‘Swedes in Roger William’s Garden’

Proposal for the paper I'm scheduled to present next month at the 22nd annual Conference on Illinois History sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Conference program and registration information are available HERE. Sessions will be conducted by Zoom, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. My session will be from 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 … Continue reading ‘Swedes in Roger William’s Garden’

Spiritual journal for August — further thoughts on Word and sacrament in a time of pandemic

Email sent today to my spiritual director, lightly edited. Since it quotes extensively from this blog (and WordPress isn't letting me do block quotations the way I want to), I am putting my email message in lightface italics and leaving quoted material in Roman type. Hi Sister -- [* * *] Not very much to … Continue reading Spiritual journal for August — further thoughts on Word and sacrament in a time of pandemic

‘Dinner church’ pastor: When you can’t go to church, look around you

Emily M.D. Scott, "If the Church Door Is Closed, Find the Sacred on the Road," New York Times, 19 July 2020 https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/19/opinion/if-the-church-door-is-closed-find-the-sacred-on-the-road.html Excerpts: Priests and pastors across the church have been grasping for metaphors to help us make sense of this time away from the table, and one another. Some have framed it as a … Continue reading ‘Dinner church’ pastor: When you can’t go to church, look around you

Spiritual direction — journal for June

Copy of email (lightly edited) sent yesterday to my spiritual director, summarizing what I've been trying to do in the past month and suggesting an agenda for our next session. Jun 19, 2020, 7:44 PM Hi, Sister -- Just a note to confirm our spiritual direction meeting at 2:30 p.m. and give you a general … Continue reading Spiritual direction — journal for June

A sustainable ‘new normal’? Maybe, with a little help from the Holy Spirit — stray thoughts for Pentecost and Trinity Sunday

Video clip prepared for Pentecost Sunday service. Offer valid at any time. It's been a brutal spring for everybody, but -- for reasons I can't quite explain -- lately I've felt like maybe we're beginning to turn a corner. It's been three months now since Debi and I went into quarantine just as the COVID-19 … Continue reading A sustainable ‘new normal’? Maybe, with a little help from the Holy Spirit — stray thoughts for Pentecost and Trinity Sunday

Of outward signs, inward grace and Pastor Nadia’s prayer for a time of pandemic when the sacraments can’t be celebrated

Screenshot from Pastor Nadia's FB post. Click HERE for permalink. Click HERE for text. Sometimes you find exactly what you need at exactly the right moment, and you don't know why. Serendipity? Coincidence? The Holy Spirit at work? In 12-step recovery meetings, sometimes you'll hear the old-timers say a coincidence is what you call it … Continue reading Of outward signs, inward grace and Pastor Nadia’s prayer for a time of pandemic when the sacraments can’t be celebrated

Can’t take communion in the time of coronavirus? Pray. Can’t go to church? Pray. Be persistent in prayer.

How do you do church when you can't go to church? Before the COVID-19 outbreak came to town, I didn't realize how much of my spiritual life centered on going to church. Now, after two weeks of "social distancing," it's causing me to reassess. As usual, my first reaction to social distancing was a wisecrack. … Continue reading Can’t take communion in the time of coronavirus? Pray. Can’t go to church? Pray. Be persistent in prayer.