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


Emmaus Farewell

Hymn lyrics I wrote as a parting gift for a dear mentor and brother.  Sung to tune TOWNEND (though if anyone wants to write a tune for it...)   O God, in journeys here below you give us to each other that we may recognize your face in stranger, friend, and brother. We meet and travel… Continue reading Emmaus Farewell


Elijah and Elisha

A sermon preached on 1Kings and 2Kings, at Wabash Church of the Brethren in Indiana, June 26, 2016. Sometimes in these scriptures, I find myself caught up in the whole sweep of the stories and the depth and quirks of the characters. This week as I was preparing this sermon, as I looked for the… Continue reading Elijah and Elisha


Anger and Lament

This sermon was preached at North Manchester Church of the Brethren, in Indiana, on July 10, 2016.  It was important to the sermon that it was preceded by "Renew Your Church" and "Praise the One Who Breaks the Darkness" hymns, a vulnerable and searching pastoral prayer, and a children's story and call to worship about… Continue reading Anger and Lament


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


Blanket Blessing Worship

I am a chaplain at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  When someone is dying or has died, we lay over them blankets that volunteers have created, as signs of God's presence and love in the midst of death and loss.  Their loved ones then take those blankets home, as a reminder of connection and strength… Continue reading Blanket Blessing Worship

Poems and prayers

Ash Wednesday

Last year on Ash Wednesday, I put ashes on foreheads of people walking down the streets of downtown Boston.  This year, I put ashes on foreheads of people in the intensive care unit.  This is the poem that bubbled up from me yesterday. Today everything seems like a poem That doesn’t quite rhyme, With a… Continue reading Ash Wednesday


Zechariah’s Song

A sermon for the second Sunday of Advent Preached at Timbercrest Retirement Community (Luke 1 : 5-25, 57-80) Zechariah could not remember clearly the first day he held these objects, the first day he sang these words. On days like this, it seemed he had been a priest forever. He could remember, though, his father and… Continue reading Zechariah’s Song