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Showing posts from February, 2017

A Cascade of Hope

In 1995 wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park, having been absent from the park for seventy years. In the 1800’s Yellowstone park rangers took it upon themselves to eradicate predatory animals like wolves, bears, and coyotes in order to sustain the viability of livestock animals for food. A hundred years later people began to have an awareness of how one species of life can impact an entire ecosystem. This led to fourteen wolves being reintroduced to the park in 1995 and another 25 within the next year. As soon as wolves arrived there was a radical change in the behavior of deer. The deer began avoiding certain areas of the park. They left valleys and gorges and moved to higher elevations. When the deer moved, the height of trees increased. Other trees returned like aspen and willows. With the return of trees, more birds returned, and beavers returned.  Beavers are ecosystem engineers because they create habitats for other animals like ducks and fish. The wolves killed …

Holy God, Holy People, Holy Love

The first congregation I served as Rector was stunned when it was revealed that the wife of a prominent couple in the parish was the victim of years of domestic abuse. When divorce proceedings started the abuse escalated and threatened to spill into the church itself.  We were forced to be attentive for the safety of everyone, most especially the wife and children. A few years later a colleague at another church experienced a tragic domestic violence episode in her congregation, when a wife tried to have her abusing spouse murdered. He lived and she went to prison. Then the news reported that a woman, who had been kidnapped by her former husband had been found alive but severely beaten, bound and gagged, stuffed in a trash can and locked in a storage unit, not far from my house, where she had been left to die.
A few years later I attended a conference called, “Not In Our Pews” held in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin and sponsored by Project SAFE, an organization composed of a number of religious…

Be Salt, Flavoring the World with Love and Compassion

I finally went to see  the movie “Hidden Figures” on my day off last week. It tells the story of thirty black women, who, in the 1960’s worked for NASA as mathematicians. They were called “computers” because they calculated the trajectory of space flights beginning with John Glen’s first flight into space to the landing on the moon and the space shuttle. These women worked behind the scenes but were absolutely essential to the program. The movie focuses primarily on three of the women: Katharine Johnson who calculated the space flights, Dorothy Vaughn who was the first black female supervisor in NASA and she hired and trained other black women to be computer programers, and Mary Jackson who became the first black female engineer in NASA. The story describes the challenges these women faced from outright racism and sexism, which they met with tenacity and grit and perseverance and confidence in their worth and value. During the day they worked hard to overcome near impossible obstacles…