When Your Spiritual Path Looks More Like a Maze

Last week my son came home from Sunday school with a maze—one of those worksheets in which you trace a looping labyrinth of trails from start to finish. His class had read the story of Jesus’s baptism, and the goal of this particular maze was to lead John the Baptist to Jesus. Rowan claimed the maze had been easy to navigate, but when I looked more closely at his worksheet, I saw it was covered in magic marker scribbles. Rowan… Read More


Steve and Paul and My Mennonite Parents: An Unlikely Friendship

I remember my absolute shock when my mom and dad mentioned their friends Steve and Paul for the first time.

My parents were senior citizens and Mennonites. They could not possibly be less politically correct, and apparently they now had gay friends who lived in their apartment building. (N.B. Mennonite: A people group who, in their cookbooks, substitute the name “Sin in a Pan” for a dish that is widely known as “Sex in a Pan.” They find sin to… Read More


Mardi Gras Is Meaningless without Ash Wednesday

I’m not very good at feasting. That’s not to say I can’t put down a few drinks or eat a lot of rich food. I’m not very good at feasting because I’m not very good at fasting, and I’m even worse at ordinary, everyday eating. Feasting is an art in contrast. We can’t have steak every night or a big bowl of ice cream (at least we shouldn’t). Steak is special because it is not an everyday meal; it is… Read More


What I Learned about Peace from an Imam

Last week was an experience in contrasts.

For a month, I had been looking forward to having lunch with a local imam named Khalil. He speaks regularly at interfaith gatherings and flatly condemns all violence in the name of Islam. He is one of the moderate Muslims who is accused of not speaking out enough against terrorism. Like many American Muslim leaders, however, he speaks out against violence continually. It’s just that he has trouble getting his message into the… Read More


Go See The Movie Selma

“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation—either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.

Last year, racial tensions exploded in areas like Ferguson, Missouri, and Staten Island, New York. I’t’s evident that African-Americans continue to face discrimination, hatred, and violence.  Being white, I admit that I’m largely uninformed, but… Read More