“Try not to think in terms of superimposing our own tastes and objectives on the lives of others but rather to make our energies and talents available to those who would want us to work amongst them.”

— Judith Tokel, meeting notes from the American Addition Neighborhood Council, December 9, 1968


I’ve been doing some poking around in the CMC archives.  They’re in the back of the Upper Room, the last stop of the elevator.  The celebration of CMC’s 55 year anniversary this August, combined with the more casual pace of summer, makes it a good...


2016 was a big year for news, dominated by the US Presidential campaign.  So guess what the top read New York Times article was for the whole year?  It was an essay by Alain de Botton titled “Why you will marry the wrong person.

The title, and article, is meant as an insight that frees us, rather than dooms us, in marriage.  I’m presently doing pre-marriage counseling for two couples, and this article is a newer part of their homework.  De Botton writes:


I know you all have been waiting with bated breath, but wait no longer because the results of the 12 Hymn Nominations are in! 

But first, I feel like I should acknowledge that these results were not obtained in any real scientific way, and there were probably a number of factors at play that may have swayed the votes.  For instance, a couple songs on the list had been used recently in worship, which may have unfairly tipped the scales in their favor.  Also, no Advent/Christmas hymns made the top 12, but overall these were well represented in the nominations.

At the same time...


In the last week and a half our family has enjoyed three excellent and thought provoking films, all based on real life events.

Hidden Figures

Perhaps the most remarkable and scandalous aspect of this story is that it hasn’t been widely told until now.  Who knew that the US space program was dependent on a black woman figuring out the math so Alan Shepard and John Glenn could make their famous launches, and return safely back to earth?  Our favorite line was when Dorothy Vaughan and her white supervisor meet up in one of NASA’s newly integrated women’...


A week and a half ago I went on a weekend retreat with three pastor friends.  We met up in Sylva, North Carolina at the second home of a member of the Atlanta Mennonite congregation.  We got in a couple long hikes, sampled some excellent and just OK craft beer, and had lots of conversation.  In regards to the latter, it was about the opposite of a silent retreat.

One of the things we talked about was busyness.  I’ve never quite bought into the language of “work/life balance” since it implies that work and life are two different things.  But being too busy I get. ...