“I hope you can understand why it is that despite all its faults and its legacy of violence, I so very much love my country and my culture. It is an amazingly rich, vibrant, and active way of life. So, it is possible that in one country you can find such extremes as genocide and […]
Children, it seems to me, are blessedly free from the notion that we are earth-bound. On my recent teaching trip to Burundi, I had the chance to worship in a United Methodist Church in the hills outside the capital city. Rev. Jean Ntahoturi was showing me a school that was under construction, designed to serve […]
My little meditation on the moon is up on the blog of the great Streetlight magazine today. Many thanks to Trudy Hale and the gang for offering the space for such musings.
With all the talk of division and separation in our church and society, it’s heartening to know that there are places where United Methodists are coming together. Next Friday I’m getting on a plane for my first trip to Africa. I got the call about 6 weeks ago when the Burundi United Methodist Church announced […]
“When thundering through the heavens I hear the B-2 Stealth Bomber—it’s elusive grace as it banks trailing fractals from its skin, its clandestine maneuvers, its trinitarian aerodynamism—I think of God.” (38) Spend some time in Kimberly Johnson’s 2014 poetry collection, Uncommon Prayer, and you’ll think of God in some unlikely images—a bug-zapper, a corpse flower, […]
Can people really change? To hear Ed Malinowski, a behaviorist in the mold of John B. Watson and B.F. Skinner, tell it, the answer must be yes. Ed is one of the central characters in Virginia Reeves’ beguiling sophomore novel, The Behavior of Love. “People are malleable,” he says, “as are their behaviors, and behavior […]
A brief word of thanks for an old collection of poems by Scott Cairns. Twenty years has passed since the first publication of Recovered Body, a small collection of Cairns’ poetry. It doesn’t have the warmth of some of his later work, (despite the passionate interludes with Erato, the muse), but it is fun to […]
What if the problem with the name of the Commission on A Way Forward was that it had one too many words? Pick the one you’d like to delete, but my vote is for ‘Forward.’ ‘Forward’ carries a lot of weight in this title. It implies several things. First, that we are stuck in an […]
There are at least two ways to look at a concept like The Heartland. You could look at it as a search for meaning, in which uprooted, sometimes traumatized people, seek to understand their lives in relation to a place. It’s in this sense that the great Southern writer Carson McCullers talked about American homesickness. […]
An article I wrote for FaithLink, the great United Methodist Publishing House resource for study groups on faith and current events, is now up on Ministry Matters. Exploring the remarkable comeback of printed books, despite my earlier predictions that they were headed for the dustbin! Check out The Persistence of Print.