“not all tears are an evil” – Pastoral Backstory – July 27th, 2017
Jul27

“not all tears are an evil” – Pastoral Backstory – July 27th, 2017

July 27th, 2017 I have always despised saying goodbyes. Whether to my grandmother as she stood frail on the porch of her powder-blue, clapboard home in Oklahoma; or to my best friend from my childhood as we departed for different universities; or to my mother in the last days of her battle with cancer. Apprehensiveness has for me been a frame of heart never quite far enough away. But parting ways and finding a fit word or act to...

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Toward saying more with less – Pastoral Backstory – July 20th, 2017
Jul20

Toward saying more with less – Pastoral Backstory – July 20th, 2017

July 20th, 2017 Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Heard any of these evaluations of our online lives before? Our embrace of a “high-tech, low-touch” existence has been a Faustian bargain. Our curated social media personae permit us to create false impressions and compensate for deep insecurities. Our ability to hide behind...

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There’s freedom in your cell – Pastoral Backstory – July 13th, 2017
Jul13

There’s freedom in your cell – Pastoral Backstory – July 13th, 2017

July 13th, 2017 Think for a moment about the place you live–your residence. Just a quick mental tour of each room and hallway. Now imagine that space without a stitch of carpet anywhere, such that no foot fall by anyone goes unheard or unnoticed. Imagine also every room lacking full enclosing doors, denying you the privacy you sometimes prefer or just the ability to shut out the noise from the rest of the home. Finally, imagine...

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We own nothing but are entrusted with everything – Pastoral Backstory – July 6th, 2017
Jul06

We own nothing but are entrusted with everything – Pastoral Backstory – July 6th, 2017

July 6th, 2017   Last Sunday stewardship was our focus, illumined by the unlikely example of a less than reputable asset manager (Lk 16:1-13). Stewardship is not such an old word that we have to consult a dictionary for its meaning. But it gives off that sense of a by-gone sensibility that the best way to understand it is to see it in action. In this week’s Backstory, I’ve got three very different places, people, and...

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Faith takes refuge in beauty – Pastoral Backstory – June 8th, 2017
Jun08

Faith takes refuge in beauty – Pastoral Backstory – June 8th, 2017

June 8th, 2017 We begin with a follow-up from a recent Backstory. Do you remember the poignant poem we posted recently by Poet Laureate of California, Dana Gioia–the ode to his young son who died and which Gioia entitled “Prayer”? It so happens the poem has been set to music, and by none other than Martin Lauridsen, the composer of another piece we have a tradition of posting each Advent, (O Magnum Mysterium). The...

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