Renewing Psalms: a writing retreat for clergy

With my colleague Martha Spong, I’m delighted to announce the opening of registration for “Renewing Psalms: a writing retreat for clergy” — a wonderful opportunity to refresh your spirit for ministry and reconnect with the compelling emotion of the psalms! Scheduled for October 21-22 this fall in Marblehead, MA and open to clergy of all denominational stripes, the retreat will provide a small group experience for writing, reflecting, storytelling, and praying. The schedule and registration details are posted here; join us in October!

Marblehead, MA

Marblehead, MA


All praise and thanks to you
most holy God of gods
and LORD of lords,
Sovereign of all the bits & pieces
that distract and delight me,
Holder and Seer of every puzzle that feels
scattered and unsolved with
pieces missing or bent,
Eternal Fire illuminating moon and stars and sun and
each face inclined toward your goodness,
Purveyor of a love without bounds
that explodes our understanding,
Composer of tunes I have yet to hear and
of melodies not meant for my heart,
Blossom of Hope that supplants
evil and ego at their roots,
Irrepressible Jester
still clowning our systems & our certainties,
dear Sacred Heart that cannot stop
most talented Knitter
of lives that cannot live apart
from the flesh and breath of each other,
and then too:
Sleeping Giant
of unimagined nightmare,
Leviathan with your restless churning
and your merciless upheaval,
Vast Wilderness unrelenting
toward the lost and lonely wayfarer,
most deafening Silence:
all praise and thanks to you
and you alone
in every incarnation and every desperation,
in every sign and season and simplicity,
in every pulse of love or loss,
as I cling close and then as I can’t stand you
even still and always: all praise and thanks to you.

Sunday Prayer

We turn to you, O God, our companion and our confidence,
turn to you and return to you like a rich feast
for you alone restore our lives,
you alone nourish our days.
All hope and all goodness come by you
though we strive in vain for
self-sufficiency and self-glory
in hopes that we might store up
personal treasures to ease our anxious nights.
But the night comes and goes in its own time;
the sun rises and sets not by our hand but by yours.
So help us to trust in your daily abundance,
help us to welcome life with curiosity,
to work against evil without fatigue,
and to walk with one another in faith.
Turn our struggle into generosity,
make of our breath a song,
out of our offerings reap a harvest.
These things we pray in the power of your name.

cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals

Twitter’s Deception

With Twitter’s emoticon shift making the NYTimes this morning, I feel validated in publishing my overreaction. 🙂 

Love is but a sentiment
and a silly one at that —
as careless as a click or tap,
without thought or discretion,
not even bothering
to break a nervous sweat.
The heart cannot be trusted:
this we have been bitter enough
to believe yet too noble to name
and now Twitter
taunts us with its triteness,
offering an abundance of hearts
that mean nothing — no more
and no less than cold icy rocks
reflecting lights long since faded,
like digital yellow stars of “favor”
that feign affirmation but
cannot outlast a moment’s feed.
No, Twitter, the pretense of love
does not become you any more
than it flatters the user,
and I will not be
so lightly teased —
not even by an emoji.