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R.I.P. - An Ode to Summer (and a Venerable Cat)

A few years back, my kids would occasionally use the word “RIP” to designate a comic fail or error. It didn’t occur to me that “RIP” was a modern shorthand for “Rest in Peace” and was associated with the end or death of something. My only previous…   Read More »

Attention Span (and the rise of Podcasts)

For most of my life I’ve been hearing about the problem of the average attention span of Americans. When I was kid it was the TV (aka “the idiot box” according to parents), then it was video games, then it was the internet, then it was the iPhone, then it was the Facebook…   Read More »

The Book of ACTion

As the power of Pandemic fades, I’ve been repeatedly asking myself this question: “What’s going to keep us together as we are increasingly able to come back together?”  For our wider American society, I don’t have a good answer. But when it comes to the…   Read More »

New Words for Summer

While summer is officially still a few weeks off, this weekend is going to feel like summer all around Chicagoland. As we move into a new season of outdoor worship, I’ve included some significant words and turns-of-phrase connected to what lies ahead.  Baptistry — …   Read More »


We’re about as far away from Advent on the calendar as it’s possible to get. These May days are warm and delightfully long, but I’ve found myself frequently praying and humming a few lines from the hymn  “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” which are usually…   Read More »

Of Masks and Vaccines

As of Thursday afternoon, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) significantly modified the guidance for those who have received a Covid-19 vaccine. While this guidance has some immediate and happy implications for this Sunday’s worship service, it’s important to recognize that…   Read More »

How to Have a Happy Mothers’ Day

My mom died a few years ago. I miss her greatly.  She often said that her legacy was embodied in her five children. I’m not so sure about that. While she certainly gave, sacrificed, and nurtured her kids to the best of her ability — and we all turned out sort of OK —…   Read More »

I’m Gonna Ask You To Step Outside

At this week’s Senior Leadership Team (SLT) meeting, we talked quite a bit about the pros and cons of indoor and outdoor worship. At one point, I said something to the effect of, “Even if there were no such thing as COVID, worshipping outdoors for the summer is the best thing…   Read More »

Spring Forecast for Worship

Spring has officially arrived in our northerly part of the world. The white blossoms of the pear trees are in full bloom. Redbuds are pushing out their uniquely purplish flowers. Noisy birds are nesting, and the lawn needs to be mowed — frequently! With the return of more comfortable…   Read More »

A Shot of Hope

What a week it’s been at Elmhurst CRC! I’ve had more fun than any pastor should be allowed to have despite the ongoing complexities of living through the tail end of a global pandemic. There are three golden moments from the last seven days that are still shining in my…   Read More »

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