Monthly Archives: March 2011

A Moving Day (literally)

How well I remember this day 10 years ago.  March 31, 2001 was a Saturday.  I had spent a number of days grieving what I was leaving, and excited, nervous about what I was moving to.  The previous Sunday had been my last after nearly 10 years as pastor at my home congregation of St. Stephen’s […]

The Beginning of Praise

Mary Gordon’s poem, “Morning in a New Land” ends with these words: “The last mist fell away, And under the trees, beyond time’s brittle drift, I stood like Adam in his lonely garden On that first morning, shaken out of sleep, Rubbing his eyes, listening, parting the leaves, Like tissue on some vast, incredible gift.” […]

The Best Bookstore in the World!

The Strand Bookstore is at 12th Street at Broadway in Manhattan.  It’s a place where, when I look at my watch, I find that I’ve been there for half a day!  Her’es the description of an experience at the Strand, from this morning’s New York Times: DEAR DIARY: I suspect that many of us have had […]

As You Journey Through Lent …

How is your prayer, during your Lenten journey? This might be helpful.  It’s an excerpt from a book by Charles M. Olson, entitled “The Wisdom of the Seasons”: “The liturgical color for the season of Lent is purple, which characterizes waiting and yearning in the experiences of repen­tance, suffering, death, relinquishment, brokenness, alienation, abandonment, loneliness, […]

Not a Typical Wednesday Morning

This has not been a typical Wednesday morning.  I was out, at 6:30, walking — to the 7:00 Ash Wednesday worship at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church.  (I have long told folks that St. Martin’s will be my congregation in retirement, because I’ll be able to walk.) I begin Lent each year with the 7:00 AM […]

Listening for what the sermon will be about

Yesterday morning I was doing the commentary reading for this Sunday’s sermon.  Patty said, “Oh yeah: you’re preaching this Sunday.”  I said, “Yeah!  What’s up with that?”  (This past Sunday, our Theologian in Residence filled the pulpit; the Sunday before was LSA Sunday, and one of the college students offered a witness during the sermon […]

Early Morning

Winter still The programmed thermostat fires the furnace heat blowing into the cold air A mug taken from the cupboard doors closed against the heat The cold clay is filled with hot strong elixir

Perhaps the Most Important Book I’ve Ever Read

Belden Lane’s “The Solace of Fierce Landscapes” is, perhaps, the most important book I’ve ever read.  It is a meditation on God, written from experiences in fierce landscapes — such as a desert, such as mountainous geography, such as a nursing home.  The book is written out of prayer.  It must be read slowly.  It […]

About As Late As It Can Be!

It’s March!!!  Who saw that coming???  Wasn’t it New Year’s Eve just last week? Actually, the past weeks have been unusually relaxed for me because I haven’t had to turn immediately from the frenzy of Christmas to planning for Lent! This year, Easter is about as late as it can be.  Easter is the first […]