Telling the sacred story, Part 1

This is the first of a series that began as an exercise -- a training exercise for those pursuing a call to spiritual companioning (or, as it is often called, spiritual direction).  Living into the charism of a listening ministry requires of all of us that we pursue, each and every day, the continued path of our own spiritual formation.  My telling of my own sacred story is a result of just that formation project and the kind of ongoing work that I do.  I heard wise words this morning, from the Rev. Michele H. Morgan at St. Mark's Episcopal Church.  She was talking about the Gospel text of the…
Read More

Primary Questions: What Do You Mean by Freedom?

Every day this week and last, when I put on the funny looking bicycle helmet and tentatively climb aboard my bright red cruiser to head to the beach, I find that my mind is flooded with a single question:  why, my friend, do you drive all this way and go to all this trouble just to do this one thing? Yes, I am on vacation.  And I am on vacation in one of my favorite places.  I come here over and over again, whenever I can.  I don't golf, I don't play tennis, and really, I don't swim.  I come here for another reason.  I come here to do one…
Read More

Your brain is social…

As Paul Costello, President and Founder of the New Story Leadership project, looked out at the crowd last night in Baxter Hall, he said to all of us assembled there, “Stories can imprison, or stories can empower.” And for the next two hours, we sat and listened to the 2017 fellows of NLS, five 20-somethings from Palestine, 5 from Israel, as they told us their stories – what brought them there, their struggles, their triumphs, their memories, their hopes and dreams for the future.  They told us about a world and a life that we only read about; they were brave and confident and, dare I say, filled with just…
Read More

Maybe this is the explanation…

If you meet me at a party and ask me the great American question, you know the "what do you do with yourself" question, you could get a variety of answers, depending on my mood, the phase of the moon, the day of the week...you get the idea.   Someone who has accepted that her life is a tapestry of things has a few choices when she responds to that question. However, if you find me in a particularly brave state, you might get this answer:  I am busy living into a call to the ministry of spiritual direction. This is the answer that is closest to my heart, and…
Read More

The light is there, if you look for it…

Sometimes, like today, I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sit in awe as the new sun makes itself known in some beautiful setting. I try to take that opportunity when given, because, even though I am by nature an early riser, I often find it difficult to see the sun rise amidst the buildings and the emotional static that comes from living in an urban setting.  Today was one of those days when I took the blessing offered. For me, there is something uniquely mystical about that moment when the light first appears.  This morning, I came out onto the balcony with my tea long before the…
Read More

Catching up on a little reading…

What good is a slightly rainy vacation if you can't catch up on a little reading?  And my backlog is substantial.  For example, when the new Diana Butler Bass work Grounded  magically appeared in my Kindle carousel the other day, I cringed as I remembered that I had not yet finished her last book, Christianity without Religion (2012).  I like to read an author's work sequentially whenever possible so that I can follow the thread of their thinking and theorizing.  That quirk in my personality meant that it was time to finish Christianity without Religion, so I picked it up again or I would never be able to begin reading Grounded, a book I have…
Read More

Subversive Christmas…

I'm a little obsessed with the idea of the 12 Days of Christmas.  It all began last year, when we visited George Washington's Mount Vernon for the Illuminations. You can read some of my thoughts about the true 12 days of Christmas (meaning the days following Dec. 25 and ending at Epiphany on January 6) in this article from the archives.  I haven't changed my thinking much since then, in fact, I am more than ever convinced that the truly subversive act of faith would be to observe these 12 days following our now mostly secular extravaganza known as the Christmas season (since, except for little subversive pockets of people, has…
Read More

Feeling subversive today?

