Thursday, January 31, 2013

Oregon my Oregon

You want to talk about Oregon?  I’m glad you asked.

Oh, you didn’t ask.

Well, let me tell you anyway. Oregon, the thirty-ninth state, entered the Union on February 14, 1859, shortly before the start of the Civil War. Remember it was the “Oregon Trail” that drew settlers west to the “Oregon Territory.” And it was the Oregon Territory that grew out of that great American adventure, the journey of Lewis and Clark. And it was the land sought after by both British and American business interests and political forces.*  And it was where, like my father, I was born...

You can read the rest of this piece by following this link to catapult magazine: 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The clothes make the man?

Here is the opening to a piece I have a piece in the current edition of catapult magazine. 

As if I didn’t have enough to do or enough variety in my life, this past fall I became a basketball referee. I joined the association that officiates high school and middle school girl’s games for a four county region.

At the first meeting I attended, I was given a whistle (a real whistle, I was informed, not one of those cheap things with a pea that gets wet and sticks) and a very specific list of clothing expectations. Shoes, black, all black. If they happen to have a logo or something of another color, cover it with black marker ink. Black crew socks. Black ref pants, generally the polyester, elastic-waist, pleated-front gems you get at an athletic specialty store (and absolutely nothing like pants I would choose to wear). An official shirt that is obtained from the association, gray with black accents and an official official’s patch. And, optionally, a jacket. But if all referees at a specific game do not have official jackets, no one wears a jacket.

Within a few weeks, I had the uniform, had attended some training sessions and practice games, been given passwords into the web-based assigning system, read the rule books, taken and passed the online tests. I was officially a member of the association and had a schedule of assigned games. Officially, I was an official...

follow this link for the rest of the article

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Impossible and unending

I arrived
During the homily
And gladly found
A place in the last row

Thought of you
And prayed for you
For all this week
Has brought your way

But more,
For daily life and fear and pain
That must seem
Impossible and unending

Afterward I went forward
Past those
Making their way home
Or to a favorite lunch place

And lit a candle
Thinking of you
And hoping for something better,
Anything, better

I lit a second
And quickly a third
Soon realizing I would run out of candles
Before I ran out of people and prayers

So I quit,
Quit lighting candles,
That is, not prayers,
And left

Friday, January 4, 2013

Ten things I experienced in 2012

following are my year-end reflections from catapult magazine:

2011 was a year of drastic change for me. Some family members and friends were also caught in the fall out, some by choice, others by proximity. I tried to gather my thoughts when I wrote “Ten things I didn’t expect in 2011” for catapult a year ago.

Part of the uniqueness of my transition was moving away from “full-time ministry.” For over thirty years, some ministry paid me. Camp, church and campus setting were all part of my career path. Ministries have full, specific calendars. The lines between work and personal are often blurred, at times disappearing. Now I look back on a full year in this new place. All significant dates and events have been passed at least once.

So, here are some of my thoughts after a full year on this side of my most recent life upheaval.

follow this link for the rest of the story: