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WWI Wasn't Such A Great War

May 12, 2017

The recent PBS documentary on America in World War I was a mind-changer, at least for me.

I had known about some of the troubles at home during this period — the race riots and the suppression of free speech — but, for me, they had been overcome by the heroic doughboys in France and Belgium, turning the tide of the conflict, and of the spirited George M. Cohen song “Over There,” which must be the most animating tune ever written.

About Jackson And The Civil War ...

May 11, 2017

I cannot understand how Donald Trump was confused recently about Andrew Jackson's time in history … because Trump actually visited Jackson's home in March.

Even a cursory glance at the museum notes his presidency took place in the 1820s and 30s. He left office 24 years before the Civil War. There were eight other presidents in those intervening years, all of whom joined Jackson in either ignoring or exacerbating the widening gulf in the country.

Maybe He's Just An Interim ...

May 10, 2017

In the Episcopal Church, after a Rector leaves a parish for another calling, a Search Committee is formed and the parish hires an Interim Rector for a year or more to provide a transition from the former Rector to the new one.

The Interim will change things, wipe away the old, mix things up so the former rector’s shadow fades before the new one arrives. You know: new committees and projects, different people in leadership, unfamiliar hymns or liturgy, not distributing communion “the way we have always done it.”  We learn what we don’t want. 

Use Anticipation To Grow

May 9, 2017

Right now, you can walk into any school around here and you’ll feel it: Anticipation. 

The year is coming to a close. Final field trips are occurring, projects are coming due, grades are being configured. Summer is on its way. 

The last few weeks of school can be truly challenging. Tired of the same routine, issues, people and problems, it would be easy to slide through the last few weeks -- to not try hard, to decide not to care any more.

Favorite Things Of All Kinds

May 8, 2017

We spend a lot of time gnashing our teeth over what's wrong with the world. However, I think it's a good idea from time to time to step back and think about the things that give us pleasure. 

While I certainly enjoy raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens -- and I'm always happy to see brown paper packages tied up with string -- these are a few of my other favorite things: