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A couple months ago I wrote about how I had only recently jumped on the Brené Brown bandwagon, and I just now finished a second book by her, Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone. I chose this second work by Brown because the title intrigued me, especially the idea of “true belonging.”  More and more, I am sensing, hearing stories about, and personally experiencing that we are becoming increasingly isolated, lonely, and disconnected from one another. And even though we sometimes make jokes about how the time of the pandemic has made us lose all...

What do a hornet’s nest, a self-portrait, a banjo, a philosophy book, and a narwhal stuffy have in common?  These were some of the many items that showed up at the church last evening for the closing mini-retreat of the Transitions and Ritual group. 

Each participant was asked to bring several symbolic objects that represent the stage/era/phase of life that is ending/fading/receding and the stage/era/phase of life that is beginning/emerging/taking shape.  Each of the eight participants had time to describe why they brought their particular objects and how they relate to grief and...

The headlines aren’t getting any prettier, but here in the remnants of the temperate deciduous forest you can’t take a step these days without encountering beauty.  The fiery sugar maple in our backyard has let go of enough leaves to blanket the ground beneath it, still holding on to enough to fill itself with color.  The yellowing pawpaw leaves on the bike trail by the river are bowing lower, a humbled posture, soon to let go, but not just yet.  The serviceberry in front of the church is keeping watch over the rain garden as they both undergo transition.   

In Dostoyevsky’s novel...

This Monday was Indigenous People’s Day, a refocusing of Columbus Day. 

While in Minnesota last month, I had a morning to walk through the Minnesota History Center in Saint Paul.  I spent the most time in the exhibit Our Home: Native Minnesota.  It focused on the long history of the Dakota in the region, and the shorter history of the Ojibwe, who migrated from the East to the Great Lakes, making their way to what is now Minnesota in the 1600s.      

Walking through the exhibit called to mind the book...

The September issue of The Christian Century magazine had a monthly theme exploring the topic of the “Earth’s agency,” with a number of articles looking at various aspects of ecotheology.  This was a timely read to lead up into last weekend’s Fall Retreat and gave me plenty to reflect on as I wandered the woods of the retreat center or listened deeply to the sermon(s) that Creation was proclaiming to us during our Sunday worship service. 

One of the articles introduced me to a new word: solastalgia. It means...

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