“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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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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Do not go wordless into that good night – Pastoral Backstory – May 25th, 2017
May25

Do not go wordless into that good night – Pastoral Backstory – May 25th, 2017

May 25th, 2017   What would you say to someone who might die in days? What wisdom or comfort might you offer them? Could you offer such? In this week’s Backstory, these three: a testimony, a poem, and a song. Together they form a preface and postscript for our short series on the doctrine of resurrection from chapter 15 of Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth.       First, the testimony (which will...

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