Feeling particularly subversive today?  I certainly hope so.  You might wonder just what I'm talking about.  Well, the idea came to me while I was reading a book by Eugene Peterson called The Contemplative Pastor.  I was drawn to his use of the word subversive as a description for the life altering power of faith.  For Peterson, and now for me, every act of faith is an act of subversion, even the quiet ones like prayer:  "Prayer is a subversive activity. It involves a more or less open act of defiance against any claim by the current regime....[As we pray,] slowly but surely, not culture, not family, not government, not job,…
Read More

Telling the sacred story, Part 1

This is the first of a series that began as an exercise -- a training exercise for those pursuing a call to spiritual companioning (or, as it is often called, spiritual direction).  Living into the charism of a listening ministry requires of all of us that we pursue, each and every day, the continued path of our own spiritual formation.  My telling of my own sacred story is a result of just that formation project and the kind of ongoing work that I do.  I heard wise words this morning, from the Rev. Michele H. Morgan at St. Mark's Episcopal Church.  She was talking about the Gospel text of the…
Read More

Primary Questions: What Do You Mean by Freedom?

Every day this week and last, when I put on the funny looking bicycle helmet and tentatively climb aboard my bright red cruiser to head to the beach, I find that my mind is flooded with a single question:  why, my friend, do you drive all this way and go to all this trouble just to do this one thing? Yes, I am on vacation.  And I am on vacation in one of my favorite places.  I come here over and over again, whenever I can.  I don't golf, I don't play tennis, and really, I don't swim.  I come here for another reason.  I come here to do one…
Read More

Your brain is social…

As Paul Costello, President and Founder of the New Story Leadership project, looked out at the crowd last night in Baxter Hall, he said to all of us assembled there, “Stories can imprison, or stories can empower.” And for the next two hours, we sat and listened to the 2017 fellows of NLS, five 20-somethings from Palestine, 5 from Israel, as they told us their stories – what brought them there, their struggles, their triumphs, their memories, their hopes and dreams for the future.  They told us about a world and a life that we only read about; they were brave and confident and, dare I say, filled with just…
Read More

Maybe this is the explanation…

If you meet me at a party and ask me the great American question, you know the "what do you do with yourself" question, you could get a variety of answers, depending on my mood, the phase of the moon, the day of the week...you get the idea.   Someone who has accepted that her life is a tapestry of things has a few choices when she responds to that question. However, if you find me in a particularly brave state, you might get this answer:  I am busy living into a call to the ministry of spiritual direction. This is the answer that is closest to my heart, and…
Read More

The light is there, if you look for it…

Sometimes, like today, I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sit in awe as the new sun makes itself known in some beautiful setting. I try to take that opportunity when given, because, even though I am by nature an early riser, I often find it difficult to see the sun rise amidst the buildings and the emotional static that comes from living in an urban setting.  Today was one of those days when I took the blessing offered. For me, there is something uniquely mystical about that moment when the light first appears.  This morning, I came out onto the balcony with my tea long before the…
Read More

Catching up on a little reading…

What good is a slightly rainy vacation if you can't catch up on a little reading?  And my backlog is substantial.  For example, when the new Diana Butler Bass work Grounded  magically appeared in my Kindle carousel the other day, I cringed as I remembered that I had not yet finished her last book, Christianity without Religion (2012).  I like to read an author's work sequentially whenever possible so that I can follow the thread of their thinking and theorizing.  That quirk in my personality meant that it was time to finish Christianity without Religion, so I picked it up again or I would never be able to begin reading Grounded, a book I have…
Read More

Subversive Christmas…

I'm a little obsessed with the idea of the 12 Days of Christmas.  It all began last year, when we visited George Washington's Mount Vernon for the Illuminations. You can read some of my thoughts about the true 12 days of Christmas (meaning the days following Dec. 25 and ending at Epiphany on January 6) in this article from the archives.  I haven't changed my thinking much since then, in fact, I am more than ever convinced that the truly subversive act of faith would be to observe these 12 days following our now mostly secular extravaganza known as the Christmas season (since, except for little subversive pockets of people, has…
Read More

Feeling subversive today?

