At Ranchos de Taos
At Ranchos de Taos
We must remind our leaders that we vote and that we will hold them accountable. The hate talk must stop. We must demand common-sense gun laws, so the AR-15s can be taken out of the hands of madmen.
We need leaders who will speak with compassion and bring us together in unity. This has to stop, and it’s on us to stop it.
— at New Mexico State Capitol.
Last Supper, Barcelos, Portugal, c. 1960
I love Jesus, so focused, with his amazing halo (how could anyone not know he was someone special), but mostly I love the Twelve: devout, distracted, befuddled, awed. Just like us.
Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe
What is good leadership? Of course there are a lot of different aspects to it, but I think the heart of it is being able to articulate a positive vision for a better future and motivate others to embrace it as their own and to work with you to make it happen.
When you see leaders using fear of a perceived common enemy as their rallying point, you might ask yourself if this is a sign that they’re failing at the kind of positive leadership that builds unity around shared values, not shared fears. Hitler did that with the Jews, and we know how that turned out. And when I read the latest proposal to define gender as fixed at birth, not to mention the flood of tweets about migrants, I had to wonder if that’s what was happening here. Again
Friends, if you are cisgender, transgender people are not the enemy. If you were born in the USA, migrants are not the enemy. If you are white, people of color are not the enemy. If you’re straight, LGBTQ people are not the enemy. They’re all just people, with hopes and values that might be much like yours.
As we prepare for elections in two weeks, it’s more important than ever to think and reflect and ask yourself if you’re being manipulated. Ask yourself if the values you’re about to endorse are really consistent with your own faith and values. And then, please, vote.
I’m not so much a fan of Halloween (I don’t like clowns, either) but in Lambertville they know how to take it to the next level.
Look close at the names at the bottom.
One of the careers that I had before I went to seminary was publishing outdoor guidebooks, guidebooks to walking and bicycling in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. I was responsible for every aspect of their production and their distribution, so ultimately I was responsible for selling them.
I had an arrangement with a book distributor that put them in faraway bookstores, and on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. But when it came to the local bookstores I had to take care of that myself, even though I have never thought of myself as a natural–born salesperson. But I surprised myself.
I would drive around to bike shops and bookstores. I would get out of the car and grab a copy of each book and go in and find out who was responsible for purchasing. I would try to convince them that they really had to put these books on their shelve,s and I was successful a fair amount of the time.
So, people said to me, “I can’t believe you’re selling them. I never really thought that would be you.” What I said was, “I found out that I could never sell just any old product. I could never be a seller of widgets, but when it came to something I really believe, in I had no trouble doing that stuff.”
So, today I want to sell you something that I really believe in and I hope it’s something you believe in, too.
Spotted on the way back from the Lambertville Pet Masquerade. The dog didn’t seem to mind it a bit. I guess sometimes it just feels good to let go of your usual identity and try being somebody completely different.
Sometimes a window is a way to see out, sometimes to see in and through. And sometimes all you can see is what’s behind you. I once visited a woman with dementia who was living in a wing of a care facility where the residents spent most of the day in a common area that had no windows at all. She was an artist, and she was terribly unhappy there. I couldn’t live in a place with no windows. The soul knows what it needs.
We’re going to do something a little different today. In place of a sermon, I’m going to tell you a story.
It takes place in Jerusalem in the year 70. The city is at war with Rome, which is fighting to crush a Jewish uprising.
Jerusalem is under siege, and the Roman army is about to break through the last wall holding it back.
The city is jammed with Jewish rebels and refugees from Galilee, and they’re all starving.