Category Notes

The day after

So many words – too many, perhaps, though many of them are very good – about this day after the election. Among them, Parker Palmer wrote about our need now to “learn to listen beneath my own and other people’s political rhetoric for what Howard Thurman called ‘the sound of the genuine’ in each of […]

A lean abundance

Harvest is over for most of the agrarian folks in this part of the world, though here in Wayne County some apples remain to be gathered in. The color still showing in the landscape is muted, and a good rain or wind will soon turn the hills pensive gray. Some of my neighbors are talking […]

A steady center holding

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, God’s mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning, as sure as the sunrise.” Those words from Lamentations are part of my first prayer every morning when, after night has offered a buffer of rest between yesterday and today, the world is made new. […]

Time to saunter

“When we walk, we naturally go to the fields and woods: What would become of us, if we walked only in a garden or a mall?” wondered Henry David Thoreau (“Walking,” The Atlantic, May 1862). When I started to reread his article today, I wondered how he could sit still to write all those words […]

How silently, how silently

When New Year’s Eve becomes New Year’s Day and 2015 becoms 2016, while others are uncorking bottles of champaigne or watching fireworks and singing “Auld Lang Syne,” something else will happen that I hope not to miss. In years past I’ve partied a bit at that moment, sometimes at a First Night celebration, or (more likely) I’ve […]


What was it that motivated Abram to get up and leave family and home for an uncertain future in an unknown place (Gen. 11:31—12:4)? What would motivate any of us to do that? What is it in us – emptiness, hunger, yearning, hope, frustration, dissatisfaction, aspiration – that would so complete and fulfill our life, […]

Two lessons from the Mayflower

The day on which I write this is the anniversary 395 years ago of the sailing of the ship Mayflower for the New World. It was chartered by a group of merchants known as “the London Adventurers” and carried 102 settlers. I can only guess what visions and dreams motivated those Adventurers and settlers. I’d […]

On the brink of everything

Twice in a handful of days my attention has been hijacked by a phrase that brings me new insight into Easter and the new life that is spread all around us. Courtney Martin, in the opening line of her blog at, wrote, “My daughter is on the brink of everything.” She described how her […]

Welcoming what comes

As Advent approaches, with Christmas hard on its heels, one of the first people who come to mind for me this year is Herod. Odd, isn’t it? Sheryl’s attention turns to the Christmas movies showing on the Hallmark Channel and to the lighted reindeer we just put out to graze on the front lawn. My […]

The cicadas

This evening the cicadas have taken up the chorus they began last week, signaling the dwindling days of summer and autumn’s approach. The heat will still come, but it will start to lose its edge. Everything in nature in this part of the world moves at once toward its fullness and its rest. How different […]