Spiritual direction journal — July

Copy of an email sent tonight (Saturday) to my spiritual director. Lightly edited in the interest of making sense and removing obvious illiteracies. Hi Sister -- Just a quick note -- quicker than usual this month -- to confirm that unless I hear otherwise from you, I'll be calling you Monday at 2:30 p.m. for our … Continue reading Spiritual direction journal — July

Swedish Lutherans: Synodical and congregational minutes on baptism and membership in the 1850s

Selected Documents: Dealing with the Organization of the First Congregations and the First Conferences of the Augustana Synod and their Growth Until 1860, Vol. 1, ed. I.O. Nothstein, Augustana Historical Society Publications, 10 (1944): 92. Chicago-Mississippi Conference Minutes, Chicago, January 4-9, 1854. 90 [92] Thereupon the following question was acted upon: "What shall be the … Continue reading Swedish Lutherans: Synodical and congregational minutes on baptism and membership in the 1850s

Jante laws: ‘Don’t get above your raisin’.”

This morning when Debi and I were going over the end-of-chapter questions for Debby Irving's Waking Up White, the Jante laws came up. Pronounced "YAN-teh," they're a series of 10 tongue-in-cheeck observations on small-town life in Scandinavia. Small-town life anywhere, as far as I'm concerned. If they can be summed up in a word or … Continue reading Jante laws: ‘Don’t get above your raisin’.”

Martha Nussbaum on Roger Williams

Martha C. Nussbaum, "The First Founder" [review of On Religious Liberty: Selections From the Works of Roger Williams, ed. James Calvin Davis], New Republic, 9 Sept. 2008 https://newrepublic.com/article/61558/the-first-founder?fbclid=IwAR07-wz1bFDtyu3DaK-xt5yDLOoUyYo7s6Y5qjqTE-C69vNiNIk0nbv9WHI. Verbatim excerpts: ... Williams wrote many books, including two lengthy philosophical treatises that are among the major works on religious toleration in the history of Western thought. … Continue reading Martha Nussbaum on Roger Williams

Luther on church, Anabaptists (copy)

Notes on my post at https://hemlandssanger.wordpress.com/2019/08/23/note-luther-quote-on-anabaptists/ on Luther's quote about the church as a "little flock of the faint-hearted, the feeble, and the ailing, who feel and recognize the wretchedness of their sins" in his sermons on John 1-4. Copied here from Hemlandssånger, Aug. 23, 2019 for convenient reference ... --- Screen shot Aug. 23, … Continue reading Luther on church, Anabaptists (copy)

Spiritual direction — January and February

Editor's note -- copy of email sent to my spiritual director this morning, updating and summing up the past month and a half. Posted here, along with earlier updates, so I can tabs on the direction I'm taking as it evolves. Hi Sister -- A quick note to confirm our appointment for 2:30 p.m. Monday … Continue reading Spiritual direction — January and February

Found poem — in a Swedish grammar book I kept in my office at at SCI-Benedictine

Editor's note -- another workshop poem I wrote when I was teaching creative writing at Springfield College in Illinois, which later merged with Benedictine University and was subsequently closed. According to the Academy of American Poets, found poems "take existing texts and refashion them, reorder them, and present them as poems. The literary equivalent of … Continue reading Found poem — in a Swedish grammar book I kept in my office at at SCI-Benedictine

Trump’s post-impeachment prayer breakfast caper and the wall of separation between church and state

"[Roger Williams] was saying that mixing church and state corrupted the church, that when one mixes religion and politics, one gets politics." -- John M. Barry, "God, Government and Roger Williams' Big Idea," Smithsonian, January 2012."Something there is that doesn't love a wall ...," Robert Frost, "Mending Wall." My research into Swedish immigration has me … Continue reading Trump’s post-impeachment prayer breakfast caper and the wall of separation between church and state

Theology, shmeology — take 2: When is an answered prayer like a kick in the pants?

Picking up on a thread -- more like an internal dialog -- that started last month when I was reading a copy of James Hazelwood's new book, Everyday Spirituality, in the doctor's office. Hazelwood is the bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's New England Synod, and he had some interesting things to say … Continue reading Theology, shmeology — take 2: When is an answered prayer like a kick in the pants?

Review of John Barry’s bio of Roger Williams — ‘chopping through four centuries of undergrowth’

Tracy Lee Simmons, "'Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul,' by John M. Barry," [review], Washington Post, Feb. 3, 2012 https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/roger-williams-and-the-creation-of-the-american-soul-by-john-m-barry/2012/01/23/gIQAhjmqnQ_story.html. Excerpts: [Lede:] Last December, when Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee confronted critics who accused him of kowtowing to political correctness by tagging the blue spruce in the statehouse as not a “Christmas tree” but … Continue reading Review of John Barry’s bio of Roger Williams — ‘chopping through four centuries of undergrowth’