Freedom From, Freedom For

The enormous, irregular standing-stone that is Freethinkers’ Rock rises at the edge of Turkey Bottom Creek on ranch land in the Texas Hill Country currently being developed by the YMCA into a place for children and adults to be immersed in the natural world. My friend Jill took a group of us to explore the … read more

SHQ in the Holy Land: Dawn in the Desert

Today we were fed the bread of heaven at dawn in the desert. Cynthia presided as the desert slowly woke, a palette of pale rose and lavender, her words threaded with birdsong. – Jane       Two pilgrims (Jane Patterson and Richelle Thompson) waiting on the sunrise over the Judean desert. – John 

SHQ in the Holy Land: Western Wall

Rising seniors, Richelle Thompson and Reagan Gonzalez, dressed for the Western Wall and Temple Mount. – Jane The women’s area at the western wall. We joined other women of faith in holding up the world with prayer, leaning into the wall, smooth and warm as bone. – Jane Soundprint of birds at the Western Wall: The […]

SHQ in the Holy Land: Church of John the Baptist

We entered the Church of John the Baptist, in Ein Kerem (“spring of the vineyard”), along with a group of pilgrims, who began to sing in the resonant space. This altar has been built in the cave where John, the courageous prophet, is said to have been born: song, prophecy, and prayer blending around us. […]

Sowing Holy Questions in the Holy Land: Nablus Road

For the next two weeks, the Sowing Holy Questions blog breaks from its normal routine to follow members of our seminary faculty, including the Very Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge and the Rev. Jane Patterson, as they travel together in the Holy Land. This sign is on our street, a silent witness to chaos and heartache […]

Sowing Holy Questions in the Holy Land: Arrival

The advance team (Jane and Dow Patterson, John Lewis, Pat Bridwell, Katherine Buzzini, and Kathy Sakai) have arrived at St. George’s in Jerusalem. There is such a deep joy in returning to this place and people who have become beloved: the sound of the Ramadan cannon at sundown to mark the end of the day’s […]

Sowing Holy Questions in the Holy Land: Departure

For the next two weeks, the Sowing Holy Questions blog breaks from its normal routine to follow members of our seminary faculty, including the Very Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge and the Rev. Jane Patterson, as they travel together in the Holy Land. My carry-on bag: two New Yorkers, an iPad, and the most recent book […]

The Long Conversation

“The long conversation” is one way I refer to the Bible in my New Testament courses. The Bible is a record of thousands of years of conversation about and insights into a particular people’s experiences of God. I’m astonished when people speak of the coherence of the biblical texts—have they ever read the whole thing? […]