Thoughts after a phone call and Skype session with my daughters and wife who have been in Kansas for nearly three weeks and are returning tomorrow.  


“I forgot what you looked like,”

laughed the six year old,

coming into view,

smiling with two less teeth than before,

and gazing intently at the screen ,

at me.

I had forgotten too.

Not what she looks like,

but what effect

that gaze has on me.


she reminds me she will soon be seven,

and arrangements must be made:


One of the privileges of being a pastor is having a window into the many ways people in this congregation serve the community in their professional lives.  I spent my morning with Joe Mas, a CMCer who is a criminal defense attorney downtown working especially with the Spanish speaking population.  Joe was part of a panel at a BREAD Welcome Columbus! event on immigration back in March.  His presentation caught my attention and afterwards we agreed that he would show me around his work someday.  That day was today.

The court system is mostly a foreign world to me, so a good part of...

Last weekend I was one of four Columbus Mennonite delegates to the Central District Conference annual gathering, hosted by Madison Mennonite Church in Wisconsin.  Yep, Wisconsin.  And we didn’t have near as far to drive as folks coming from Harrisonburg, Virginia or Pittsburgh, PA.  Atlanta and Sarasota, Florida folks flew.  There is some business that happens at these gatherings, but the main focus is fellowship, worship, and story-telling about what is happening in our congregations.   The two year theme for our Conference is “Transformed Through Text and Table.”   

On Thursday...

I’ve been noticing a lot of wedding anniversaries within CMC recently.  June is a good time to get married, and Abbie and I have been a part of that club for 13 years now.  On Tuesday David Brooks wrote a lovely Op-Ed in the NY Times called “Rhapsody in Realism, ” a reflection on the beauty of flawed people making marriage work.  He cites an article on marriage he has appreciated whose first piece of advice was “Go to bed mad.”  Don’t stay up too late until everything’s...

We had a nice vacation with Abbie’s family in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee.  A highlight: having childcare back at the cabin while Abbie and I hiked to a waterfall and old growth part of the national forest.

I’m writing this from the basement of the church where I was dedicated as a baby – Bethel Mennonite Church in West Liberty, Ohio.  They hosted a lunch gathering today with about 20 area pastors to be in conversation with Ervin Stutzman, Executive Director of Mennonite Church USA.  Ervin will also be in Bluffton this evening for an open town hall meeting.  Conversation...