Joe’s Question

“Pastor, can I ask you a question?” Joe asked me less than five minutes before the worship service is about to begin.   “Umm, sure…” I rather hesitantly replied, choir members mulling about the narthex around us preparing to circle…

The Sound of Silence

1 Kings 19:9-14 Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’ He answered, ‘I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars,…


As Christians—and most certainly as Trinitarian Christians who believe that God is a vibrant community of love and mutuality among three distinct Persons—we know that human beings created in the image of the Triune God were created for community.   But…
Calvin Theological Seminary

Why Do I Write?

I was supposed to answer the question “Why do I write?” on a page you can find by clicking on “The 12” button atop this page.  Instead of finding my answer to that question there, you will see that I…

Christian Higher Education: Some Questions

 Last year I spent three days a week working with the guidance counselor and chaplain of a new high school in south Minneapolis.  Cristo Rey Jesuit High School is a part of the nation wide Cristo Rey network of Catholic…
Northwestern College

The Path

I was staying in a hotel on one of those ubiquitous suburban strips—big box stores, gas stations, car lots, the usual suspects of restaurants.   Figuring it would be circuitous and challenging to drive the quarter mile to the restaurant on…
Second Reformed Church, Pella, IA


InvitationMary OliverOh do you have timeto lingerfor just a little whileout of your busyand very important dayfor the goldfinchesthat have gatheredin a field of thistlesfor a musical battle,to see who can singthe highest note,or the lowest,or the most expressive of…