Midlife Class Reunion

Psalm 104:25-35, 37

We meet again, halfway to the sea;
we touch again, halfway from the snow.
Our disentangled lives have floated free
through range and farm and city far below,
and far away from home. We floated free
within the groove of the river’s quiet flow.
Our lives are channeled—this we clearly see;
our cut of land determines where we go;
but how we go is up to you and me.
Entangled as we are again tonight,
salute the past, then say a last good-bye.
Remember me as I appear tonight
and I’ll remember you with an inward eye
until the whispering river meets the sea.

Day of Pentecost
May 28, 2023

NOTE: I wrote this poem in 1990 for the 30th reunion of the class of 1960, San Marino High School, San Marino, California.

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The Theology of Suffering

1 Peter 4:12-14, 5:6-11

Words cannot explain suffering.
Don’t waste your time with “Why me?”
Of the myriad sufferings in the world,

choose one:
the suffering of Jesus.
Then get to work.

You will be glad and shout for joy.
Be grateful you still have agency
for Gospel action.

Seventh Sunday of Easter
May 21, 2023

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Paul at the Areopagus

Acts 17:22-31

the stone deity:

Sixth Sunday of Easter
May 14, 2023

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The Living Stone

1 Peter 2:2-10

The temple was not built with living stone.
Nothing made by human hands can last
forever. The second temple’s time has passed
after more than half a millennium, as you can see.
The Israelites built it; the Romans tore it down.

Come to him, the living stone, and be a living stone
yourself—in a spiritual house for all eternity.

Fifth Sunday of Easter
May 7, 2023

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Women’s Work

Acts 2:42-47

Women’s work: for mother and daughter,
work goes on hour by hour.
They grind the grain into flour,
make a paste by adding water,
and place the dough onto a stone
in the smoky oven. They work to the bone
in the sweltering heat while the men
gathered in the temple are cool and clean.

Fourth Sunday of Easter
April 30, 2023

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Acts 2:14a, 36-41

Don’t look back in sorrow
at the wrongs you did to others
or the wrong beliefs you held.
Sorrow is not the ask
of Jesus or John the Baptist.
Nothing you say or do

will change what you said or did,
don’t you see? Peter paused
to let that sink in.
Instead, he said, reorient yourself
to a new way of life, starting today,
with baptism in the name of Jesus

and acceptance of the Holy Spirit.
Some in the crowd turned away
from Peter’s altar call,
but three thousand came forward
and took on their new identities
as the People of the Way.

Third Sunday of Easter
April 23, 2023

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Low Sunday

Low Sunday is the Sunday after Easter
when we cheered the Lord’s ascendance.
The low is not for “low church.”
It’s about the small attendance.

Second Sunday of Easter
April 16, 2023

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Happy Easter, everyone!

Camp Loowit Alumni

Jeremiah 31:1-6

The loveliest things are incredibly brief.
The loveliest things happen only once.
Years compress to minutes.

Nature does not care about your feelings.
Eight months after the 50-year reunion
of Y campers at Spirit Lake,

Mount St. Helens blew apart
and ruined the pristine lake forever.
It buried the YMCA camp

under hundreds of feet of timber and tephra.
Because of debris, the bottom of the new lake
is higher than the surface of the old lake.

The breathtaking symmetry of the iconic mountain,
proudly emblazoned on thousands of postcards,
is reduced to a pile of charcoal gray.

The Camp Loowit alumni
don’t meet in person any more.
They gather on Facebook.

Most discuss the loveliest hours of youth.
But there are some who celebrate
via the sideways scrolling of photographs

the green transformation of the blast site
and the return of animal life,
and though the site is different,

much different, from what it was before,
a new kind of beauty awaits those
who embrace the words of the prophet,

Again I will build you,
and you shall be built,
O virgin Israel!

Easter Sunday
April 9, 2023

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The Swans of Skagit Valley

Philippians 2:5-11

To the human eye,
the cornfield empties itself of value
for the rest of the year.

Ragged rows of stubble
stretch to the fog-bleared tree line.

Large puddles of freezing rainwater
and patches of old snow
punctuate the dun-horse devastation.

The autumn crop is obedient
to the point of death.

Tranquility is shattered
by a rising crescendo of trumpeter swans
haggling over their landing spots.

Gleaners from the far north fill their bellies
with the final treasures of the field,
then rise in unison to the heavens,
each as heavy as a small suitcase at Sea-Tac,
necks fully extended,
bleating furiously,
as they bolt for the breeding grounds.

Palm Sunday
April 2, 2023

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Ezekiel 37:1-14

vanishing leaves…
skeletal woods are rising
from the dead
to clothe the black
with flesh again

Fifth Sunday in Lent
March 26, 2023

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Bright Stars

Ephesians 5:8-14


Our will to work for good comes from God.
Live without complaint, without debate.

Be honest; be pure; be perfect children of God.
Live without blemish amid the crowd.

You will shine upon the world like bright stars.
You will shine because you bring the word of life.


There is no need to worry. Live without care.
Don’t be anxious. Take no thought for life.

If you have a need, turn to God in prayer.
Turn to God in prayer and give him thanks.

May the peace of God that passes understanding
guard your hearts and thoughts in Jesus Christ.

Fourth Sunday in Lent
March 19, 2023

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On the Liberty of Women

John 4:5-42

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference..

~ Reinhold Niebuhr ~

Who makes the rules for things we cannot change?
We’ll decide which rules to ignore or keep.

We won’t accept the things we cannot change.
It’s time to change the things we cannot accept.

God, grant to us the wisdom to know the course
you set for us—and not the course by others.

God, grant to us the courage to be the force
to overturn the rules prescribed by brothers.

We won’t accept the things we cannot change.
It’s time to change the things we cannot accept.

NOTE: These are lyrics for an anthem.

Third Sunday in Lent
March 12, 2023

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Wind Over the Lake

The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it,
but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.

John 3:8

Wind over the lake—desiccate leaves
scrape indolently at our feet, like the years.
We feel the chill of the restless wind.

Fall’s maelstrom of reds and golds
is all around. The cool, invisible hand
lifts silvering hair.

We are entering autumn of our time together.
Some leaves have fallen, but many remain,
waiting to be plucked by wind over the lake.

NOTE: On this date, March 5, 2023, Nancy and I celebrate
our 57th anniversary. We were married at the Church
of the Redeemer, Kenmore. Fr. Roy Coulter officiated.

Second Sunday in Lent
March 5, 2023

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