meditations written by his students and […]

Why Do (at Least Some) People Need to Go to Church?

I think it’s a very hard question, and it is provoked by a moment in Diana Butler Bass’s book Grounded: Finding God in the World – A Spiritual Revolution. Bass describes a time in her childhood after moving to the country when she begins to experience dirt as something to be investigated and not avoided: […]

Open to Change

This summer I fell in love with the rocky coast of Maine. Sitting on a boulder at Schoodic Point listening to squawking gulls chase after lobster boats in the bay pushed me into aesthetic bliss. For a moment I closed my eyes to absorb more deeply. My inner peace was shattered when a stranger yelled […]

Behold, I make all things new

At her birthday party last week, my goddaughter said, “Just as I had almost figured out how to be 18, now I’m 19.” I don’t know about you, but I have that experience all the time. To be a human being is to be in nearly perpetual transition. Just when we’ve almost figured out how […]

A Life of Complications

A few months ago, I made the decision to purchase an Apple Watch to better track my run mileage, pace, and heart rate.  As I began to learn more about the Apple Watch, I discovered a fascinating feature called Complications.  In the world of Apple Watch, a complication is a feature that allows the watch […]

Toward a more ‘generous intellect’

For me—an introvert who works in ministry—one of the most dreaded questions asked by an airplane seatmate is, “So what do you do?” As someone who works in a church, I usually cannot avoid my seatmates’ ensuing thoughts on Christianity, the Church, God, Zen Buddhism, sexual orientation, women in ministry, etc. It’s not that I […]

Does God answer prayers?

I have been asked that question probably once a month since my ministry began a little more than a year ago.  Of course, I always answer in the affirmative and then follow up my response with, “It may not be the answer you were looking for or expecting. Often it’s so very much better than […]

Do we know the way?

The recent tragic events in Baton Rouge, Dallas and many places all over the world have left me thinking about what our responses as Christians, as individuals and as humans should be. While reflecting on these events, a family story plays in my mind again and again. When I was fourteen years old, before the […]

You Are Enough

As a therapist, I am given the rare honor to encounter the depths of my clients’ souls by helping each of them unfold and find some meaning in life’s sometimes traumatic experiences. This intimate therapy journey sometimes raises more questions than answers and may bring about more frustration, at first, than inner peace. When I […]