Feeling particularly subversive today?  I certainly hope so.  You might wonder just what I'm talking about.  Well, the idea came to me while I was reading a book by Eugene Peterson called The Contemplative Pastor.  I was drawn to his use of the word subversive as a description for the life altering power of faith.  For Peterson, and now for me, every act of faith is an act of subversion, even the quiet ones like prayer:  "Prayer is a subversive activity. It involves a more or less open act of defiance against any claim by the current regime....[As we pray,] slowly but surely, not culture, not family, not government, not job,…
Read More

Telling the sacred story, Part 1

This is the first of a series that began as an exercise -- a training exercise for those pursuing a call to spiritual companioning (or, as it is often called, spiritual direction).  Living into the charism of a listening ministry requires of all of us that we pursue, each and every day, the continued path of our own spiritual formation.  My telling of my own sacred story is a result of just that formation project and the kind of ongoing work that I do.  I heard wise words this morning, from the Rev. Michele H. Morgan at St. Mark's Episcopal Church.  She was talking about the Gospel text of the…
Read More

Primary Questions: What Do You Mean by Freedom?

Every day this week and last, when I put on the funny looking bicycle helmet and tentatively climb aboard my bright red cruiser to head to the beach, I find that my mind is flooded with a single question:  why, my friend, do you drive all this way and go to all this trouble just to do this one thing? Yes, I am on vacation.  And I am on vacation in one of my favorite places.  I come here over and over again, whenever I can.  I don't golf, I don't play tennis, and really, I don't swim.  I come here for another reason.  I come here to do one…
Read More

Your brain is social…

As Paul Costello, President and Founder of the New Story Leadership project, looked out at the crowd last night in Baxter Hall, he said to all of us assembled there, “Stories can imprison, or stories can empower.” And for the next two hours, we sat and listened to the 2017 fellows of NLS, five 20-somethings from Palestine, 5 from Israel, as they told us their stories – what brought them there, their struggles, their triumphs, their memories, their hopes and dreams for the future.  They told us about a world and a life that we only read about; they were brave and confident and, dare I say, filled with just…
Read More

Maybe this is the explanation…

If you meet me at a party and ask me the great American question, you know the "what do you do with yourself" question, you could get a variety of answers, depending on my mood, the phase of the moon, the day of the week...you get the idea.   Someone who has accepted that her life is a tapestry of things has a few choices when she responds to that question. However, if you find me in a particularly brave state, you might get this answer:  I am busy living into a call to the ministry of spiritual direction. This is the answer that is closest to my heart, and…
Read More

The light is there, if you look for it…

Sometimes, like today, I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sit in awe as the new sun makes itself known in some beautiful setting. I try to take that opportunity when given, because, even though I am by nature an early riser, I often find it difficult to see the sun rise amidst the buildings and the emotional static that comes from living in an urban setting.  Today was one of those days when I took the blessing offered. For me, there is something uniquely mystical about that moment when the light first appears.  This morning, I came out onto the balcony with my tea long before the…
Read More

Catching up on a little reading…

What good is a slightly rainy vacation if you can't catch up on a little reading?  And my backlog is substantial.  For example, when the new Diana Butler Bass work Grounded  magically appeared in my Kindle carousel the other day, I cringed as I remembered that I had not yet finished her last book, Christianity without Religion (2012).  I like to read an author's work sequentially whenever possible so that I can follow the thread of their thinking and theorizing.  That quirk in my personality meant that it was time to finish Christianity without Religion, so I picked it up again or I would never be able to begin reading Grounded, a book I have…
Read More

Subversive Christmas…

I'm a little obsessed with the idea of the 12 Days of Christmas.  It all began last year, when we visited George Washington's Mount Vernon for the Illuminations. You can read some of my thoughts about the true 12 days of Christmas (meaning the days following Dec. 25 and ending at Epiphany on January 6) in this article from the archives.  I haven't changed my thinking much since then, in fact, I am more than ever convinced that the truly subversive act of faith would be to observe these 12 days following our now mostly secular extravaganza known as the Christmas season (since, except for little subversive pockets of people, has…
Read More

Feeling subversive today?

