I have been thinking about my favorite Thanksgiving themed children’s book that I had the deep privilege to share with many a primary class during my teaching years.

This book, Giving Thanks, A Native American Good Morning Message, by Chief Jake Swamp, was uncovered lately while digging through my remaining classroom collection of books for stories to read to two of my grandchildren, Everett and Coral, on FaceTime. (A pandemic tradition that has become a source of regular connection for Ted and I with these two lovelies.)

Of all the books that could be read on this day,...

This year’s Advent theme is Awake in the dark.  We based it on the gospel for this coming Sunday from Mark chapter 13.  The reading begins with the sun being darkened, and ends with the words of Jesus: “What I say to you, I say to everyone: Keep awake.”  It has a serendipitous connection with Carolyn May’s November 15 sermon in which she talked about the goodness of Endarkenment.

One experience of being awake in the dark is the sleeplessness that comes with anxiety and fear – something we have each likely experienced in some form this past year. 

Another is a kind of...

I appreciated Carolyn May and Phil Hart’s exploration of darkness imagery last week, and it reminded me of Joel’s sermon (a while ago!) that interwove the song “Joyful is the Dark.” In screening thousands of songs for Voices Together, I have become all the more aware of how some biblical images are used over and over in Christian songs while others are absent.

Our work on Voices Together text editing included revising some hymn texts to remove negative darkness (for example, “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” will say “drive our fear and doubt away...

A mentor once told me, “Brent, when you decide to change yourself for the better and really bear down, the universe will test you. When you decide to take control, the universe is going to give you all sorts of…*STUFF*… before it gives you any shinola.”

When I started writing these Daily Connectors, my purpose was twofold:
1. To encourage the reader to take inventory of their blessings.
2. I realized that I myself, could be the beneficiary of a reminder-and a refresher of how-to look upon all that God has made and realize its goodness.

In my first connector (...

“What is this place, where we are meeting?”
A monitor screen, covered with a patchwork of squares,
filled with the faces of people
A community, a family, “a body that lives”
even though we are gathered virtually.
We affirm that the God that is here with me
is also there with you.

Unencumbered from habitual seating
and the gravitational pull of familiarity,
we invite one another into our homes,
stitch our names to our faces,
and offer virtual hospitality
fusing our lives with a different kind of kinship,...