Living with the Dying

As a pastor, I've had the privilege of walking with many people in their last few days on earth. I'm also one of those rare creatures who comes from a family where we talk about death. My father was a counselor for many years and grief therapy was one of his specialties. My mother is from a very large family, and there have been many funerals to attend. So I'm ...

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Confessions of a Loud Laugher

'Tis the season to be jolly. But this time of merriment is a virtual minefield for those of us who are loud laughters. Not everyone fully appreciates a hearty chortle--especially if it comes at an inappropriate time. People who know me are used to my laugh. It's highly recognizable. But the holidays often find me in social situations where people are not used to my response to humorous stimuli.  And even if ...

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Not Feeling Thankful? It’s Okay!

Thanksgiving is tomorrow! And there’s so much to be thankful for! After all, you are not a refugee seeking a new place to call home. Your Thanksgiving table is not limited to whatever the good people at the church or the food bank or the Lion’s Club put in your basket or box this year.  You are (most likely) not an election commissioner in a state with an unresolved race. Your level ...

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In Praise of Halloween

In response to those Christian voices who decry and denounce the celebration of Halloween, my friend Rev. Marie Mainard O'Connell (minister and unapologetic celebrant) penned this ode a few years ago. She has graciously allowed me to post it here. I think it should be read aloud in the town square (if we still had such things) every year. In defense and praise of Halloween! Rally the hordes of children in masks! Man ...

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The Attack (and subsequent panic) That Never Was

Today marks the 80th anniversary of the infamous radio broadcast of Orson Welles' War of the Worlds--a story of aliens invading the earth. The telling of the story was so real that mass panic ensued as people feared it was an actual news broadcast telling people that aliens were indeed running amuck on earth. Stories abound of people running through the streets, men calling the police to volunteer to fight ...

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How Should Christians Vote?

That's about as loaded a question as you can ask these days, isn't it? Like many loaded questions, there is no one definitive answer. It's easy to say, "Christians should vote their values and beliefs." But what does that really look like? Perhaps you are pro-life. How does that play out at the voting booth? Do you vote for the politicians who want to outlaw all abortions and then wrestle with what to ...

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National Coming Out Day–We Still Need It

When Will and Grace made its heralded return last year, one episode (featuring the always-adorable Ben Platt)  pointed out how the experiences of young gay people today are vastly different than those of the folks who came along (and out) 20 years ago...even 10 years ago. My daughter goes to a public arts and science magnet school where being gay is not a problem to be solved or an issue to ...

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What You Can Do for Women Right Now

There has been more than enough written about all that has transpired this past week in regard to Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford. My concern at this point is less about who will be appointed to the Supreme Court (although I still have concerns), but more about the many, many women in our country who are hurting as a result of this confirmation hearing-turned-fiasco. So here are my suggestions for ...

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The Snuffleupagus Solution

I grew up watching Sesame Street. I was born the year after it went on the air, and it (along with Mr. Rogers Neighborhood) was a mainstay of my childhood. In those early years, Big Bird was the only person who could see his friend Mr. Snuffleupagus. It wasn't so much that Snuffy was invisible, but he and Big Bird's friends always seem to have missed connections. Big Bird (who is ...

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