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Renewal > Resolutions: Retreating with People and Places

"There must be a time when a person of resolutions puts their resolutions aside as if they had all been broken, and learns a different kind of wisdom." ~Thomas Merton It's 2018! Indeed, we are now a couple weeks into it. The new year comes with much celebration--sometimes because a new year has begun and sometimes [...]

Protest and Patriotism: Learning the Awkward Liturgy of Solidarity

I'm a Quaker. Quakers are probably the lowest of the "low church" tradition; historically, we have tried to avoid any kind of ritual or repetition. Our worship is based on waiting in stillness for the Spirit to move. If such a miracle happens during worship, then we might move. I love the simplicity and silence [...]

Abundance in the “New Inner City”

*This blog is adapted from a message I shared for this year's Midwest Friends of Jesus gathering in Toledo, Ohio. (Friends pictured above) The story begins with Jesus and the disciples in a space like the one in which we are currently gathered. We might say they were at a Friends of Jesus retreat. It [...]

Just Some Good Ol’ Boys?

A couple weeks ago I was at the Morrow County fair. I have a lot of good memories at the fair: the booths with free pens, the rides lit up at night, seeing the animals that my friends were showing, watching the demolition derbies, eating deep fried everything. The fair is also an opportunity for [...]

Recovering Abundance in Seminary

Below is the short manuscript from a message I gave recently at Earlham School of Religion for Common Worship. While not directly relating to rural issues, it provides another opening into the story of Jesus feeding the multitude, the inspiration for the blog's title. Enjoy: Geese appear high over us, pass, and the sky closes. [...]

Insert Wizard of Oz Joke: Five Things I Learned in Kansas

"Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore..." so goes the famous quote from the classic film The Wizard of Oz. The quote represents the feeling of disorientation we experience when we are away from home. After all, there is no place like home and being "at home" provides a sense of security [...]

Introducing Recovering Abundance: A Miracle and Midrash about Rural Renewal

What's with the name Recovering Abundance?  There is a gospel story that I've been carrying around for quite awhile. When I say "awhile," I don't mean a couple days, a couple weeks, or a couple months. I mean a couple of years. It has been bouncing around in my mind, sinking deeply into my spirit, [...]