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Epiphany Chalk above Cracked Windows

by The Rev. Paul McLain   On the day before Epiphany, a parishioner sent our clergy team an email sharing the tradition of Epiphany chalk. It is a centuries-old practice in some communities to bless chalk on Epiphany so that people may use it to bless their homes. The chalking is done above the lintel … Continue reading “Epiphany Chalk above Cracked Windows”

Accessing Christmas

by the Rev. Scott Walters   On a recent trip to novel., to redeem a Christmas gift card, I picked up a collection of essays by Molly McCully Brown titled Places I’ve Taken My Body. Molly would have been one of our LPS preachers last spring if we hadn’t had to shut down for the … Continue reading “Accessing Christmas”

On Thomas Merton and the Psalms

by the Rev. Amber Carswell   I’ve observed two diametrically opposed approaches to religious life and the pursuit of God.   First is the pursuit of novelty. I don’t think we can often be accused of this in the Episcopal Church, by and large, but the pursuit itself is certainly familiar to all of us … Continue reading “On Thomas Merton and the Psalms”

Because it’s Clean

by the Rev. Paul McLain   In the movie “Lawrence of Arabia”, Major T. E. Lawrence was asked why he was drawn to the desert. He answered, “Because it’s clean.” Perhaps that is why John the Baptist began his ministry there. The wilderness of the Holy Land is not like those we have in the … Continue reading “Because it’s Clean”

Grateful to the End

by the Rev. Scott Walters   At noon today (as I write), an Irish friend and I will Zoom (suddenly a verb in our vocabularies that needs no explanation). Pádraig is a poet and theologian and has worked in conflict resolution in the North of Ireland. He’s going to record poems for our Advent Service … Continue reading “Grateful to the End”

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 … Continue reading “Hold Fast to What is Good”

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 … Continue reading “Time Horizon”

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 … Continue reading “A Maker’s Attention”


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 … Continue reading “Resilience”

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 … Continue reading “Holding onto Faith”