We have a song to sing, one note to the next
In an interview with Krista Tippett, cellist Yo-Yo Ma reflects on the transitions inherent in life while quoting Isaac Stern: “The music happens between the notes.” “What does this mean?” Yo-Yo Ma pauses to ask. “How do you get from A to B? Do you glide into the next note, is it a smooth transfer,…
The Power in our Sound: Life Lessons at Suzuki Music Camp
Dr. Shinichi Suzuki of Japan is famous for developing a unique method of teaching music to children. Suzuki’s method immerses children in music from a very young age and teaches them to listen for the phrasing, expression, notes and beauty. Suzuki children also learn music in partnership with their parent. This week we are attending the Chicago…
Tillich for Today’s Headlines
A week of study leave has me returning to read one of my favorite twentieth century theologians, Paul Tillich, and his book Dynamics of Faith. Tillich was devastated by what he experienced in World War I as an army chaplain. In war’s aftermath, his work sought to address the emptiness and anxiety of meaningless people felt. …
We are all “Cracked Pots”
Rev. Shannon Johnson Kershner was Monmouth College’s 2018 Baccalaureate Preacher. Shannon was called to be the pastor of Chicago’s iconic Fourth Presbyterian Church in March of 2014. Ever since hearing this news, I have been cheering for Shannon and celebrating her success. Very few women serve as senior pastors of churches over 5,000 members. With…
Diversify your Summer Reading with Free Books!
Dear book lovers: This offer was too good not to share! Celebrate World Book Day with Amazon Crossing by downloading free Kindle books by authors from North Korea, Greece, Sweden, Japan, Turkey, Russia, Indonesia, Spain and Chile. This offer is good until midnight tomorrow (April 24th.) I’ve downloaded them all and am really enjoying The…
More Bass; Less Treble
I’ve started reading a poem a day from the Poetry Magazine to which I recently subscribed. I keep the magazine on the nightstand beside my bed so I will reach for it as soon as my alarm goes off. When I get the chance, I reread the poem throughout the day, sometimes out loud, to…
Raising White Kids: Book Review and Giveaway
While reading Dr. Jennifer Harvey’s latest book, both my kids asked me separately, “Mommy, why are you reading a book called ‘Raising White Kids?’” The conversation this question sparked advanced Harvey’s hope for the book—that parents of white children will talk about race (and racism) early and often in their children’s lives. Such conversations, Harvey…
What story does our budget tell?
I am taking a creative writing class where we are learning how to discover and tell stories. Last week, our professor passed out an excerpt from The Art of Creative Research where Philip Gerard encourages essayists to examine even the most mundane document, like a budget, for the story it tells. He writes: As an…
Living the Questions with Amy Frykholm
Amy Frykholm, author of Julian of Norwich: A Contemplative Biography; See Me Naked: Stories of Sexual Exile in American Christianity; Rapture Culture: Left Behind in Evangelical America; Christian Understandings of the Future: The Historical Trajectory and Associate Editor of the Christian Century magazine visited my campus last week and spoke to us of her call…
Grappling with Race
The Christian Century recently published another essay of mine inspired by my work with some of my amazing Latina students. Follow this link to read: Grappling with race as a white college chaplain.