Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and my Lenten Pilgrimage with the Benedictine Sisters of Erie begins! I hope you'll consider joining us for this online Lenten journey. I find the idea of a "monastic online community" quite intriguing and I'm looking forward to "meeting" all the pilgrims … [Read more...] about Why Are Catholics Better at Pilgrimage Than Protestants?
What makes someone want to become a pilgrim? I'm starting to think that certain personality types are drawn to the notion more than others. We could talk Myers/Briggs Inventory -- do pilgrims tend to fall at a certain spot on the four key spectrums: extraverted/introverted, sensing/intuiting, … [Read more...] about Personalities & Pilgrims
One reason music is so powerful is context. We hear an "oldie" on the radio and remember the sweetheart we danced with "back then" and feel a pang of nostalgia. We hear the theme music announcing a favorite TV show and the pleasures of watching that show come flooding back. Music we enjoy … [Read more...] about Sing, All You Citizens!
Do you have plans for next Saturday morning? I hope to worship in Bethlehem, Palestine -- by satellite link from the National Cathedral in Washington DC. (10:00 AM from the nave). Here's an invitation from the National Cathedral's website: Join worshipers in the nave for the seventh annual joint … [Read more...] about A Bethlehem Prayer Service
Today the world honors the life of Nelson Mandela. I read about South African activists posting pro-Palestine banners at the Mandela memorial. That lead me to read the text of a speech Mandela gave on December 4, 1997 at the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. These … [Read more...] about Nelson Mandela
Douglas Dicks has served the Presbyterian Church (USA) as a liaison to the Middle East for 18 years, and is now concluding his service. I found these words from his final report to be stirring, for they have inspired him: “It is not your task to complete the job of perfecting the world, but … [Read more...] about The PCUSA Reports from Jordan, Israel, Palestine
My family and I went to see the new IMAX movie "Jerusalem" on Saturday. The photography is amazing, and the access to sacred sites is unparalleled. You could go on a thousand pilgrimages to Jerusalem and never see these events from this perspective. I'll paste the movie trailer below, it's worth … [Read more...] about Why Jerusalem?
I'm off on a "little adventure" today and tomorrow, but saw this and wanted to post it for those of you who might be interested. Pope Francis has a message about a subject that is close to my heart: the plight of Christians in the Holy Land. I think Protestants can resonate with his message, as … [Read more...] about A Word from the Pope About Christians in the Middle East
I think it's important for followers of Jesus to stop and listen to the voices of Palestinian Christians. They continue to live in the land of Jesus, amid complicated realities that constantly urge them to war. Yet these leaders urge us to "wage peace." They need our support. How can Christians … [Read more...] about A Palestinian Christian Urges Us to “Wage Peace”
from the recent newsletter of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem . . . During this month, the drums of war seemed to beat louder than usual. The majority of people throughout the Middle East prayed that the impending military intervention into Syria would not come to pass. Our prayers for peace … [Read more...] about Greetings from the Land of the Holy One
One of the best parts of having written a book is meeting people who enjoyed reading my words. Today I had the privilege of meeting a group of Catholics who live in northern Virginia, simply because one of them discovered my book (thanks to the power of an Amazon search: "personal, memoir, Holy … [Read more...] about Poppyseeds & Predestination
The Gatekeepers is a 2012 documentary about Israel's secret service agency, the Shin Bet. The filmmaker, Dror Moreh, interviewed the six men who have served as head of the Shin Bet from its beginnings in 1948. The fact that these men agreed to be interviewed is absolutely stunning. The interviews … [Read more...] about The Gatekeepers