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The final stage in Erik Erickson's psychosocial development is integrity versus despair.  In short, what this means is that people who have worked hard at developing a life of integrity will have the capacity, as they near the end of life, to enjoy a sense...

I am several months into an experiment of trying to bring a Benedictine pattern of prayer and work into my daily rhythm.  This commitment started with a statement made by Cynthia Bourgeault who was leading a retreat at The Glastonbury Abbey in Hingham, Massachusetts for...

Many years ago, a group in my church was using a tool developed by a pastor and friend, Tom Thresher, to help people explore why it is so hard to create change in our lives.  He adapted a process outlined in Immunity to Change, by Lisa...

One of the Scripture readings for this Sunday is from Jeremiah 18, in which we humans are compared to clay that is being worked by a potter, who represents God.  The claim is made that the potter is free to rework the clay if the...

For the past three months, I've been trying to be more intentional about creating a rhythm of life, inspired by the Benedictine pattern of ora et labora, prayer and work.  I've been reading from a contemporary Benedictine, Joan Chittister, who writes beautifully about the relevance...

It was a hot day yesterday.  The thermometer nearly hit 100 degrees.  After officiating at a memorial service, I had gone to the reception in our church hall which is not air-conditioned.  When I left, the temperature in the room was 96.  Once home, I...

A spiritual practice which I have been trying on more deliberately this past year is called Welcoming Prayer.  I find it a very counter-instinctive practice, so it has taken some time to bring it into the flow of my day.  The idea is to bring...

I find myself wondering about my responsibility as a pastor in these divided and concerting times.  To me, it seems clear that we have a president who is undermining democratic norms and values and appealing to an energy of fear which shuts down creative and...

Friday night, my wife and I joined some good friends for dinner to celebrate a couple of birthdays.  We were outside.  It was fun and relaxed and the conversation flowed.  At the dinner table, our host announced that he was going skydiving the next day...

I read reports that it hit 90 degrees Fahrenheit in Anchorage, Alaska last week.  Humans have never seen this reading there before.  Much of Europe also has experienced record-breaking heat this summer.  Where I live in New Jersey, we have had unusual amounts of rain. ...