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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It’s impolite not to stare – Pastoral Backstory – April 27th, 2017
Apr27

It’s impolite not to stare – Pastoral Backstory – April 27th, 2017

April 27th, 2017   Curators have a short list of essential elements for the art galleries they oversee. They need walls on which to hang the art. They need lights to illumine the art. They need white, lint-free gloves to handle the art. They need docents to help people appreciate the art (and keep the toddlers from “adorning” the sculptures with half-eaten Cheerios.) But curators are also in the market for benches:...

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the glorious spectacle of weakness – Pastoral Backstory – January 5th, 2017
Jan05

the glorious spectacle of weakness – Pastoral Backstory – January 5th, 2017

January 5th, 2017   Last month something beautiful happened. Beautifully unexpected. Beautifully uncommon. Even if the one who occasioned the moment might just as soon have not been party to it. Last September, folk-singer, poet, troubadour Patti Smith was invited to sing at the 2016 awards ceremony for those receiving the Nobel Prize. She’d been tapped to serenade the audience as an homage to the then undisclosed...

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Ponder anew – Pastoral Backstory – December 22nd, 2016
Dec22

Ponder anew – Pastoral Backstory – December 22nd, 2016

December 22nd, 2016   In a season that erupts with clamor, we need a little quiet. Where it trades in the trivial– a turn toward the substantial. In this the last Backstory of the year, no stories to tell, arguments to be made, or cultural phenomena to comment on. Just images, and melodies, and verses to ponder. First, two choral pieces, both here reprised from previous Christmas posts. Lauridsen’s Mysterium (the...

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