I'm an Episcopalian now, but my parents joined a Unitarian Universalist church when I was seven years old, so I was raised in that denomination. There were many things about it that weren't compatible with my spirituality, but I did learn at least one valuable lesson there: Some secular books contain wisdom and moral dilemmas … Continue reading Religious Education with Ramona Quimby
About 14 years ago, when I was new to the church where I'm now a well-established member and new to living with my boyfriend, I walked into church on the first Sunday of Lent with the dry mouth and raw eyes and heavy heart of a person whose Saturday night had involved too many tears … Continue reading Vain is the Deep of Man
Years ago, I discovered that there's just enough space between the glass and the frame of my dresser-top mirror to hold a sheet of paper in the corner of the mirror. I've placed many things there (a few at a time) for inspiration that I see every morning and evening: the Girl Scout Law , … Continue reading 7 Scriptures from My Mirror
I must be getting old. None of the songs I liked best and played most in 2010 were new songs released in 2010! Some of them are decades old. But they're all really good songs, and none of them ever was a big popular hit, so you might have missed them. For the thrifty music … Continue reading 7 Favorite Songs of 2010
Today is the entertaining tips edition of Works-for-Me Wednesday, but I don't feel very well equipped to give advice on entertaining since we don't have guests nearly as often as I'd like; I'm one of the people who needs to read the host's article "Entertaining Even When You're Reluctant" and possibly the book she mentioned, … Continue reading This Crowded World
I am a liberal Episcopalian now, and I was raised Unitarian in small-town Oklahoma, so I've never felt like part of the mainstream of what's called Christian in America. I've seen a lot of "Christian" media productions that were painfully hokey, heavy-handedly moralistic, hateful, and/or boring. I never in a million years expected that I … Continue reading Christian Children’s Television
On the first and third Tuesdays of the month, our church offers a short service followed by potluck dinner. Attendance usually is small, between 5 and 20 people. In order to get there on time, I have to rush from work to pick up my five-year-old son Nicholas from his preschool and trust that the … Continue reading Tuesday Potlucks
It's 7 Quick Takes Friday at my favorite religious blog, and while my takes might not be quick, I'd like to share 7 things I recently learned: 1. I really, really hate flossing my teeth, and I do not get used to it. The reason I decided that my Lenten discipline would be flossing my … Continue reading 7 Lessons from Lent
UPDATE: Eight years later, I'm linking this Lenten inspiration to Hearth & Soul . . . and I'm thinking about how I can reduce the plastic coming into and being discarded from our home this Lent! I'm also going to make more of an effort to read the Bible to my three-year-old daughter, who has … Continue reading Local Lent diary
I was invited by my pastor to present a "reflection" on the scripture readings for tonight's church service, like a short sermon. Our Episcopal parish has a service every day in this week before Easter, and we have a tradition of laypeople giving the reflections on the Monday and Tuesday--probably partly so that our pastor … Continue reading It’s Only Monday.
A note to non-Christian readers: Please don't think this article is not for you! The benefits of a free trial period for a lifestyle change can be yours, too, even without the religious significance. You can fast along with us for these 40 days, or choose a different time period. UPDATE: In 2020, Lent is … Continue reading 40-Day Free Trial!
A year or so ago, my church's assistant pastor began a sermon by saying, "You may never have really noticed our stained-glass windows." My jaw dropped. How could anyone not notice our stained-glass windows?! They're beautiful! They're very colorful, they depict a variety of Biblical characters and saints and symbols from obvious to obscure, and … Continue reading The Bluest Blue
UPDATE February 1, 2012: For the past two years, this has been an article like my links page where I keep adding content as I get around to it. Now I'm going to call it finished! Of course, I expect to read additional mind-blowing books during my visit to Earth, but this list now includes … Continue reading Books That Blew My Mind
We live three blocks away from an Orthodox Jewish synagogue and within a mile of several others, so there are several Orthodox families on our street. Some are more friendly than others and occasionally chat with us about children, pets, or gardening, but in general they socialize with each other and don't mix much with those … Continue reading I got to be a Shabbos Goy!
These aren't necessarily things nobody should do. They're things I don't do, and I'm glad I don't, and I'm going to explain why. 1. Cell phone. I do not own one and very rarely use one. I spend most of my time in my home or my office, both of which are equipped with landline telephones … Continue reading 7 Things I Don’t Do
I wanted to be an architect. From the moment I first learned what architects do, when I was about ten years old, I knew that's what I wanted to be: a person who designs buildings that make people comfortable and happy. Right away, I started reading architecture books and magazines. I was fascinated by floorplans … Continue reading The Path at the End of the Road
When you hold a styrofoam plate, you hold eternity in your hand. Plants and animals died millions of years ago and slowly turned into oil. Dozens of machines and probably a hundred people worked to find that oil deposit, bring the oil to the surface, transport it, refine it into polystyrene, produce that foam plate, package … Continue reading Eternity in Your Hand
My four-year-old son and I were in our car on the way to Trader Joe's last Wednesday when this Seatrain song telling the Biblical story of Job came up on the CD my dad made for me. I turned off the engine right after the line, "Long, long they journeyed until they found Job in … Continue reading Hear now the Tale of Job!
God is Love. God is Good. Love is Good. Love is Love. If that's too succinct for you, here is another writer who says the same thing, so beautifully, in many more words!
My neighborhood has a large Jewish population, and every so often a person will approach me in public and say, "Excuse me, are you Jewish?" I always say no. Sometimes this earns me a Good Card, the version for non-Jews. Most times it results in the person leaving me alone--he was looking for a Jewish … Continue reading Excuse me, are you Jewish?