Next year in Jersusalem? Keeping the faith in a time of pandemic, absence and exile

Everydayness in Jerusalem -- stray cat surveys his domain in the Old City. A couple of days ago we brought several weeks' worth of magazines in from the garage, where we quarantine our incoming mail. So I've been binge-reading the Christian Century, and an article from the Oct. 7 issue reached out and grabbed me. … Continue reading Next year in Jersusalem? Keeping the faith in a time of pandemic, absence and exile

Debriefing ‘Swedes in Roger Williams’ Garden’ — notes and a copy of the script for my Oct. 7 ALPLM presentation on acculturation and creolization

Presenting my paper to ALPLM's virtual Conference on Illinois History. Some ideas and observations that came to me presenting my paper, "Swedes in Roger Williams' Garden: Acculturation in Immigrant Churches, 1848-1860" at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum's annual Conference on Illinois History. Plus a couple of pictures -- including a very nice picture … Continue reading Debriefing ‘Swedes in Roger Williams’ Garden’ — notes and a copy of the script for my Oct. 7 ALPLM presentation on acculturation and creolization

Rethinking grief, detachment, the Book of Job and the engravings of William Blake (!) in a time of pandemic

William Blake, Illustrations of the Book of Job, Plate 21 William Blake has never been exactly my cup of tea. When it comes to English Romantic poets, I'm more of a Byron and Wordsworth guy, and I like cats too much to get much pleasure out of thinking about Blake's tiger "burning bright, / In the … Continue reading Rethinking grief, detachment, the Book of Job and the engravings of William Blake (!) in a time of pandemic

Looking ahead to Advent, Christmas and a season of grief in a time of pandemic

I shared this article to Facebook, am linking it here for future reference ... Nathan Kirkpatrick "It's time to talk about Advent in a pandemic," Faith & Leadership, Duke Divinity School, Sept. 1, 2020 https://faithandleadership.com/nathan-kirkpatrick-its-time-talk-about-advent-pandemic?fbclid=IwAR0wSZUHEb75lTnB1kOg7NfHwvDeeN2A33ha1WYj9WvGy9-woHVKIacDEBw. Nathan Kirkpatrick is managing director, Leadership Education at Duke Divinity EXCERPTS: A colleague posted to Facebook last week that his … Continue reading Looking ahead to Advent, Christmas and a season of grief in a time of pandemic

‘Letting grace renew us’ — a little book by a Swedish dean of Harvard Divinity and the transformative power of the Holy Spirit

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QviA2iOsOo Gott ist gegenwärtig [God himself is present]. Heilig-Geist-Kirche, Menden, Germany When we got our mail out of quarantine earlier this week, a little volume by Krister Stendahl titled Energy for Life: Reflections on the Theme "Come Holy Spirit -- Renew the Whole Creation" tumbled out. Perhaps I should explain. The mail wasn't directed to … Continue reading ‘Letting grace renew us’ — a little book by a Swedish dean of Harvard Divinity and the transformative power of the Holy Spirit

Word, sacrament, a Lutheran chorale and reading the bible: Lessons from a Swedish immigrant church in Chicago during a time of cholera

First phrase of chorale by Philipp Nicolai Svenska Psalmbok (1819), Nos. 55, 412. O Gud! ditt ord och sakramentLåt aldrig bliva från oss vändt ...-- Svenska Psalmbok (1819), No. 412, v. 6[O God, let your word and sacrament / never be turned away from us ...] No doubt it's just a coincidence, but since I … Continue reading Word, sacrament, a Lutheran chorale and reading the bible: Lessons from a Swedish immigrant church in Chicago during a time of cholera

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

Loaves, fishes and Luther’s concept of the Word as sacrament: How do you do church when you can’t go to church? (Pentecost IX)

Byzantine columns at Church of the Multiplication (Brotvermehrungskirche), Galilee. Matthew 14 (NRSV): ... 14 When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. 15 When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the … Continue reading Loaves, fishes and Luther’s concept of the Word as sacrament: How do you do church when you can’t go to church? (Pentecost IX)

‘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