Train trips and transitions

I am transitioning in my ministry career from full time chaplaincy at Timbercrest Senior Living Community to being full time District Executive Minister for the south/central Indiana district of the Church of the Brethren. I don't see as much discontinuity between those two roles as many folks have expressed... realities of compassion fatigue, transition, loss,… Continue reading Train trips and transitions


Blast from the past

Hi, folks. I apologize if you are one of the people who get emails about this blog -- you just got a bunch of them!  I discovered that my old blog was in the process of disappearing but that I could still access the admin site.  So I decided to transfer all 90 posts over… Continue reading Blast from the past



There are so many kinds of silence. The silence that envelops like a warm quilt, tucked up tight. The silence that chafes and itches, pacing along the walls of anxiety’s prison. The silence that expects and hopes and yearns. The silence that holds its breath and stands stock still, waiting for… for what? The silence… Continue reading Silence


Chaplaincy journal 5: One Day

Alex sits in his wheelchair watching Jeopardy with his wife.  His right arm is drooping and, though he is following the conversation with big eyes like a three or four year old might, he only now and again says "I don't know" or "okay."  His wife tells me of the 7 TIAs, 2 strokes, bladder surgery and prostate surgery he… Continue reading Chaplaincy journal 5: One Day


Chaplaincy journal 4: Precious

She broke her hip and now it's infected.  Two months of hospital time.  She misses her dog.  She isn't sure why she fell.  She's walked down that hall thousands of times before and been just fine.  She's glad she and her husband got those necklaces, though, the ones where you push the button and they… Continue reading Chaplaincy journal 4: Precious


Chaplaincy journal 3: Food

I walked into the room and said, "You're still here!  I thought you were going to get out of this joint a week ago!" "You and me both," he responded, with a roll of the eyes.  "But I get to eat today!  Meatloaf and mashed potatoes and gravy.  Now, I'm sure the meatloaf won't be… Continue reading Chaplaincy journal 3: Food

Poems and prayers, Reflections

Chaplaincy journal 2: Dawn and Dusk

As I was driving to the hospital, chasing an earthy, insistent sunrise, my conversation with God went like this: “God, I need you to be with me today. And not as a trickster, today. Today I need to sense you in gentleness. You’ve been pushing me, I know. It seems you are preparing me for… Continue reading Chaplaincy journal 2: Dawn and Dusk


God and kittens

I hate it when God invades my dreams with theology, like a kitten playing with my pen as I'm trying to write.  Okay, maybe I don't hate it... it just makes for a short night. Tonight it's this line from a Jars of Clay song: "I am thankful that I'm incapable of doing any good… Continue reading God and kittens


Chaplaincy stories

Last September I began writing a journal with some of my thoughts and encounters during chaplaincy.  I'm going to start posting parts of it here from time to time... in the hope that God will be present in the stories, in the spaces, in the questions, in the love and hope at the heart of… Continue reading Chaplaincy stories


Peacemaking: being like a child

In the class I'm TAing, we have talked much about Jesus' injunction to the disciples to be like a child (Matthew 18).  Many of the students have brought up the difficulties of this image.  Usually it's talked about in regard to our current understanding of children and vaguely psychologized -- children are (and so we… Continue reading Peacemaking: being like a child