Hold Fast to What is Good

by the Rev. Amber Carswell


A famous artist that Missy admires liked a photo of hers on Instagram. The problem was that it was a picture of Missy and me at the beach; the artist has never liked a picture of Missy’s artwork. This was the second time in a week I’ve had this conversation: a theologian I follow and

Time Horizon

by the Rev. Paul McLain


Last Wednesday morning, Ruthie and I arrived early at 157 Poplar to be among the first hundred people or so to vote in Shelby County. I must confess that I’m a “political junkie” who enjoys following campaigns and elections. But one thing that troubles me about our process of selecting leaders and deciding issues is

A Maker’s Attention

by the Rev. Scott Walters


On my days off and evenings, I’ve been adding on to our tool shed. There’s not much room between it and the fence at the back of our lot. But a four-foot extension provided storage for bicycles and a few of my clunkier carpentry tools that I’d rather not lug up from the


by the Rev. Paul McLain


One of the regulars at our Community Breakfast on Sunday mornings is an older man who goes by the street names of “Hippie” or “Shine.” He’s called Shine because that’s what he does – he shines shoes. This past Sunday morning, he gave my black shoes a long overdue shine and we visited as he

Holding onto Faith

Last night, a discussion of Mary Magdelene reminded me of a poem about her by Jane Kenyon. You can find the text of “Woman, Why Are You Weeping?” here, but be warned: if this is a cheery day for you and you’d like to keep it that way, read no further.


The poem opens with a

Scott Walters

Sarcophagi, Shiny Things, and the Great Right Here

To my mind, Pharaohs and Egyptians, who have been showing up with Moses & Co. in our Sunday readings recently, were the Old Testament equivalents of Darth Vader and the stormtroopers, the sort of folks whose drowning gets celebrated in poems and happy camp songs.


But a few years ago, I saw

Comfortably Numb

by the Rev. Paul McLain


Last Wednesday morning, we were running late. It had taken longer than we expected to pick up my mother’s birthday cake at LaBaguette Bakery, so we tried to find the quickest route possible to Jackson, Mississippi, where we were to meet my mother and family for lunch to celebrate her 84th birthday. Along Union Avenue,

A Summer Lenten Experience

by the Rev. Amber Carswell

There’s a scene in Harry Potter where the bookish and brilliant Hermione Granger abuses her copy of Hogwarts, A History, a tome that Hermione heretofore had held in highest esteem and quoted at length. The reader (and Harry) look on with confusion as she furiously exclaims, “A Revised History of Hogwarts would be a more

When the Real is Just a Little Deeper Down

by the Rev. Scott Walters


On Sunday afternoon, Ardelle and I packed up the Subaru and headed west for a few days away. Our itinerary is to read, write, fish, eat, walk, rinse, and repeat through Thursday. So, after a few hours of reading Monday morning, I headed down to the Little Red River with my favorite fly rod.


The last

Advice from a Fisherman

by the Rev. Paul McLain


‘As Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea – for they were fishermen.’ – Matthew 4:18


My Dad was a fisherman. Fishing was not just a hobby for him, it was his pathway to solace, fulfillment, and