‘They wanted a king, what they got was bread’ — some preliminary thoughts on the feeding of 5,000 and the Eucharist

Benedictine Church of the Multiplication at Tabgha in Galilee. John 6 [NRSV]. [...] 10 Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they[c] sat down, about five thousand in all. 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who … Continue reading ‘They wanted a king, what they got was bread’ — some preliminary thoughts on the feeding of 5,000 and the Eucharist

Yiddish author’s prayer jotted down on scrap paper brings joy — and a call to do better — in dark, divisive times

Memorial to Bashevis Singer in Biłgoraj, Poland (Wikipedia, Creative Commons) Discovered while I was looking for something else: A remarkable prayer by Nobel Prize-winning Jewish-American author Isaac Bashevis Singer. I was reading coverage of the struggle to form a new governing majority in Israel's parliament, and I was pulled right in by a headline that said … Continue reading Yiddish author’s prayer jotted down on scrap paper brings joy — and a call to do better — in dark, divisive times

Supreme Court’s drift to right-wing fundamentalism alarms ACLU, Jewish temple in Philadelphia

Editor's (moderator's) note. In early November the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case brought by a Catholic Social Services of Philadelphia seeking to opt out of the city's requirement that social service agencies serve clients irrespective of race, creed or sexual orientation. It was one of the very first cases heard after … Continue reading Supreme Court’s drift to right-wing fundamentalism alarms ACLU, Jewish temple in Philadelphia

Of teacher-bashing, political vitriol … and a cure for invective in Luther’s catechism

Editor's (admin's) note. I'm sharing an email message to a family member replying to a blast email headlined "Everyone Wants Kids in School -- Except for the People Who Are Supposed to Be Teaching them!" [Bang mark in the original.] We've gone round and round before about what I perceive as teacher-bashing, and this time … Continue reading Of teacher-bashing, political vitriol … and a cure for invective in Luther’s catechism

Notes & quotes: ELCA teaching document on civic engagement, church-state relations; background in 2014 article

D R A F T A couple of resources that are right down my alley as I struggle with the conceptual framework for an expanded study of how Swedish immigrant churches in Chicago and the upper Midwest adapted in the 1850s to an essentially Protestant American culture where churches were voluntary associations not supported by … Continue reading Notes & quotes: ELCA teaching document on civic engagement, church-state relations; background in 2014 article

Notes & Quotes: Article on Joe Biden’s faith in The Washington Post

Screen grab of the Post's website this morning. Seen today on the Washington Post website (the second Sunday after Epiphany, no less!), a perceptive article on President-elect Joe Biden's Catholic faith that raises some of the same issues I hope to touch on in my expanded study of cultural issues in the old Swedish-American Augustana … Continue reading Notes & Quotes: Article on Joe Biden’s faith in The Washington Post

Notes on a review of an important new book about Faulkner, the Civil War and race (with a tangent on grad school in English at UT-Knoxville in the ’60s)

What Faulkner recognized was the ubiquity of such struggles over identity and their centrality to the American experience—the way that the question “Who am I?” is always connected to the question “Who are we?” -- Casey Cep, review of Michael Gorra, The Saddest Words: William Faulkner’s Civil War, The New Yorker, Nov. 23, 2020 I … Continue reading Notes on a review of an important new book about Faulkner, the Civil War and race (with a tangent on grad school in English at UT-Knoxville in the ’60s)

After the tumult, a moment of peace … and a moment for peacemakers

St. John's Episcopal-Lafayette Square in background. Business Insider, Nov. 7, 2020. It's been quite a week for peacemakers! Sunday, Nov. 1, was All Saints' Day, and the assigned gospel reading was the version of the Beatitudes in the Gospel according to St. Matthew. Including this (which isn't in Luke's version): "Blessed are the peacemakers, for … Continue reading After the tumult, a moment of peace … and a moment for peacemakers