I was raised Unitarian Universalist in Oklahoma. In theory, UU is a religion in which you can "build your own theology" and believe basically anything that works for you. In practice, Unitarians living surrounded by evangelical Christians (or rebelling against Catholic or Jewish childhoods) tend to be outspoken in their criticism of certain beliefs, so … Continue reading Pick Up the Receiver
Three weeks ago, a man drove into my neighborhood, stormed into a synagogue, murdered eleven people, and shot and wounded several others. Well, that's old news. Why I am I still talking about it now, after there's already been a mass shooting of twelve people elsewhere in America? Because NONE OF THIS IS NORMAL, none … Continue reading The Tree of Life in the City of Steel
"Wildlife" sounds like something that lives out in the wild, right? We picture wildlife in the jungle, in the desert, or at least deep enough into the forest that it can't hear motors. But wild animals live in almost every acre of Earth's surface. Squirrels are wildlife. Ladybugs, ants, and even pigeons are wildlife. Leopards … Continue reading A Certified Wildlife Habitat in an Urban Churchyard
Here's a sprightly introduction to my reviews of the books I've read in the past month. The God We Never Knew by Marcus Borg Marcus Borg is a theologian and Biblical scholar who admits that he got well into his adult life and graduate studies before he realized that his understanding of God was warped by … Continue reading 5 Book Reviews
This is one of the easiest things you can do to make a positive difference in the world. Every time you choose a vegetarian meal instead of meat, you conserve some resources. You don't have to be vegetarian full-time or forever to make a difference. Meat production has a huge environmental impact. Growing plants and … Continue reading Become a Temporary Vegetarian!
I thought it was time to reread Peyton Place because I hadn't read it in years--I couldn't remember how long. But I found that I remembered it too well to thoroughly enjoy it again, and that's why I decided to give away this book, which I read 3 or 4 times years ago. This is … Continue reading 6 book reviews and Peyton Place GIVEAWAY!!!
A few days ago, I was unpacking my winter clothes and putting away my summer clothes, and I realized that there was a small section at the very back of my closet that had gone untouched for years. The garments hanging back there literally had cobwebs and a thick layer of dust on the shoulders. … Continue reading A Person Who Deserves to Wear This Dress
Eleven days ago, I launched a challenge to my readers to prevent food waste in some way, big or small, and report back after Easter. Now it's the Tuesday after Easter, and I haven't heard from anyone yet. Did you accept my challenge? Tell me about it in the comments, or link to your own … Continue reading Did you find Jesus anything to eat?
According to the Gospel of Luke, when Jesus was resurrected from the dead and appeared to his disciples, he said, "Have you anything here to eat?" He must have been really hungry after being dead for three days! In that spirit, as Easter approaches, I'm challenging all of you--Christians and everybody else--to do what you … Continue reading Have you anything to eat? a food-waste prevention challenge!
This is a story I've told my son Nicholas many times. It's entertaining for him, but it's also a story that really gets him thinking about right and wrong, temptation and resistance, punishment and forgiveness, what those kids who get into trouble all the time might be thinking, and many other interesting issues. It's inspired … Continue reading That Time I Caused Trouble in Sunday School
Welcome to the April 2015 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family History This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories, lore, and wisdom about family history. Please read to the end to find a list of … Continue reading Seder and Holy Week: Family Traditions, Old and New
This photograph, which was in Sunday's newspaper, is the image I'm keeping in my mind this Good Friday. That is a place on this very same planet where I am sitting comfortably in my office. That is a boy who is growing up in the very same time as my son Nicholas, who is visiting … Continue reading Elsewhere on Earth
I am putting this post in a variety of categories because it's kind of silly but I'm kind of serious, too. I would like to believe that in this very complicated world, my actions truly do make a difference, even in unexpected metaphysical ways. Purple is my favorite color. At this point in my life, … Continue reading The Power of Purple Is Real!!!
Today is Ash Wednesday. Three years ago on Ash Wednesday, I wrote this article about the renewal we can experience during Lent. I had no idea what was coming my way! You may have heard of the idea of choosing one word as a theme for your year. You're supposed to place this word around … Continue reading Get Up and Eat: 3 Years of Replenishment
Welcome to the February 2015 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Do It Yourself This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants are teaching us how to make something useful or try something new. *** By the time my first … Continue reading How to Get Kids to Behave in Church
I'm an Episcopalian. In almost every service at our church, we receive Communion this way: The priest tears a morsel off of a round, flat bread and places it in the palm of your hand, and you eat it. The chalice-bearer holds the silver cup of wine as you sip from it, then wipes the … Continue reading The Common Cold and the Common Cup: Does Communion spread germs?
Welcome to the December 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: The More Things Change . . . This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories and wisdom about life changes. *** As a teenager, I went … Continue reading Planning, Parenting, and Perfection
The four weeks before Christmas make up the contemplative season of Advent, in which Christians are supposed to prepare our hearts to welcome the newborn Prince of Peace. The four weeks before Christmas are a time of frenzied shopping, cooking, housecleaning or travel-planning, and festive-event-attending for most people. There are various ways to calm the … Continue reading Advent Prayer Tip
He never believed in the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy, either. There are three important reasons why Daniel and I decided, before Nicholas was born, that we were not going to pretend that any of these characters were real.The first is that we didn't like the idea of lying to our child. We felt … Continue reading Why my kid never believed in Santa Claus
A while back, another mother asked my advice: Tonight my five year old asked me, "Where did the first people come from?" "Well," I replied, "Different people believe different things. Scientists think that humans evolved from gorillas." "What is evolved?" "That’s when things change from one thing to another, like a caterpillar to a butterfly. … Continue reading Answering a child’s questions on human origins