Thursday, January 29, 2015

On Loss and Grief and Dreams - and God

My newest piece is up at the Episcopal Café. It's about the relationship between loss and grief - and between grief and the holy. I've addressed this before, but this is the result of further reflection.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

On the Word and on Words: Sermon for Christmas 1, Year B

I'm a little slow in keeping up, but I'm still out there. I preached for the First Sunday of Christmas at St. Mary Magdalene Church. It was my reflection on how the Word became flesh, and we became heirs. You can link to the sermon here

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Renewal at the Episcopal Café

I wanted to invite my readers to take a look again at the Episcopal Café. The Café has been moved to a new host and server, with new leadership. The look is very different.

At the same time, the intent is the same: to reflect important news for and some of the best thinking in the Episcopal Church today. The format looks different, and some of the categories have been combined. To get a better feel, you might look at a couple of articles talking about transition to the new site.

I have had one realization. Some of my earlier links to articles at the Café work and some don't. It may take some time to sort those out. At this point, too, it isn't possible to search the new site. There is hope that it will come.

One way or another, it is still worth reading and reviewing. Take a look at the Café, and at some of the interesting - and, yes, exciting - things that people want to showcase about and for the Episcopal Church. It certainly looks new, but it remains worth our time and attention.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Another Great Resource for Chaplains - and For Religion Nerds of All Types

My regular readers will know that I am something of a nerd. I work in a research environment. I grew up in a research household. So, I can get a real rush just from seeing and thinking about an interesting article title.

So, I want to share with you a resource that just tickles the nerd in me like nothing else. There is an organization called the Institute for the Bio-Cultural Study of Religion. According to their web site,

IBCSR's mission is three-fold, involving research, training, and outreach.ResearchIBCSR aims to conduct leading-edge research into the biological and cultural foundations and functions of religion.Training: IBCSR aims to train researchers in the bio-cultural study of religion at the very highest level.Outreach: IBCSR aims to reach out to researchers, scholars, and the general public to build professional networks and to share information about the bio-cultural study of religion.Also, the core values of IBCSR's institutional identity include the following:
  • maintaining the highest intellectual standards in all phases of our work;
  • acting ethically toward our business partners and funding sources;
  • maintaining neutrality regarding the ideological promotion or critique of religious traditions, faith communities, and political outlooks; and
  • remaining institutionally agile, with minimal institutional overhead.
From their web site, one can subscribe to the monthly IBSCR Research Review. It comes with pages and pages of citations of published research and abstracts, all published in the previous calendar month. With that and access to a good library, there's a wealth of information. Beyond general interest in the academic study of religion, there are large sections dedicated to research relevant to Religion and Health. For chaplains and others, the articles can be of real value. Best of all, the IRR is free! 

So, take a look at the web site, and think about subscribing. This can be an exciting resource for all of us interested in research on religion, and especially those of us working in  settings where research is the currency of the realm

Friday, October 24, 2014

A Poem Today: 10-24-14

The Pelican

The pelican on the piling,
Grey and brown in the sunlight,
Gazes over the water. 
It is and is not his home. 
In it he finds, 
From it he takes, 
The fish that sustain him and his. 
On it he finds,
Over it he rides,
The thermals that lift up him and his. 
On it he rests. 
In it he dives. 
It is and is not his home. 

But there on the piling he gazes, 
And to the sun he turns
And opens his wings,
Taking in the warmth,
Taking in the strength 

I spread my arms to the sun 
Wings heavier and weaker than his,
To feel the warmth,
To feel the strength. 
Illumine me this day
That I may find what I need
That I may be lifted up
That I may find rest
On the water
That is and is not my home.