New home page picture of a Springfield yard sign conveys hopeful mood and message for a spiritual formation blog

We've got a new background picture today for Ordinary Time's header. It's one of four (so far) that rotate at the top of the home page, and I think it strikes just the right note for a blog devoted to a spiritual journey in nasty, uncertain times. It looks like this: We've been driving by … Continue reading New home page picture of a Springfield yard sign conveys hopeful mood and message for a spiritual formation blog

A gallery of 18th-century Scottish and English regency men’s ponytails inspired by the pandemic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDvp_KXB12s I don't know anything about this TV series -- other than what I learned from Wikipedia, which tells me it's about a time traveler who gets plopped down in the 1745 Jacobite rebellion in Scotland. But I know just enough about 18th-century men's hair styles to want to post this video clip to Ordinary … Continue reading A gallery of 18th-century Scottish and English regency men’s ponytails inspired by the pandemic

Early spring visit to Jubilee Farm and friendly rescue cat reawaken thoughts of stewardship and new beginnings

Grass beginning to green up at Jubilee Farm, Old Jacksonville Road. Genesis 2:8-9, 15 (NRSV) And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 Out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the … Continue reading Early spring visit to Jubilee Farm and friendly rescue cat reawaken thoughts of stewardship and new beginnings

I sing of Oley, glad and big: A eulogy to a beloved cat in a time of loss and grief

Olaf (Oley) Da Vinci, ca. 2006-March 13, 2022 Dogs [and cats] come into our lives to teach us about love. They depart to teach us about loss. A new dog [or cat] never replaces an old dog [or cat], it merely expands the heart [...] Erica Jong, viral email, quoted on Doobert.com animal rescue website. … Continue reading I sing of Oley, glad and big: A eulogy to a beloved cat in a time of loss and grief

‘Words of Life’ — emails for first faith formation class on the 10 Commandments, held online due to the pandemic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WppMKwpXsQs&t=9s Editor's (admin's) note: Excerpts from emails sent to participants in a Sunday evening adult faith formation Zoom discussion that Debi and I are co-facilitating at our Lutheran church in Springfield, Illinois. It follows Words of Life: Jesus and the Promise of the Ten Commandments Today, a book with supplemental material by the Rev. Adam … Continue reading ‘Words of Life’ — emails for first faith formation class on the 10 Commandments, held online due to the pandemic

Laudato Si’, climate change and intersectionality: Not really somebody else’s problem

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d51EtDceF38&t=106s An ongoing discussion of Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si' is changing the way I think about intersectionality. It first came up several weeks ago in a Zoom dialog on the Laudato Si' Action Platform. The dialog, conducted by the Springfield Dominican Sisters' action program committee, would have been held at the motherhouse. it was … Continue reading Laudato Si’, climate change and intersectionality: Not really somebody else’s problem

Is there a theological basis for anti-vaxxer militancy in prophecies of end times?

Intriguing article on yesterday's Washington Post website by Michael Gerson, op ed columnist, former speechwriter for President George W. Bush and occasional talking head on CNN. Gerson, who is an evangelical himself, dismisses anti-vaxxer assertions of religious exemptions to vaccine mandates as "heresy compounded by lunacy." This amounts, he says, to a "substitution of libertarianism … Continue reading Is there a theological basis for anti-vaxxer militancy in prophecies of end times?

A new (church) year’s resolution poses a question — is music ‘an agnostic’s spiritual practice?’ My answer: I don’t know yet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjAuBTLdqPg&t=18s Paula Bär-Giese, soprano; and Hans Meijer, lute, in character as Katie von Bora and Martin Luther, perform 'From heaven above I come' and 'A child is born in Bethlehem' agnostic (n.) 1870, "one who professes that the existence of a First Cause and the essential nature of things are not and cannot be known" … Continue reading A new (church) year’s resolution poses a question — is music ‘an agnostic’s spiritual practice?’ My answer: I don’t know yet

A spiritual journal for my birthday — looking back over this ‘festering boil of a year’ in 2020 and 2021

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KkuoMs2MOI&list=PLrR4rlaGn2Ga5fsYl6vnCJsfU5wWeiofq&index=13 English folk singers usher out 'this festering boil of a year' (at 3:30) in December 2020. So look forward with hope to the twelvemonth a-coming, And away with this festering boil of a year; But the fire is still burning, and the world is still turning, And despite all its efforts, we're still bloody … Continue reading A spiritual journal for my birthday — looking back over this ‘festering boil of a year’ in 2020 and 2021

Connecting the dots between a gospel reading from Mark, the historical Jesus, St. Francis and monarch butterfly eggs

Brother Caterpillar and Sister Milkweed (photo Debi Edumnd Ellertsen). Mark 7 [NRSV]. Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, 2 they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. 3 (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless … Continue reading Connecting the dots between a gospel reading from Mark, the historical Jesus, St. Francis and monarch butterfly eggs