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DIFFERENT AND THE SAME

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abington-1

Recently I was able to spend an hour walking around the Philadelphia area neighborhood I grew up in, just wandering and taking a few pictures. It still looked mostly the same. A few houses had additions and new color schemes, but the place still looks and feels much as it did. The children were still […]

MORE ON CONNECTION

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In 2009 a group of Native Americans did an amazing thing – a “Sacred Hoop Journey of Forgiveness” that zig-zagged through the nation to the sites of many former Indian boarding schools.  It was organized by “White Bison,” an organization that “offers sobriety, recovery, addictions prevention, and wellness/Wellbriety learning resources to the Native American community […]

WE ARE CONNECTED

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Another shooting on Erie’s streets.  For a community of roughly 100,000 souls whose history has not been considered unusually violent, there are far too many of them these days.  I serve a suburban congregation and live in a suburban home.  What is our connection to such events beyond thinking “how terrible?”  The neighborhoods we choose […]

TRUDGING WITH JESUS

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Anyone who has ever hiked a significant distance knows how much of a “trudge” it can be.  I love nature walks and find the prospect of a hike to be a pleasure.  I know how the beginning of a day of hiking can be full of excitement, how the sights and sounds that surround you […]

GOOD AND BAD RELIGION

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I write this a week and a half after 50 people died in a night-club mass shooting in Florida.  As we know, the fact that most of the victims were gay, lesbian, or trans-gendered figured prominently in the lone terrorist’s choice of targets.  And of course that terrorist was making a form of religion (Islam […]

ON BEING TARGETED

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Most of us want to live reasonably quiet, meaningful lives, but sometimes that can’t happen.  It certainly did not happen that way for those who became victims or survivors of the shooting terror attack in Florida last week. The location for the attack was chosen because it was a club frequented by lesbian, gay, and […]

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

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Native American Author and humorist Tom King created a series of satirical radio broadcasts on the CBC called “The Dead Dog Café Comedy Hour.”  One of the features was The Authentic Indian Name Generator, featuring three wheels that could automatically create names like “Rosemarie Clever Tuna” for anyone who wanted an Indian name.  The humor […]

IT’S CARRIED UNTIL IT’S NOT

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man with burden

The film is now 30 years old but it has stuck with me.  “The Mission” was about “18th century Spanish Jesuits (a Catholic order) trying to protect a remote South American Indian tribe in danger of falling under the rule of pro-slavery Portugal.”*  Based on actual events, it leads to an unhappy yet somehow inspirational […]

A HOLY MALFUNCTION?

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new-york_st-john-divine_aeolian-skinner_sm[1]

I was in the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, the incredibly grand seat of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, located in upper Manhattan.  Just as the priest was holding up the bread to be set apart for the special use of communion, a loud organ pipe suddenly blasted its single note, then faded […]

FINALLY BACK!

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The last time I posted was November, and I left off with a question to boot!  Sorry ‘bout that – kinda cheesy!  Rather than make excuses, I’ll finally tackle that question, which was:  “So why have an institutional church at all?”  Why indeed?    It starts with one of the most basic Biblical thoughts about Jesus:  […]