Saturday after Ash Wednesday: Crack

My iPhone screen is cracked. And people notice, y’know? Its kind of an outward and visible sign of some kind of inward shortcoming: clumsiness, inability to pay for a replacement, not caring. I plead guilty to the first, sorta to the second (it’s the second time I’ve broken the screen in a month and this is adding up) and no … Read the rest

Friday after Ash Wednesday: Business

This morning I chanced to hear a fragment of radio advertising from a room at the far end of the house. The phrase caught my attention “Black Fridays in March.” I guess that’s a thing, extending the curse and chaos of post-Thanksgiving sales to the rest of the year. But seriously? Friday sales during Lent?

I haven’t yet decided how … Read the rest

Thursday after Ash Wednesday: Train

The two post-crash carless days that made up the majority of my Bay Area sojourn meant that I spent time—lots of time—on public transportation. It takes well over an hour to get from Oakland to the San Francisco campus of the UCSF hospital, and since I hadn’t really planned for passenger-hood by bringing extra reading material, I used the travel … Read the rest

Ash Wednesday: Gift

While my own Christian community was enacting ancient rituals of mortality, I was in another state attending to a hospitalized parent, and having conversations about his end of life wishes. No worries: dad is fine right now. But there’s nothing quite like brain surgery to remind a person of the finitude of human existence. So I suppose it would have … Read the rest

Fat Tuesday: Collision

car crashI was struck by another vehicle today as I was parking my car in San Francisco. Although nobody was hurt, it was a frightening and costly experience, the latter in both financial and relational terms. I had been on my way to visit the hospital where my father at that very moment in surgery, and after the impact I spent … Read the rest

With Charity for All

Epiphany 6Aabe lincoln

Some of you may know that one of the great privileges of my first year of service at Trinity is to shepherd our Catechesis class, which is a 20-week long immersion in the Christian and Episcopal traditions. And this past Wednesday and the coming one, we’re studying Holy Scripture: the Old and New Testaments. From a teacher’s perspective, … Read the rest

Leveling Up to God

Epiphany 1A/Baptism of Our Lordcolumbia-river-mouth

Last Sunday on the Feast of the Holy Name, my colleague Marlene preached about the importance of letting go of names that no longer suit us. So in the three months since I’ve moved here from the San Francisco Bay Area, I’ve been practicing a new way of naming myself: Oregonian. I’m actually the fourth … Read the rest

Indelibly Inked

Tattoos.pngFor years I have carried the memory of a sermon in which an Episcopal priest posed the question of why we don’t anoint people with indelible oil. That is, when we are baptized—marked as Christ’s own forever—why isn’t the mark more visible? The obvious answer to this rhetorical question being that the visible sign of our identity as Jesus-followers ought … Read the rest

The Stable and the Supernova

John 1:1-14

Explosion of planet or star

Merry Christmas!

If you happen to have been here Christmas eve—I was, I go to church a lot—you might recall that yesterday’s readings and pageant were all about shepherds, angels, and the baby in the manger. The familiar—if peculiar—story of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem is a tale of wonder and courage and extraordinary generosity on the part of … Read the rest

Things Hoped For

Advent 2Apeaceable-kingdom

“What was written in former days was for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope,” wrote the author of the letter to the Romans. Which sounds comforting in a season when I am actively searching for signs of hope. And of course there are plenty: even in the … Read the rest