A Prayer for this day

I'm sure you, like me, are devastated by the news of the latest mass shooting, this time in Uvalde, Texas. This time involving elementary school children. I'm sure you, like me, are sick and tired of political leaders offering "thoughts and prayers" but refusing to take any other action.  Still, as people of faith, prayer …

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Curses or Promises?

Here in the Chicago area where I live, we had a glorious spring season -- for about three days. Sunshine, temps approaching (even surpassing) 70 degrees, all kinds of people outside working and walking, grilling and chilling. We have to get it in when we can. Then there’s all the garden talk: What are you …

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Striving for Wisdom

How can a small local congregation respond to a war on the other side of the globe? I don't know for sure, but that is, in part, what I tried to explore in this sermon. The good people of Woodridge United Methodist Church have previously taken bold action in opposition to the USA invasion war …

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Hearts that beat as one with fists that hit a ton

Happy Valentine's Day! Sure, sure, it's a made up holiday (thanks, Chaucer) that can be pretty lame. Then again, aren't all holidays (like all words) made up? I aim to inject a little geeky fun into the day. In place of chocolate, roses, or even wine how about some comic book power couples falling in …

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Coffee ‘n’ Capes: My Passion Project Podcast

Yes, it's true: I am, apparently, all about that alliteration. Alliteration seems to be de rigueur for us pastor types. I mean, perhaps peruse our sermon titles sometime. We can't seem to help ourselves. You know who else loves alliteration? Comic book writers. Peter Parker, Bruce Banner, Stephen Strange, Reed Richards, Susan Storm, Jessica Jones, …

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Happy Christmas 2021

Merry Christmas! The closest thing I have to a tradition on this blog is this Christmas day offering. Each Christmas I post the Isaiah passage below (which is a reading for Christmas Eve worship every year); John Lennon's "Happy Christmas (War is Over)," which I find the world's best and most challenging Christmas song; and …

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How we’re feeling: Longest Night

Yes, we here in the Chicago area are enjoying an extra 19 seconds of daylight today compared to December 21st. And somehow it does feel a little lighter around here. But the shortest day was just Tuesday. That longest night in the midst of this exceptionally long year (remember when we thought 2021 was going …

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How we got here: Advent sermons

I'm just skating right past my failure at producing posts on the regular this month and just going with a flurry of activity. Hope you'll bear with me as I think there are at least a couple decent nuggets of goodness to be found. I got to preach the first and last Sundays of Advent, …

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A moment of goodness, justice, and joy

Buck O'Neil is kinda, sorta, my grandfather. That is a very bizarre idea for me to posit. Here's what I mean: over the last 15-20 years I've learned to love reading what Joe Posnanski writes and, more recently, listening to what Joe Posnanski says. Before that Substack, Joe wrote for several newspapers, Sports Illustrated, The …

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50 is just a number, right? Right?!

Hi. Wow...it has been a minute. And for no good reason other than, I guess, life happens? Driving kids to and from school, practices, appointments. Actually driving myself to and from the church office again (well, once in a while anyway). Working on bulletins and pastoral care visits and bible studies. Spending time with my …

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