Monthly Archives: October 2010

What Our Congregation Is About – III

As our Ministry Associate, Doug Cummings, and I are working through Diana Butler Bass’ “Christianity for the Rest of Us,” we’re finding connections between her research and what our congregation is about.  This paragraph, describing a congregation that she researched, could describe us as well! “[The congregation’s] leaders realized that they could no longer assume […]

Each Morning, A New Gift

Four years ago last night, Patty watched as I was put into an ambulance at the Williamsburg hospital, to be transferred to Norfolk General.  They were so concerned about me in the Williamsburg ICU that a Williamsburg nurse climbed into the ambulance to assist the crew.  (I remember nothing of this, of course.)  Patty did not […]

What Our Congregation Is About – II

We finished another “Book of Faith” study last night, this one exploring passages in Paul’s letter to the Romans.  I chose this study for the fall, and timed it to end just before Reformation Sunday, because Romans 3 is the keynote for Lutheran theology. But how do we avoid what Bonhoeffer called “cheap grace?”  (In […]

“The Face of God Standing There With a Casserole”

In his Saturday morning radio show, Bob Edwards has been inviting listeners to contribute to a “This I Believe” feature, a reprise of the same thing that Edward R. Murrow famously did, decades ago. Heidi Flatin alerted me to one that she heard on Edwards’ October 15 show. I’ve printed the transcript below. It’s refreshing […]

Practicing the Faith

My mind races from one thing to another. On facebook yesterday, seeing a post about Christine O’Donnell’s latest boneheaded statements. Clicking the link provided to read the article on the NPR website.  The article is awfully short. Thinking the Wilmington News-Journal’s website would offer more. Clicking that. Finding that there’s not only an article, but […]

What Our Congregation Is About – I

Ministry Associate Doug Cummings and I are working through the book, “Christianity for the Rest of Us,”  and taking time to talk about it.  The book is by Diana Butler Bass, and it presents her findings and conclusions after spending time with mainline congregations experiencing renewal.  (I proclaimed this to be the “key note” book […]

A Step Towards Civility?

I love this item, submitted by a guy named Bill Wertheim, in this morning’s “Metropolitan Diary” feature in the New York Times: Dear Diary: I travel in the elevator, down to the street and the local coffee bar. On the way, a young woman, wearing ear buds, quietly takes them out and looks down, demurely. […]

Religion and Politics

A friend of mine is running for the U.S. Senate in my home state of Delaware. Up until September 14, Chris had not a prayer of winning (in my humble opinion). But now he’s the heavy favorite in the general election – because the “Tea Party” candidate upset the previously never-defeated Republican candidate, Mike Castle, […]

I missed the Theodor Fliedner commemoration!

October 4 was the commemoration for Theodor Fliedner. I missed it! But, think of it this way: this is the closest I’ve ever come to commemorating ol’ Theodor. So let’s pause for a moment. Who was Theodor Fliedner? Anyone at St. Stephen knows him well — because he’s in our stained glass windows! (Well, maybe […]


What a couple of sentences, from David Brooks’ column today: “[S]uccess has a way of depersonalizing its beneficiaries. From the moment kids are asked to subdue their passions in order to get straight As to the time they arrive at a company and are asked to work 70 hours a week climbing the ladder, people […]