Category Hospitality

The Hospitality of Peace

A homily given at Winnetka Presbyterian Church on November 22, 2015 Isaiah 11:1-5 (NRSV) The Peaceful Kingdom A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might,the spirit of knowledge […]

Blue Christmas

This time last December 13, I crafted two prayers for Church Health Reader’s winter edition featuring Blue Christmas and Longest Night Services while I sat in a surgical waiting room. My mom had a liter of fluid in her right lung, so a surgical oncologist inserted a chest tube to remove the fluid. This is a […]

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, […]

For the Love of Young People

Recently I’ve had conversations with multiple young people who are all in very different seasons and venues in life. After listening to their stories, there are a few common themes which continue to keep me up at night and remind me of the power we pastors, chaplains, and mentors have to keep on working to […]

Caution: People Grieving

As I was checking out at Target, the cashier asked, “How are you?” Without thinking, I responded, “Well, my mom died, I started a new job, and I think I forgot to put the dog in his crate before I left the house. How are you?” She stared at me, then slowly started scanning my […]

Here is the Church, Here is the Steeple… Re-writing the Rhyme

A little rhyme I learned as a child goes like this, “Here is the church. Here is the steeple. Open the doors and see all the people.” There are hand gestures to go along with it to up the dexterity ante: Face hands toward each other. Lock fingers together facing down. Hold both index fingers […]