Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Death Archives

Lessons from the Valley of the Shadow of Death

Just over six months ago, a member of our congregation announced he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer: Steve Hayner, the outgoing president of Columbia Theological Seminary, and his wife Sharol, have come to be most associated in my mind […]

Deathbed Wishes

Yesterday I visited a dying woman at the hospital.  I do this sort of thing pretty regularly these days as a hospice chaplain.  Her daughter was there, tearful but steady. She said her family was Christian and that they were […]

A Mother’s Day Tribute to Peggy Hight-Robb (a.k.a. “Grandmom Peggy”)

A few days ago my grandmother died. It’s poignantly fitting that “Grandmom Peggy” made her exit from this life just before Mother’s Day. She was after all a mother to six children. I only quite recently discovered how much Grandmom […]

Praying for Dead People?

And what the dead had no speech for, when living They can tell you, being dead: the communication Of the dead is tongued with fire beyond with the language of the living. —T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets Last night at dinner […]

Words on the 90th Birthday of a Dear Friend and Teacher

The longer I live, the more I’m learning the importance of celebrating the people whose lives have touched mine—not just after they die, but when they are still alive. “Emilia Pavlovna” (as she’s been called since I sat in her […]

Spongebob, God Pumping Iron and Thoughts on Growing Older

[Apologies for the delay in posts: technical difficulties on the heels of travel and Thanksgiving have kept me away. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Tomorrow, our series “Holy Space” recommences with photojournalist Katie Archibald-Woodward.] This past weekend I […]

Remembering Joyce and Little Things With Great Love

[A correction has been made to Joyce’s age in this latest version of the post.] And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. —1 Corinthians 13:13 Right now my father-in-law is waiting […]

5 Tips for Facing Our Fears

Early this morning, I was just drifting off into the halcyon waters of deep sleep REM when my son woke me up to say he was scared. I was non-plussed on a third consecutive night of one or another or […]

The Power of Memory and Commitment

I’m a sucker for great stories, and usually I don’t look for them on ESPN. When I can’t sleep, I’ll turn on sports radio.  There’s something about the endless buzz of the commentary that helps me drop off. But when […]

“When Death Comes”

It’s good to be back at this intersection between life and God- I’ve missed you all! Yesterday’s traveling companion home was the last chapter of Parker Palmer’s gem of a book, A Hidden Wholeness.  (It has convinced me that in another […]

Previous Posts

Mental Health Break—Sprawl II
My favorite band these days is Arcade Fire, and I've featured the Canadian indie rock group before at this intersection between God and life. The lead singer studied Kirkegaard in college and their songs, like this one, are often subtle but brilliant critiques of the least aesthetically pleasing thi

posted 12:58:15pm Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »

I Can't Breathe and the Widow's Cry—A Guest Post
Fellow saint and sinner Saskia de Vries is a neuroscientist in Seattle, Washington and has posted before at this intersection between God and life. She, like so many of us, is grappling with the tragedies of Eric Garner and Michael Brown and the larger systemic problem they seem to reveal—namely,

posted 2:10:09pm Dec. 11, 2014 | read full post »

Advent and Emptiness, Via Louis CK and the Prophet Isaiah
I've been making my way through the book of Isaiah. This morning's reading was from chapter 6, where the prophet Isaiah receives his call to go to the people of Israel and proclaim God's judgment of a people who have wandered away from God's purposes for them. Isaiah asks how long God's people will

posted 11:45:39am Dec. 09, 2014 | read full post »

Advent Resurrection
It may seem strange to pair Advent with resurrection. Usually resurrection comes more naturally at Easter. But at heart the labor pangs of all creation giving birth to the Christ child are a longing for a new start. Advent is a longing to be born again. Neuroscience now teaches that every minu

posted 2:47:38pm Dec. 04, 2014 | read full post »

Birthday Cred—Ecclesiastes Via David Foster Wallace
Today I'm still (barely) on the left side of 40, and bea

posted 11:01:03am Dec. 01, 2014 | read full post »


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