Showing posts from April, 2009


We have a little girl from our church sick with the flu. Not sure yet whether it's the swine flu but I heard today that her whole elementary school has been shut down until May 11. Goodness! I guess the 'authorities' are just being extra cautious. The senior minister at my church has been reading a book about the Flu Epidemic of 1918, and he's saying that one of the worst mistakes made then was that officials continued letting people congregate.

"Foundational" Moral Impulses

End of a long week. I preached at both services today. Seemed well-received, but oh, boy, I'm exhausted. (I don't preach regularly anymore. When I preached every week, or even every six weeks on a schedule, it didn't take this much out of me. Whew. ) A friend sent an interesting article from AlterNet this afternoon concerning the moral reasoning of liberals and conservatives. According to this article, Jonathan Haidt has come up with five foundational moral impulses: 1. Harm/care . It's wrong to hurt people; it's good to relieve suffering. 2. Fairness/reciprocity . Justice and fairness are good. People have certain rights that need to be upheld in social interactions. 3. In-group loyalty . People should be true to their group and be wary of threats from the outside. Allegiance, loyalty are virtues. Betrayal is bad. 4. Authority/respect . People should respect social hierarchy. Social order is necessary for human life. 5. Purity/sanctity . The body and certain aspect

A Little Respite

Oh, a day off! Yummy! Except it's not really. I have to write a sermon and put together two services for Sunday. Still, it's so nice to be at home. I'm sitting now on our back porch at our little patio table and chairs, sipping coffee, listening to the wind through our cathedral of trees. Oh, and although it will get to the 90's today, this morning the breeze it so nice and cool. I almost need a jacket. I was at one of our local hospitals yesterday at 6:30 am to pray with one of our parishioners. Although I felt how afraid she was, I was also aware of how deeply fulfilling it is to me to be a minister, to be with someone, praying, at a time like that. Thank you, God. The morning before that -- Tuesday, that would be--I was at my church at 6:45 a.m. getting ready for what some friends and I are calling our Fullness of Life Group . This was our initial meeting. Eight of us. I knew all but two of the people--no one there knew everyone else, which made it kind of ni

Life from Death: Yes, Jesus, I Believe

What an awesome experience tonight at my lectio divina group. I've been meeting with this group for over 10 years now, and it's nearly always amazing. It's as if God's Spirit just manifests and we are all suddenly AWAKE and AWARE, in our "God spot," as someone described it this evening. We take turns leading the group, and tonight was my turn. I chose the passage in John 11 about Jesus raising Lazarus, but we only read verses 17 through 26 which ends with Jesus asking Martha, "Do you believe this?" I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;26.and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" I spoke about my struggle with death...the idea of my own, and seeing my mother die in 1994. One moment "she" (my mom) was there, occupying the body lying there in the hospital bed, and the next moment, "she" was no longer there. Whatever it is that animates us as hum

"The wrath and whisper of the dove..."

It is 2:44 a.m. As part of our Easter Vigil, I promised to pray in the middle of the night. Since keeping my eyes open is a definite problem, I thought I'd share with the blogosphere something of the beautiful Good Friday Service I experienced at Broadway Baptist, my husband's church, and the church in which we were married. Here's a photo of it, which of course does not do it justice. It is a grand, majestic place. I sat there feeling swallowed up in God, eager to be filled. Broadway always publishes some beautiful quotes in the Order of Worship in order to enhance the service in general and also to use during the silence which is always built into its worship. Here are a couple of lovely ones concerning Good Friday. "This liturgy that Christ enacted on the cross represents the culmination of precisely this liturgy, the 'liturgy of the world.' This is the liturgy which reveals, ultimately, God's plan for human history, which shows the world not as some 

Tillich's Love, Power, and Justice (installment 1)

Notes from Paul Tillich's Love, Power, and Justice "Ontology: What does it mean that something is ? What are the characteristics of everything that participates in being? What does it mean to be ? "Ontology characterizes the texture of being itself...One cannot escape ontology if one wants to know! For knowing means recognizing something as being. And being is an infinitely involved texture, to be described by the never-ending task of ontology. "Early philosophers, when they tried to speak in terms of the logos about the nature of being, could not do it without using words like love, power, and justice. Metaphysically speaking, love, power, and justice cannot be derived from anything that is. They have ontological dignity. "In Plato, we find the doctrine of eros as the power which drives to the union with the true and the good itself. In his interpretation of the ideas as the essences of everything, he sees them as the 'powers of being.' And justice for

Grateful for the passage of time

I'm 53 years old. Who would ever have thought I'd be this OLD! That's the thing about getting older and the passage of time, it just creeps up, and suddenly I'm definitely no longer young. I have certainly felt old during Lent this year...every week I've been working my rear end off, 15 hour days, trying to get done everything I set out for myself to do. I'm SO glad it's over. Next week I can look forward to getting back to my normal routine and not coming home exhausted . Seriously, tonight I came in and could barely walk to the bedroom, my feet were hurting so badly. (The good thing about that, though, is that David felt sorry for me and gave me a foot rub!) Time just passes so quickly. I remember my mother reflecting on this once--when she was in her late 50's or early 60s, probably. She said she still felt she was the same person she was in her twenties. I guess she meant that her sense of self had not changed. I know I'm the same person, too, an