Week of March 18, 2018


Dear Friends,

Since it was my son's spring break we headed down to West Palm Beach with him and his girlfriend for a few days.  Our last day there, we check out of the rental house and drove to the beach.  The sun over the water turned the shallows aquamarine while the deeps were dark teals.  The sand, particularly fine, sparkled under the sun while the waves burnished the beach with various subtle patterns.  Oh this is beautiful, I thought.

4 hours later we were driving home in Norwalk at dusk. Enough snow meant that the deepening warm blue sky was reflected in the remaining patches of snow, while the trees in their dark stands bared their dark architecture.  Oh this is beautiful, I thought.  

I thank my mother for teaching me to notice.  And I thank God for creating such a beautiful, splendid and varied world.  I have too too much going on right now in my life, too much I have said yes to, and just thinking about it makes my heart beat faster.  But when I notice, just notice nature with her longer timeline and ancient structure, I breathe more restfully.  I am grateful.  This world becomes a gift and I see myself in it in the larger web of relationships.  

This time of year may make us all anxious for the spring.  Still, the mounds of spiderwort are already pushing up in the softening soil. Spring will bring its beauty to us.  

But don't wait for it.  Look now. Notice now.  (As I type this, I look out the window and see two pine seedlings blowing in the wind.  Glory be to God)

Peace and Grace,



"The law of God, and also the way to life, is written in our hearts:  It lieth in no man's supposition and knowing, nor in any historical opinion, but in a good will and well-doing."

--Jakob Bohme


 Maturity is the ability to think, speak and act your feelings within the bounds of dignity. The measure of your maturity is how spiritual you become amidst frustration and challenge. 
 Samuel Ullman

Week of March 4, 2018

Dear Friends,

I have lately been musing on the question of ‘what has the biggest claim on my life’.  Is it my work?  Is it my primary relationships?  Is it my persona or public image?  Is it my political leanings?  Is it my religion? 

For sure, a variety of things has shaped and continues to shape my life. They have EACH contributed to and influenced my identity.  But I am dissatisfied more and more with labels.  I am less and less interested in self-defining as white, or well-educated, or Southern, or American, or Democrat, or religious. 

I want to be associated with the community of people who care about the heart and will of God.  Perhaps one cannot easily know the will of God.  But I believe a long train of spiritual teachers across religious divides lifts up the essential goodness and giftedness of life.  This declaration of the benevolence of LIFE (God)  is a center point, an anchor, and a north star.  It is to be celebrated and protected.  For the alternative is of course fear, anxiety, cynicism and negativity.  We live in that space easily. 

What has the biggest claim on my life?  I want to answer boldly, “The heart and the will of God.”  I want to add my confession, “I am letting go of running my life in pursuit of comfort, security, approval, success, or rightness.”  I want to say, “I am living into the call to surrender to a Presence that is bigger, more interesting, and more transformative.”

Let’s call it life in the Spirit.  In Paul’s language, it is the great invitation to patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  I want all of these to live in my heart. 

Please join us on Sunday morning to hear about the fruits of the Spirit and reconsider what needs to have the biggest claim on your life. 






Going too fast for myself I missed

more than I think I can remember


almost everything it seems sometimes

and yet there are chances that come back


that I did not notice where they stood

where I could have reached out and touched them


this morning the black shepherd dog

still young looking up and saying


Are you ready this time

 --W.S. Merwin