Feeling particularly subversive today?  I certainly hope so.  You might wonder just what I'm talking about.  Well, the idea came to me while I was reading a book by Eugene Peterson called The Contemplative Pastor.  I was drawn to his use of the word subversive as a description for the life altering power of faith.  For Peterson, and now for me, every act of faith is an act of subversion, even the quiet ones like prayer:  "Prayer is a subversive activity. It involves a more or less open act of defiance against any claim by the current regime....[As we pray,] slowly but surely, not culture, not family, not government, not job,…
Read More

Telling the sacred story, Part 1

This is the first of a series that began as an exercise -- a training exercise for those pursuing a call to spiritual companioning (or, as it is often called, spiritual direction).  Living into the charism of a listening ministry requires of all of us that we pursue, each and every day, the continued path of our own spiritual formation.  My telling of my own sacred story is a result of just that formation project and the kind of ongoing work that I do.  I heard wise words this morning, from the Rev. Michele H. Morgan at St. Mark's Episcopal Church.  She was talking about the Gospel text of the…
Read More

Primary Questions: What Do You Mean by Freedom?

Every day this week and last, when I put on the funny looking bicycle helmet and tentatively climb aboard my bright red cruiser to head to the beach, I find that my mind is flooded with a single question:  why, my friend, do you drive all this way and go to all this trouble just to do this one thing? Yes, I am on vacation.  And I am on vacation in one of my favorite places.  I come here over and over again, whenever I can.  I don't golf, I don't play tennis, and really, I don't swim.  I come here for another reason.  I come here to do one…
Read More

Your brain is social…

As Paul Costello, President and Founder of the New Story Leadership project, looked out at the crowd last night in Baxter Hall, he said to all of us assembled there, “Stories can imprison, or stories can empower.” And for the next two hours, we sat and listened to the 2017 fellows of NLS, five 20-somethings from Palestine, 5 from Israel, as they told us their stories – what brought them there, their struggles, their triumphs, their memories, their hopes and dreams for the future.  They told us about a world and a life that we only read about; they were brave and confident and, dare I say, filled with just…
Read More

Maybe this is the explanation…

If you meet me at a party and ask me the great American question, you know the "what do you do with yourself" question, you could get a variety of answers, depending on my mood, the phase of the moon, the day of the week...you get the idea.   Someone who has accepted that her life is a tapestry of things has a few choices when she responds to that question. However, if you find me in a particularly brave state, you might get this answer:  I am busy living into a call to the ministry of spiritual direction. This is the answer that is closest to my heart, and…
Read More

The light is there, if you look for it…

Sometimes, like today, I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sit in awe as the new sun makes itself known in some beautiful setting. I try to take that opportunity when given, because, even though I am by nature an early riser, I often find it difficult to see the sun rise amidst the buildings and the emotional static that comes from living in an urban setting.  Today was one of those days when I took the blessing offered. For me, there is something uniquely mystical about that moment when the light first appears.  This morning, I came out onto the balcony with my tea long before the…
Read More

Catching up on a little reading…

What good is a slightly rainy vacation if you can't catch up on a little reading?  And my backlog is substantial.  For example, when the new Diana Butler Bass work Grounded  magically appeared in my Kindle carousel the other day, I cringed as I remembered that I had not yet finished her last book, Christianity without Religion (2012).  I like to read an author's work sequentially whenever possible so that I can follow the thread of their thinking and theorizing.  That quirk in my personality meant that it was time to finish Christianity without Religion, so I picked it up again or I would never be able to begin reading Grounded, a book I have…
Read More

Subversive Christmas…

I'm a little obsessed with the idea of the 12 Days of Christmas.  It all began last year, when we visited George Washington's Mount Vernon for the Illuminations. You can read some of my thoughts about the true 12 days of Christmas (meaning the days following Dec. 25 and ending at Epiphany on January 6) in this article from the archives.  I haven't changed my thinking much since then, in fact, I am more than ever convinced that the truly subversive act of faith would be to observe these 12 days following our now mostly secular extravaganza known as the Christmas season (since, except for little subversive pockets of people, has…
Read More

Feeling subversive today?

