My goal this month is to reach the corners of the country. Last week found me with the wonderful people of the Garaventa Center at the University of Portland. Karen Eifler is not only a marvelous educator and writer, but host. I was able to meet with around 60 education leaders on the topic of Let’s Talk about Truth. We discussed ide
I know. I never send out newsletters on Saturday. We are all trying to step away for our computers for the weekend, and trust me, I’m about to do that, too. In fact, after an incredibly hectic last couple of months, I’m going to try to be offline for the whole coming Holy Week to do some retreat time for myself. In preparation, I have done a good amount of reading in the last couple weeks on Caiaphas and the many ways of understanding his statement: “You do not understand that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole na
So, once again I am trapped in the middle seat of a long flight. This one to Seattle where I will be working with the pastoral administrators of the Archdiocese at their annual gathering. I’ve had the privilege of working with them several times now and this time I’ll be sharing for the first time material from my current writing project on Redeeming Power. I’m a little nervous about this… and also very excited. Curious to see how the research I’ve done will intersect with their experience in parish life.
Yes, it’s either feast or famine. Sometimes you don’t hear from me for weeks on end and then sometimes I write only a few days after you last heard from me. Perhaps it is because I am trapped on a plane in the wee hours of the morning en route to Denver for the Mennonite Health Assembly. I always think that I am going to do some major thinking whenever I have a long flight. Here I am undisturbed for four hours with noise-blocking headphones. I could write a whole chapter! Maybe half a book! And yet, there is something about having to get up at 4:45 a.m.
This week I am once again back in Charlotte, North Carolina working with the next class of Wexner Fellows teaching a leadership seminar in Difficult Conversations. This particular group is comprised of Jewish professionals in their thirties and forties years who serve the wider Jewish community as rabbis and philanthropist
The rain is a steady drip outside my window right now and I’ve just returned from Compline, which at the Trappist monastery in Conyers, GA is prayed entirely in the dark. The monks have all the psalms memorized, so it is not a problem for them. For me… well, I’m content to just listen. Many of the words I cannot quite catch. They echo because the church is large and we are few and the voices a bit faint. But the Canticle of Simeon… that I can recognize: “Now, Lord, you can let your servant go in peace.” And the wider theme of asking
This past week I have had the extraordinary blessing of being in Florida for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd catechist formation. It’s a blessing because… well, it is Florida… and it is warm. Not to be underestimated after a semester in the middle of Minnesota. But more so because I’ve gotten to be with a whole course of wonderful people including my dear sister (Happy birthday, Janet!) and longtime catechist Carol P. Carol and I have crossed paths in the CGS world on any number of occasions—not only in Florida, but in South Dakota. When rental cars were pricey she found
This year with Christmas being on a Sunday (to the joy of liturgists and choir directors everywhere), the church calendar goes a bit wonky and the feast of the Baptism of the Lord got bumped to a Monday, but the lectionary tries to make it up to John the Baptist this coming Sunday by giving him center stage again.
Happy New Year! I hope that you have enjoyed (and continue to enjoy) a wonderful Christmas season. I have finally made it back home to Atlanta as of yesterday after spending the fall semester in Collegeville, Minnesota and am now set upon the urgent task of fixing my windshield (which somehow go a large crack in the journey) and fixing my hair (which has me currently looking like a banshee). Hopefully both of these will be remedied within a week, before I set out for a couple of CGS courses in Florida—the best way I know to bounce back from the cold of Minnesota.
The Stella Maris Chapel is a two mile walk from St. John’s Abbey on a winding path along the edge of Lake Sagatagan. For much of the year, there are points along the path that you can no longer see the chapel because the foliage is so thick—green in summer, gold in the fall. But then suddenly the chapel will reappear before you like a jewel on an island in the middle of the water and a short plank bridge crossing over to it.