Mixing the strange and the familiar keeps our progressive religion evolving …

The good poem maintains a delicate balance between strangeness and familiarity. The author must make the familiar strange enough to be re-seen or re-felt by the reader. The truth is always a little strange because the conventional world has little interest in truth, and regularly accepts packaged versions of it …

This excerpt from Stephen Dunn’s essay, The Good, The Not So Good, defines […]

I plan to retire in May of 2016 …

Kansas gay feather, those violet-purple spires, have begun to bloom on the roadside. Soon asters and goldenrod will shine across the prairie, summoning autumn. At our Fellowship Board retreat, which moved with gusto into the important issues that give our community forward momentum, I announced that I plan to retire in May of 2016. Normally, a minister shares this information when only a couple of […]

On a perfect Swedish evening …

On a perfect Swedish evening, on the beach of a perfect lake ringed by woods and meadows, a family arrives just as the red-gold of the lowering sun begins to shimmer on the water. The daughter and father move quickly into the lake and swim out. The mother sits on a large towel, reaches for her phone and starts scrolling. She never looks up.

Another […]

A decade has passed since we sold our little house in Sweden …

A decade has passed since we sold our little house in Sweden. We left boxes of books, family pictures, bikes, and antiques with a friend. Stuff that we could not haul back to Kansas or simply toss. It’s time to sort through these belongings.

It makes us happy to return to a more leisurely approach to time; the encouragement to schedule more mindfully. Instead of […]

Do you ever need a break from bad news? …

Do you ever need a break from bad news? I do. Since the 1980’s, I’ve taken breaks from NPR and the headlines. An endless stream of horror stories pulls joy from my bones. I become exhausted and starved for meaning that sustains and inspires. I turn from the news toward what restores a larger context, a great vision, pleasure, so that I can balance the […]

When the well runs dry we tap our storage tank …

When the well runs dry we tap our storage tanks for water. Last night when the sound of rain on the roof woke me, something in me eased. I woke up a couple of times to the start and stop of a good rain. The rain was not steady. It came in bursts. This morning I thought as I went to check the rain gage […]

After a harsh winter I am thankful for hardy rootstock …

After a harsh winter I am thankful for hardy rootstock that allows the trees in our orchard to survive. As spring slowly shows its face I look for signs of growth on bushes and perennials that do not fare well when the temperatures drop below zero. For the last couple of years, I watched a rosemary plant become a small bush, thriving with mild winters. […]

Personal reflections in support of AllsFairKansas.com

Fellowship member Sarah McGreer Hoyt offers some personal reflections in support of AllsFairKansas.com, raising funds to support the fight for recognition of legal same-sex unions in the state of Kansas.

I met Rev Michael Nelson in August 2000. We were both students in a graduate creative writing workshop at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he received his master’s degree. I remember him as a […]

AN OPEN LETTER TO ACLU ATTORNEYS IN CHARGE OF MARRIAGE EQUALITY

Dear _______ ,

We spoke with you in the fall when we were seriously considering the possibility of filing a case in federal court asking Kansas to recognize same sex marriages. You were adamant in your assertion that any such attempt was not to be encouraged. In fact you went so far as to say that an attempt would harm the national cause. You inferred […]

The New Jim Crow

I reserve Sunday evenings at 5 pm for time on the elliptical machine and Bill Moyers. On December 22, he interviewed Michelle Alexander, the author of The New Jim Crow. This book examines how our nation’s criminal justice system has reinstitutionalized slavery. There are a number of states that promise a minimum of 95% occupancy for their for-profit prisons. Alexander exposes the links between the […]