A Tree with Deep Roots

Over 10 years ago David Brooks wrote an amazing essay in the New York Times.  While it was written for the good of our nation, his words of wisdom apply well to our life as a congregation.  I am quoting him here not to suggest we lack these qualities.  Rather, I am...

Transitional Director of Pastoral Care

Friends, It is with great joy that I share with you that we will soon have full-time transitional leadership for congregational care. On Thursday of last week at a called Session meeting Newton Cowan was unanimously approved to fill this role. As many of you know,...

A life-changing week at Montreat

In 1986, I climbed into an RV with ten other New Orleans youth and rode “up north” … five states away to attend the Montreat Youth Conference in North Carolina. I was 14 years old and was about to begin high school. I had never been to North...

Slow and Steady or Lightning Fast?

This is an exciting summer for track and field fans like me. The Olympic Trials are going on now in Eugene, Oregon, and the Olympics will be in August. Athletes at the very peak of performance are also at the very razor’s edge of injury. All elite runners,...

Summer of blessings

What a gift it has been to see many of you in person, in worship. My gratitude for the many people who make worship a reality week to week overflows: our housekeeping and maintenance staff, the ushers, the audio and visual technicians, the musicians and singers, the...

Boxes, circles, and the Book of Matthew

One of my favorite things to do in Youth Ministry is write curriculum. It gives me a chance to get my brain working and forces me to re-read chunks of the Bible (a spiritually healthy thing to do, I hear). And for this curriculum I read the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew...

Let Us Now Praise Wasps and Indigo Buntings

One of the best ways to stay enraptured with the majesty and mystery of God is to learn more about the wonders of the natural world. Wasps are universally feared and disliked because of their stings, but they are amazing little creatures who have their important place...

“The ache for home lives in all of us … “

Maya Angelou once wrote, “The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” For most of us, home indeed is the safe place we turn to in different stages of our life as a shelter from life’s storms. 2020 and...

Let nature find you

“At least once, stop and sit and let nature find you.” This was the admonition Grant and I received from the volunteer who welcomed us to the Miami Beach Botanical Garden. The garden is a small enclave of green and quiet in the middle of fast, expensive cars, beach...

Even superheroes’ capes need adjustments

I have a lifelong friend I admire greatly. She is a few years older than me, and I always look to her as a role model, a confidant, and a friend. She is a very accomplished woman. She has a PhD in her field and works in a senior-level position in her job. She is an...