Guns & God

I know a lot of really fine people who own guns – some use them for target practice, others collect them, a few believe in the value of guns for self-defense. The Constitution protects the right of citizens – militias – to own and operate guns. I believe in the Constitution, and will always defend…

The Pope is Nice – what’s next?

First – I have been very critical of the Roman Catholic Church and its leadership for many years, and I will be the first to say that Pope Francis is the first pope that I have truly come to respect and admire. His message of love and inclusion is the same message that many followers…

Spiritual But Not Religious For a Day

I hate missing worship, and I have only done so about 8 times over the last 40 years. When we brought our daughter to college two weeks ago, we had planned to worship in this very interesting UCC church in South Miami Beach. We had attended there when we picked her up last May because…

What Does it Mean to Be Spiritual But Not Religious?

I’m kind of sick of this phrase – it has become, for me, a catch all for those who have a beef with organized religion. I get why – they see some folks in churches behaving the opposite of the way they should. They watch the media exploit us all by focusing on the lunatic…

A Life with Purpose

This is Alois Lang – he created the beautiful carving that has been on the altar of Calvary for over 100 years. He appeared on the cover of Time Magazine in 1932 – this is how well he was known around the world. He was tireless in his work, creating beautiful art for church buildings…

General Synod

The General Synod of the UCC just concluded it’s every 2 year meeting, and a lot of important business took place. One of the issues that is of concern, however, is the question about Israel and the Palestinians. The media is in a frenzy, saying that the UCC has joined the BDS movement (an anti-Israel…

Clergy Confessional (1) -The Evil Within

This is Emmanuel AME church, the place where a gun toting racist lunatic murdered 9 people. We may never know what truly motivated Dylann Roof to commit this heinous crime, but we do know that he was, in part, led by an ideological hatred of people of African descent. His anger verged on insanity, but…

When Will the Madness Stop?

Another violent event involving a police officer and teenagers. This one did not end in death –  probably thanks to the other police present who kept cool – but it very well could have. There was a pool party with way too many teenagers, and when it got out of hand, the police were called,…

Are you tired of the hate?

The media portrays Christianity – usually – in very negative ways. We in Berks County are blessed to have such an excellent and positive Religion Section in the Reading Eagle, but most national and global media is not so nice. They know that hate and anger and divisiveness sells, and doing good for others is…

Welcoming the Stranger – and the strange

The Doors said it best – “People are strange, when you’re a stranger.” Too often people feel out of sorts when they visit a church (or return after a long time away). A new setting, new people, different music and preaching and prayers – and the worst thing that those in the church can do…