“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

Abundant Life as an Integrated Life

“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” I wanted to share some reflections from a homily I gave at our most recent faculty retreat, and share a book recommendation in the process. I’m starting with this declaration from Jesus in John 10: “I came that they may have life, and have…… Continue reading Abundant Life as an Integrated Life

My Grandmother’s Hands

I didn’t really plan on doing another book review so quickly, but I wanted to share just a few thoughts about this book [suggested to me by a friend], which was really interesting and different than any other book I have read recently about racism and society. Menakem focuses on our bodies, arguing that we…… Continue reading My Grandmother’s Hands