Feeling particularly subversive today?  I certainly hope so.  You might wonder just what I'm talking about.  Well, the idea came to me while I was reading a book by Eugene Peterson called The Contemplative Pastor.  I was drawn to his use of the word subversive as a description for the life altering power of faith.  For Peterson, and now for me, every act of faith is an act of subversion, even the quiet ones like prayer:  "Prayer is a subversive activity. It involves a more or less open act of defiance against any claim by the current regime....[As we pray,] slowly but surely, not culture, not family, not government, not job,…
Read More

Telling the sacred story, Part 1

This is the first of a series that began as an exercise -- a training exercise for those pursuing a call to spiritual companioning (or, as it is often called, spiritual direction).  Living into the charism of a listening ministry requires of all of us that we pursue, each and every day, the continued path of our own spiritual formation.  My telling of my own sacred story is a result of just that formation project and the kind of ongoing work that I do.  I heard wise words this morning, from the Rev. Michele H. Morgan at St. Mark's Episcopal Church.  She was talking about the Gospel text of the…
Read More

Primary Questions: What Do You Mean by Freedom?

Every day this week and last, when I put on the funny looking bicycle helmet and tentatively climb aboard my bright red cruiser to head to the beach, I find that my mind is flooded with a single question:  why, my friend, do you drive all this way and go to all this trouble just to do this one thing? Yes, I am on vacation.  And I am on vacation in one of my favorite places.  I come here over and over again, whenever I can.  I don't golf, I don't play tennis, and really, I don't swim.  I come here for another reason.  I come here to do one…
Read More

Your brain is social…

As Paul Costello, President and Founder of the New Story Leadership project, looked out at the crowd last night in Baxter Hall, he said to all of us assembled there, “Stories can imprison, or stories can empower.” And for the next two hours, we sat and listened to the 2017 fellows of NLS, five 20-somethings from Palestine, 5 from Israel, as they told us their stories – what brought them there, their struggles, their triumphs, their memories, their hopes and dreams for the future.  They told us about a world and a life that we only read about; they were brave and confident and, dare I say, filled with just…
Read More

Maybe this is the explanation…

If you meet me at a party and ask me the great American question, you know the "what do you do with yourself" question, you could get a variety of answers, depending on my mood, the phase of the moon, the day of the week...you get the idea.   Someone who has accepted that her life is a tapestry of things has a few choices when she responds to that question. However, if you find me in a particularly brave state, you might get this answer:  I am busy living into a call to the ministry of spiritual direction. This is the answer that is closest to my heart, and…
Read More

The light is there, if you look for it…

Sometimes, like today, I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sit in awe as the new sun makes itself known in some beautiful setting. I try to take that opportunity when given, because, even though I am by nature an early riser, I often find it difficult to see the sun rise amidst the buildings and the emotional static that comes from living in an urban setting.  Today was one of those days when I took the blessing offered. For me, there is something uniquely mystical about that moment when the light first appears.  This morning, I came out onto the balcony with my tea long before the…
Read More

Catching up on a little reading…

What good is a slightly rainy vacation if you can't catch up on a little reading?  And my backlog is substantial.  For example, when the new Diana Butler Bass work Grounded  magically appeared in my Kindle carousel the other day, I cringed as I remembered that I had not yet finished her last book, Christianity without Religion (2012).  I like to read an author's work sequentially whenever possible so that I can follow the thread of their thinking and theorizing.  That quirk in my personality meant that it was time to finish Christianity without Religion, so I picked it up again or I would never be able to begin reading Grounded, a book I have…
Read More

Subversive Christmas…

I'm a little obsessed with the idea of the 12 Days of Christmas.  It all began last year, when we visited George Washington's Mount Vernon for the Illuminations. You can read some of my thoughts about the true 12 days of Christmas (meaning the days following Dec. 25 and ending at Epiphany on January 6) in this article from the archives.  I haven't changed my thinking much since then, in fact, I am more than ever convinced that the truly subversive act of faith would be to observe these 12 days following our now mostly secular extravaganza known as the Christmas season (since, except for little subversive pockets of people, has…
Read More

Feeling subversive today?

