"What places do I really have to see when I'm here?" I asked the woman behind the desk at the Osage visitor's center. “You must see our church,” she said, smiling. Clearly, she was at least part Osage. I liked the…
February 26, 2021

The Public Reading of Scripture

Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear. The Revelation 1:3 Children make excellent lectors. My forty years of parish ministry has shown me that they are often better than…
February 25, 2021

The Color of Stitching

Imagine that the entire city of Miami just disappeared. The whole population: gone.  Or maybe you can imagine Omaha or Raleigh better.  The official population of each of these cities is actually fewer than the 500,000 Americans dead over the…
February 24, 2021

Church Years

for Myrtle Takken for her 95th YearGrandma walks toward Easter one more time;I see her walking not toward church but trees---trees of the farm she used to own:small persimmon hidden in the gully,chestnut in a corner of the cornfield,sugar pears…
February 21, 2021

The Snow Pile

Today we will consider the snow pile at the end of my driveway. These days you may have one too. In all likelihood, you know how the snow pile got there, at the end of the driveway, but just in…
February 20, 2021

The Time is Now for Immigration Reform

When my family moved to Sioux Center fifteen years ago the neighborhood was very different from how it looks today. Back then my neighbors were white, most of Dutch heritage, and, if they went to church, protestant. Today, many of…
February 19, 2021


On Tuesday morning I looked up from the plank position I had been holding and saw a dolphin. And then another dolphin. Just their dorsal fins arcing up and out of the water, then disappearing, then cresting again. Twenty-four hours…
February 18, 2021

What are the ashes about?

“What are the ashes about?"The question was sincere. My church has never done Ash Wednesday before -- at least not with ashes, anyway. And so as we began announcing that we’d be offering the imposition of ashes for the first…
February 17, 2021