Essay

The art of the non-anxious presence

(Originally posted on Call and Response on July 12, 2010) Staring at people and crying are two things New Yorkers typically avoid doing in public. But this spring, all were welcome to engage in either or both within the walls…
December 19, 2011
Essay

Redeeming the dance

A half a century ago, I was a kid in a Sunday school class taught by a man who’d taught those classes longer, maybe, than he should have. We thought old Bill was ancient, but he was likely a decade or more…
December 16, 2011
Essay

Of Newt and Leila

I’ll call her “Leila.” That’s not her real name, but given possible security repercussion we’ll leave it at that. She was the first person to come to mind when hearing the asinine and pandering response given by former Speaker of…
December 16, 2011
Essay

J.O.Y. ?

Throughout the season of Advent the church is invited to reflect on hope, peace, joy, and love. The third week of Advent – joy – has always been meaningful for me. While for some, this word may conjure up memories…
December 15, 2011
Essay

Private and Personal?

In the midst of this Advent Season when radio stations and mall Muzak are willing to cut loose with songs that celebrate Jesus as the one who "rules the world with truth and grace," an Op-Ed in Sunday's New York…
December 13, 2011
Essay

A Son of a Shepherd and Joy

We light the third advent candle – the curiously pink candle – for the shepherds and the quality of joy. Friends from Europe were visiting and after a long day we were discussing what to do for dinner. Sergio, whose…
December 12, 2011
Essay

The Tree of Life

To startle man, God becomes for an instant a blasphemer; one might almost say that God becomes for an instant an atheist.  He unrolls before Job a long panorama of created things, the horse, the eagle, the raven, the wild…
December 10, 2011
Essay

What are you giving up for Advent?

It's pretty common to hear people, not least Protestants, talk about what they might give up for Lent. Some of them even follow through and make a commitment. And while some of the resulting privations can have nice utilitarian consequences—weight…
December 9, 2011