Feeling particularly subversive today?  I certainly hope so.  You might wonder just what I'm talking about.  Well, the idea came to me while I was reading a book by Eugene Peterson called The Contemplative Pastor.  I was drawn to his use of the word subversive as a description for the life altering power of faith.  For Peterson, and now for me, every act of faith is an act of subversion, even the quiet ones like prayer:  "Prayer is a subversive activity. It involves a more or less open act of defiance against any claim by the current regime....[As we pray,] slowly but surely, not culture, not family, not government, not job,…
Read More

Telling the sacred story, Part 1

This is the first of a series that began as an exercise -- a training exercise for those pursuing a call to spiritual companioning (or, as it is often called, spiritual direction).  Living into the charism of a listening ministry requires of all of us that we pursue, each and every day, the continued path of our own spiritual formation.  My telling of my own sacred story is a result of just that formation project and the kind of ongoing work that I do.  I heard wise words this morning, from the Rev. Michele H. Morgan at St. Mark's Episcopal Church.  She was talking about the Gospel text of the…
Read More

Primary Questions: What Do You Mean by Freedom?

Every day this week and last, when I put on the funny looking bicycle helmet and tentatively climb aboard my bright red cruiser to head to the beach, I find that my mind is flooded with a single question:  why, my friend, do you drive all this way and go to all this trouble just to do this one thing? Yes, I am on vacation.  And I am on vacation in one of my favorite places.  I come here over and over again, whenever I can.  I don't golf, I don't play tennis, and really, I don't swim.  I come here for another reason.  I come here to do one…
Read More

Your brain is social…

As Paul Costello, President and Founder of the New Story Leadership project, looked out at the crowd last night in Baxter Hall, he said to all of us assembled there, “Stories can imprison, or stories can empower.” And for the next two hours, we sat and listened to the 2017 fellows of NLS, five 20-somethings from Palestine, 5 from Israel, as they told us their stories – what brought them there, their struggles, their triumphs, their memories, their hopes and dreams for the future.  They told us about a world and a life that we only read about; they were brave and confident and, dare I say, filled with just…
Read More

Maybe this is the explanation…

If you meet me at a party and ask me the great American question, you know the "what do you do with yourself" question, you could get a variety of answers, depending on my mood, the phase of the moon, the day of the week...you get the idea.   Someone who has accepted that her life is a tapestry of things has a few choices when she responds to that question. However, if you find me in a particularly brave state, you might get this answer:  I am busy living into a call to the ministry of spiritual direction. This is the answer that is closest to my heart, and…
Read More

The light is there, if you look for it…

Sometimes, like today, I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sit in awe as the new sun makes itself known in some beautiful setting. I try to take that opportunity when given, because, even though I am by nature an early riser, I often find it difficult to see the sun rise amidst the buildings and the emotional static that comes from living in an urban setting.  Today was one of those days when I took the blessing offered. For me, there is something uniquely mystical about that moment when the light first appears.  This morning, I came out onto the balcony with my tea long before the…
Read More

Catching up on a little reading…

What good is a slightly rainy vacation if you can't catch up on a little reading?  And my backlog is substantial.  For example, when the new Diana Butler Bass work Grounded  magically appeared in my Kindle carousel the other day, I cringed as I remembered that I had not yet finished her last book, Christianity without Religion (2012).  I like to read an author's work sequentially whenever possible so that I can follow the thread of their thinking and theorizing.  That quirk in my personality meant that it was time to finish Christianity without Religion, so I picked it up again or I would never be able to begin reading Grounded, a book I have…
Read More

Subversive Christmas…

I'm a little obsessed with the idea of the 12 Days of Christmas.  It all began last year, when we visited George Washington's Mount Vernon for the Illuminations. You can read some of my thoughts about the true 12 days of Christmas (meaning the days following Dec. 25 and ending at Epiphany on January 6) in this article from the archives.  I haven't changed my thinking much since then, in fact, I am more than ever convinced that the truly subversive act of faith would be to observe these 12 days following our now mostly secular extravaganza known as the Christmas season (since, except for little subversive pockets of people, has…
Read More

Feeling subversive today?

