Year: 2021

What I love about Advent

“I love wandering with the wisemen. I love watching the stars with the shepherds. I love seeing the mess and dirt of a manger, and knowing Jesus is born right in the middle of that mess.”

Read More »

A Chaplain’s Perspective: Essay III: It’s Been Three Months

The beginning point of every chaplain encounter with patients, families and staff is to be a compassionate presence who can keep your head when frequently the people around you cannot. In this way, a chaplain becomes acutely aware that there are times when the reality of the moment can be too much, and a patient or family can be overwhelmed with emotion and the ability to think is unattainable. Emotion can overload the cognitive brain; this can occur in times of crisis such as a new and very difficult diagnosis or the death of a loved one.                 

Read More »

More thoughts on making a retreat: Hints to make your retreat experience special

Think of your retreat as wine tasting.  When you go to taste wine you don’t drink everything, you don’t like everything and you don’t buy everything.  The same can be said for your retreat-you are going to like some of the program and not like some of the program.  And you are going to wonder which parts you should do and which you shouldn’t.  Taste them all, or most of them but don’t “buy” the ones you don’t like.

Read More »

Advent Care

“Given the very difficult days that we and all our neighbors are all experiencing as the COVID pandemic, including the most recent new variant in South Africa, I suspect we would all benefit from not only longer seasons of Advent as we continue to journey into the troubled 2020s.”

Read More »

Clear Windows

“A religious icon is a window into the realm of heaven.  When I write an icon, I often think of myself as the glass.  The ego part of me creates all sorts of smudges, nicks and dust.  It’s inevitable to the human condition that this would be so.  I try to get as clear as possible by sitting in prayer, but I have to resign myself to never being completely transparent.”

Read More »

A Blue Christmas

“Some churches acknowledge that this season can be much different from how most people appear to feel. The churches deliberately draw in those who grieve, feel lost, or are alone. The usual date for such services is on the winter solstice, the “Longest Night” of the year. This year that date comes on December 22nd.”

Read More »