Sunday Morning Confession

If you are looking for ideas for this week’s lectionary text, go to the Menu and click on “Lectionary Sermons.”  They appear in order for the current year.  

Folks will come at the appointed hourFall 2015

dutifully, happily

visit a bit, then settle into their familiar pews

expectant, ready for a song, a prayer,

a word or two of inspiration

to nourish their steady faith for a few more days.

Where are the words?

They are tangled up, bound, uneasy,

resistant to casual exploitation.

Feeble, not equal to the task

nor strong enough to emerge

from the morass of questions,

preoccupied with contradictions,

busy elsewhere with tweets and posts and shrillness.

Better to give them a break this once.

Better to ponder the vivacity of the children among us,

the blaze of yellow grass in the ditches,

the relentless, rhythmic caress of the waves on the lakeshore.

Worthy satisfaction for a Sabbath morning.






Over the Mountain

Sometimes, while writing the weekly sermon, other ideas swirl and prod, but editing is critical, and they don’t make it into the final draft.  Some of them linger.  This is one idea that persisted and emerged in a poem, having pondered Philippians 3:13–“forgetting what lies behind, reaching out for what lies ahead…”


I rescued

one teacup

to honor


hid it among the quilts

I alone unfold

each night.

The memory

is safe

for now.


Her silken hands

handing me

milky tea

veins in relief

tracing the map

of her years

life blood


that she

is here.

Was there.


We will have

a new here.


The china

painted peonies

she selected

as a bride

had to go.

The careful wrapping

the harsh warnings

the birthday meals

the thin connection

to the old country

had to go.



in a ravine

bright treasure

for the crows.

China flowers

among the real,


for carrying

our hope




along the way




sego lily


and the



to hold

my grandmother’s


will find

its new place

at the end

of the trail.