Feeling particularly subversive today?  I certainly hope so.  You might wonder just what I'm talking about.  Well, the idea came to me while I was reading a book by Eugene Peterson called The Contemplative Pastor.  I was drawn to his use of the word subversive as a description for the life altering power of faith.  For Peterson, and now for me, every act of faith is an act of subversion, even the quiet ones like prayer:  "Prayer is a subversive activity. It involves a more or less open act of defiance against any claim by the current regime....[As we pray,] slowly but surely, not culture, not family, not government, not job,…
Read More

Telling the sacred story, Part 1

This is the first of a series that began as an exercise -- a training exercise for those pursuing a call to spiritual companioning (or, as it is often called, spiritual direction).  Living into the charism of a listening ministry requires of all of us that we pursue, each and every day, the continued path of our own spiritual formation.  My telling of my own sacred story is a result of just that formation project and the kind of ongoing work that I do.  I heard wise words this morning, from the Rev. Michele H. Morgan at St. Mark's Episcopal Church.  She was talking about the Gospel text of the…
Read More

Primary Questions: What Do You Mean by Freedom?

Every day this week and last, when I put on the funny looking bicycle helmet and tentatively climb aboard my bright red cruiser to head to the beach, I find that my mind is flooded with a single question:  why, my friend, do you drive all this way and go to all this trouble just to do this one thing? Yes, I am on vacation.  And I am on vacation in one of my favorite places.  I come here over and over again, whenever I can.  I don't golf, I don't play tennis, and really, I don't swim.  I come here for another reason.  I come here to do one…
Read More

Your brain is social…

As Paul Costello, President and Founder of the New Story Leadership project, looked out at the crowd last night in Baxter Hall, he said to all of us assembled there, “Stories can imprison, or stories can empower.” And for the next two hours, we sat and listened to the 2017 fellows of NLS, five 20-somethings from Palestine, 5 from Israel, as they told us their stories – what brought them there, their struggles, their triumphs, their memories, their hopes and dreams for the future.  They told us about a world and a life that we only read about; they were brave and confident and, dare I say, filled with just…
Read More

Maybe this is the explanation…

If you meet me at a party and ask me the great American question, you know the "what do you do with yourself" question, you could get a variety of answers, depending on my mood, the phase of the moon, the day of the week...you get the idea.   Someone who has accepted that her life is a tapestry of things has a few choices when she responds to that question. However, if you find me in a particularly brave state, you might get this answer:  I am busy living into a call to the ministry of spiritual direction. This is the answer that is closest to my heart, and…
Read More

The light is there, if you look for it…

Sometimes, like today, I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sit in awe as the new sun makes itself known in some beautiful setting. I try to take that opportunity when given, because, even though I am by nature an early riser, I often find it difficult to see the sun rise amidst the buildings and the emotional static that comes from living in an urban setting.  Today was one of those days when I took the blessing offered. For me, there is something uniquely mystical about that moment when the light first appears.  This morning, I came out onto the balcony with my tea long before the…
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Catching up on a little reading…

What good is a slightly rainy vacation if you can't catch up on a little reading?  And my backlog is substantial.  For example, when the new Diana Butler Bass work Grounded  magically appeared in my Kindle carousel the other day, I cringed as I remembered that I had not yet finished her last book, Christianity without Religion (2012).  I like to read an author's work sequentially whenever possible so that I can follow the thread of their thinking and theorizing.  That quirk in my personality meant that it was time to finish Christianity without Religion, so I picked it up again or I would never be able to begin reading Grounded, a book I have…
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Subversive Christmas…

I'm a little obsessed with the idea of the 12 Days of Christmas.  It all began last year, when we visited George Washington's Mount Vernon for the Illuminations. You can read some of my thoughts about the true 12 days of Christmas (meaning the days following Dec. 25 and ending at Epiphany on January 6) in this article from the archives.  I haven't changed my thinking much since then, in fact, I am more than ever convinced that the truly subversive act of faith would be to observe these 12 days following our now mostly secular extravaganza known as the Christmas season (since, except for little subversive pockets of people, has…
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Feeling subversive today?

