Category Chaplaincy

Maundy Thursday

Lent has been my favorite liturgical season for decades, and became more and more tangible as a pediatric chaplain. I love imposing ashes on Ash Wednesday as our collective dust gathers to be reminded that we are finite and we belong to God. Maundy Thursday is one of the most vulnerable services to lead as […]

Unplanned Community at Planned Parenthood

Yesterday I was asked how I can support Planned Parenthood as clergy. I don’t speak for all clergy, but here’s my story: After I learned of my clergy spouse’s affairs, I called my OBGYN and requested an appointment ASAP. Since we had been seeing her for infertility, she enthusiastically returned my call thinking I wanted […]

Birthday Candles

My mom died about thirty minutes after midnight on a Saturday night. Since Monday of that week she told everyone she was going to die on Sunday, and sure enough she kept her word with that just as she always did. Earlier that Saturday night, while I was washing her sparkly silver hair, I mentioned […]

Choreographing a Crisis

As a chaplain and pastor, I am inevitably with folks during periods of crisis, trauma, and chaos.  One of my mantras that I repeat time and time again to families during such times is, “Your crisis. Your call. Your choreography.” I say this because often folks try to please everyone else in their extended family, […]

Community of Healing

A Sermon Preached at Presbyterian Church of Western Springs, IL on June 9, 2013.  Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was […]

Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend began Friday afternoon in a hospital room overlooking Lake Michigan as a friend and his dad got discharge papers and headed home to begin hospice care. While my friend was confirming the many details, I knelt down by his dad’s hospital bed, held his hand, and told him that I’m so grateful […]

Medicine & Meditation

Medicine & Meditation is a downloadable devotional guide written for healthcare employees which includes a brief meditation for each day of Holy Week. It has been used by hospital colleagues who requested it be made available to a wider audience. If you’d like a quick glance at what’s inside, here is Holy Monday’s devotion. Suggested donation […]