“Deaths of Despair” and Social Isolation

I used to write a blog post after most mass shootings, but I stopped that practice some time ago when, tragically, they started to become so regularized. How many times can you bemoan the ease of obtaining a gun, the ignoring of warning signs, increasing violence and the normalization of these shootings? I felt at…… Continue reading “Deaths of Despair” and Social Isolation

Remembering Yesterday, for the sake of Today and Tomorrow

While I was in Oklahoma last weekend, I visited two very significant museums: the museum and memorial commemorating the Oklahoma City Bombing of April 19th, 1995; and the Greenwood Rising museum and Reconciliation Park in Tulsa, which commemorate the Tulsa massacre of the Black community [often known as “Black Wall Street”] in the Greenwood neighborhood…… Continue reading Remembering Yesterday, for the sake of Today and Tomorrow

Unto You, a Savior is Born

Christmas is a labor of love, is it not?  So much had to be done to get us to today—either by you, or by others:  a tree was selected and cut, purchased and brought home, set up and decorated; lights were hung, decorations were placed; cards were written and mailed; food—mountains of food—was shopped for,…… Continue reading Unto You, a Savior is Born

Reflections from the Augustana Hochschule

I am back in Neuendettelsau at the Augustana Hochschule, where I studied for a year as an exchange student from Wartburg Seminary during the academic year 1994-1995. Before this trip, I had only been back to Neuendettelsau one time since then, and I hadn’t really spent any time in the Augustana itself. So, it is…… Continue reading Reflections from the Augustana Hochschule

Commemorating Trans Awareness Week

Today in chapel we commemorated Trans Awareness week, and our new homiletics professor, Sam Gilmore (who is fabulous, by the way–we are so blessed to have her here at Wartburg), preached a fantastic sermon. I’d like to share just a few reflections from it. The text was Matthew 23:37–24:14, the passage where Jesus laments over…… Continue reading Commemorating Trans Awareness Week

Why Diversity Matters, for Everyone

Bob Iuliano, the current president of Gettysburg College, a wonderful college where I used to serve as chaplain/associate dean of religious and spiritual life, wrote this fantastic piece for The Hill on race-conscious college admissions: you can read it here: https://thehill.com/opinion/congress-blog/3673515-building-diverse-campuses-requires-race-conscious-admissions/ Iuliano is uniquely qualified to write on this topic, because he previously served as…… Continue reading Why Diversity Matters, for Everyone

Joseph Anton/Salman Rushdie

As most people remember, on August 12th, Salman Rushdie was stabbed multiple times as he was preparing to give a lecture in Chautauqua, New York. According to CNN, “the author suffered three stab wounds to his neck, four stab wounds to his stomach, puncture wounds to his right eye and chest, and a laceration on…… Continue reading Joseph Anton/Salman Rushdie