Feeling particularly subversive today?  I certainly hope so.  You might wonder just what I'm talking about.  Well, the idea came to me while I was reading a book by Eugene Peterson called The Contemplative Pastor.  I was drawn to his use of the word subversive as a description for the life altering power of faith.  For Peterson, and now for me, every act of faith is an act of subversion, even the quiet ones like prayer:  "Prayer is a subversive activity. It involves a more or less open act of defiance against any claim by the current regime....[As we pray,] slowly but surely, not culture, not family, not government, not job,…
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Telling the sacred story, Part 1

This is the first of a series that began as an exercise -- a training exercise for those pursuing a call to spiritual companioning (or, as it is often called, spiritual direction).  Living into the charism of a listening ministry requires of all of us that we pursue, each and every day, the continued path of our own spiritual formation.  My telling of my own sacred story is a result of just that formation project and the kind of ongoing work that I do.  I heard wise words this morning, from the Rev. Michele H. Morgan at St. Mark's Episcopal Church.  She was talking about the Gospel text of the…
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Primary Questions: What Do You Mean by Freedom?

Every day this week and last, when I put on the funny looking bicycle helmet and tentatively climb aboard my bright red cruiser to head to the beach, I find that my mind is flooded with a single question:  why, my friend, do you drive all this way and go to all this trouble just to do this one thing? Yes, I am on vacation.  And I am on vacation in one of my favorite places.  I come here over and over again, whenever I can.  I don't golf, I don't play tennis, and really, I don't swim.  I come here for another reason.  I come here to do one…
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Your brain is social…

As Paul Costello, President and Founder of the New Story Leadership project, looked out at the crowd last night in Baxter Hall, he said to all of us assembled there, “Stories can imprison, or stories can empower.” And for the next two hours, we sat and listened to the 2017 fellows of NLS, five 20-somethings from Palestine, 5 from Israel, as they told us their stories – what brought them there, their struggles, their triumphs, their memories, their hopes and dreams for the future.  They told us about a world and a life that we only read about; they were brave and confident and, dare I say, filled with just…
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Maybe this is the explanation…

If you meet me at a party and ask me the great American question, you know the "what do you do with yourself" question, you could get a variety of answers, depending on my mood, the phase of the moon, the day of the week...you get the idea.   Someone who has accepted that her life is a tapestry of things has a few choices when she responds to that question. However, if you find me in a particularly brave state, you might get this answer:  I am busy living into a call to the ministry of spiritual direction. This is the answer that is closest to my heart, and…
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The light is there, if you look for it…

Sometimes, like today, I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sit in awe as the new sun makes itself known in some beautiful setting. I try to take that opportunity when given, because, even though I am by nature an early riser, I often find it difficult to see the sun rise amidst the buildings and the emotional static that comes from living in an urban setting.  Today was one of those days when I took the blessing offered. For me, there is something uniquely mystical about that moment when the light first appears.  This morning, I came out onto the balcony with my tea long before the…
Read More

Catching up on a little reading…

What good is a slightly rainy vacation if you can't catch up on a little reading?  And my backlog is substantial.  For example, when the new Diana Butler Bass work Grounded  magically appeared in my Kindle carousel the other day, I cringed as I remembered that I had not yet finished her last book, Christianity without Religion (2012).  I like to read an author's work sequentially whenever possible so that I can follow the thread of their thinking and theorizing.  That quirk in my personality meant that it was time to finish Christianity without Religion, so I picked it up again or I would never be able to begin reading Grounded, a book I have…
Read More

Subversive Christmas…

I'm a little obsessed with the idea of the 12 Days of Christmas.  It all began last year, when we visited George Washington's Mount Vernon for the Illuminations. You can read some of my thoughts about the true 12 days of Christmas (meaning the days following Dec. 25 and ending at Epiphany on January 6) in this article from the archives.  I haven't changed my thinking much since then, in fact, I am more than ever convinced that the truly subversive act of faith would be to observe these 12 days following our now mostly secular extravaganza known as the Christmas season (since, except for little subversive pockets of people, has…
Read More

Feeling subversive today?

Feeling particularly subversive today?  I certainly hope so.  You might wonder just what I'm talking about.  Well, the idea came to me while I was reading a book by Eugene Peterson called The Contemplative Pastor.  I was drawn to his use of the word subversive as a description for the life altering power of faith.  For Peterson, and now for me, every act of faith is an act of subversion, even the quiet ones like prayer:  "Prayer is a subversive activity. It involves a more or less open act of defiance against any claim by the current regime....[As we pray,] slowly but surely, not culture, not family, not government, not job,…
Read More