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October 14, 2010

The first lesbian couple ordained without the blessing of the ELCA discuss coming out, falling in love, losing jobs then gaining them, and feeling God work through them during the AIDS crisis and their hospice chaplaincy. A guest contribution from Sasha Aslanian.

September 23, 2010

South Dakota Farmland and Big Horizon

When I first lived in the upper Great Plains, I did so as a freshman at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. I still remember the day when my parents’ car pulled away and I was standing by my dorm wondering why I had decided to move almost 800 miles from my home in Montana. While I would miss my parents and friends, I began to miss the mountains almost immediately.

I felt like Beret, the female protagonist in Giants in the Earth who left her home in Norway and moved to Dakota Territory. The vast grasslands and harsh climate nearly drove her mad. When I would look outward, I would think, “There’s nothing to see.” Flat land seemed to stretch everywhere and yet nowhere. Corn fields and soy beans. 

September 12, 2010

Martin Buber Postage Stamp

There’s spirituality thriving in our houses of worship, often unnoticed and unappreciated. It flourishes in the ordinary give-and-take of congregational life, in person-to-person exchanges that Jewish thinker Martin Buber called I-Thou. And we would do well to better recognize this very common and accessible spiritual opportunity.

August 26, 2010

"Creating a photograph is like meditation, full of paradoxes that coexist happily." -a guest post from listener Monica Biswas with one of her lovely photos.

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August 21, 2010

A guest contribution from a Christian Scientist on "Splitting Infinity" and the play's balanced depiction of his faith.

August 14, 2010

Fernando Ramiro Curia
The author’s brother, first on the left with leather jacket, at wedding with Peronist Youth shortly before he disappeared. (courtesy of Maria del Sol Crocker)

I was born in Argentina, and came here after my marriage. Crocker is my married name; my original surname is Curia. My sister, Gloria Constanza Curia, and my brother Fernando Ramiro Curia, as well as my cousin Horacio Ponce, were kidnapped and killed by the military junta government in Argentina. They disappeared in 1976 and, like Mercedes Doretti says in her interview, my whole life froze.

July 26, 2010

When I first heard the interview with Matthew Sanford on the radio, I was moved beyond words. I wanted to hear it again. The second time I heard it, online, I was more moved still.

I wanted to understand what had touched me so deeply beyond his extraordinary story of loss and victory, and the candid and engaging quality of his telling. There was something else I could hear in the silences between his words that mesmerized me. What was it, exactly? I still do not know, but I keep asking the question.

July 21, 2010

There are stories within stories that are desperate to be heard, and when they’re heard, they bring us to the place of encounter and empathy, which is the essence of hope and humanity.

July 13, 2010

The Dream of the Rood (Vercelli Manuscript)I’m a research junkie and a word nerd. When I was in graduate school, I spent a year researching one of the earliest Old English poems, “The Dream of the Rood.” The project began as a lexical analysis for a linguistics class, and what I discovered was that many words had multiple senses — and the available translations didn’t emphasize this. I ended up doing my own translation of all 256 lines. It was immensely rewarding to unfold levels and layers of meaning this way.

June 03, 2010

He-ManWhen I was a child, the phrase “Defender of the Faith” did not conjure images of the Latin title Fidei defensor or of the British crown. Rather, it somehow got tangled up with another prominent idiom of my youth, “Masters of the Universe,” which referred to the popular Mattel media franchise starring He-Man. A defender of the faith was a kind of superhero, a person of great strength with an important mission.

These days, the phrase invokes yet another, completely different meaning to me. I now think of a defender of the faith as anyone who attempts to wrestle the reputation of his faith out of the hands of those who, through their actions or speech, disparage it.

May 25, 2010

A spiritual nomad looks to the night sky and yoga to "cultivate sacred places within my own mind."

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May 17, 2010

StoryCorps's animated short of a mother and her son with Asperger's syndrome reminds us of the lessons Paul Collins shared about raising his autistic son.

April 22, 2010

A guest contributor shares his reflections about reconnecting to the earth in an urban environment.

April 13, 2010

Inspired by our show with Bill McKibben, a listener and law professor reflects on tuning in to nature's reality rather than anesthetizing from it.

March 31, 2010

A touching reflection by Mary Moos on spiritual displacement in a Roman Catholic family, finding a home in Judaism, and a better understanding of Christ during Passover.

March 17, 2010

I almost never buy T-shirts. When my son Josh was younger and going through that gotta-have-that-shirt stage, he bought enough for a regiment: sports shirts, camp shirts, school shirts, fund-raiser shirts — whatever was on the market. And when he began to outgrow the T-shirt phase, I inherited more hand-me-downs than a man could use. I kept only enough to handle chore-work for a few years and donated the rest to Goodwill.

The only T-shirt I’ve bought in decades is a recent purchase. Even though it’s brand new, it’s a dingy brown and looks well-worn. It has the words “Same shirt, different day” printed on the front. Okay, it’s corny and maybe a little tasteless, but I fell for it, and I enjoy the brief look of alarm on people’s faces when they first read it.

I am thinking about buying another T-shirt I just saw in a mail-order catalog. This one has a quotation from the Dalai Lama on it: “My faith is kindness.”

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February 19, 2010

Reflections from Belfast on the opportunity of Ash Wednesday: "Lent is less for giving up, and more for making space."

January 23, 2010

Charley, a Powerful Woman
(photo: Pieter Musterd)

I’m not a narcissist. But Clay Shirky thinks I should be.

The media critic recently posted a controversy-mongering blog titled “A Rant About Women,” the premise being that women would do well to act more like men — stand up for themselves more and do what it takes to get ahead, even if it means being a “pompous blowhard”:

[Women] are bad at behaving like self-promoting narcissists, anti-social obsessives, or pompous blowhards, even a little bit, even temporarily, even when it would be in their best interests to do so. Whatever bad things you can say about those behaviors, you can’t say they are underrepresented among people who have changed the world.

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December 26, 2009

"I am building my capacity for love now, so it can sustain me later." —Alanna Shaikh, on Alzheimer's lessons and the love of her father.

September 27, 2009

“Next to being the children of God our greatest privilege is being the brothers of each other.”
—Martin Buber

Rabbi Aaron SpiegelWe in the religion world use the word interfaith much too often. And in my opinion, most of what passes for interfaith dialogue is not dialogue at all — it’s a lecture about why I’m right and you’re wrong. It’s not that we’re all religious zealots, but most often the forum for these dialogues are set up to create division rather than civil discourse. Put simply, we’re much better at talking than listening.

December 14, 2008

Jessica Sundheim tells a lovely story of transformation and faith during tough times.

October 08, 2008

In this video, guest blogger Eboo Patel interviews pastor Rick at the 2008 Clinton Global Initiative and offers his perspective as a Muslim.

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