11402289_10153457791504974_6595951401696286752_oThis weekend is the Annual Gathering of the Northern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ. For 150 years, give or take, Christians in our tribe (and our tribal ancestors) have been gathering together as witness to our Conference covenant of mutual mission, support, and accountability in this particular geography. For most of the last 16 months, I have served as Moderator of the Conference — the primary officer, convener, and facilitator for our form of governance and order.

Continue reading Leave-taking


PNF27F144FLast week my car was in the shop for service. (Which is the subject for a whole different post at some point.) Given the particular geography in which I live, and the taxi economics thereof, it means I get a lot of practice in both my public transit and walking skills than usual.

Continue reading Walking


Sometimes in life are these moments, honest and authentic moments when we are floored by our own thoughts or observations. Call them “a-ha!” moments, “duh!” moments, or sometimes moments you don’t want to admit publicly — but they are momentary opportunities for reawakening and renewal. At least, they can be and should be.

Continue reading Reawakened


54JXBQY3REI’m sitting in Chicago-O’Hare waiting for a flight back to San Francisco as I write this, looking out the window at aircraft movements on the field. The first time I took a flight was on a family vacation to Washington, D.C., in the summer of 2001 (mere weeks before 9/11).

Continue reading Backwards

Justice-Service (Bonus)

10533292_667289306679564_524843005_nSo, you’re setting out as a chaperone or adult leader on a youth service trip. God bless you, literally. Chances are you’re not staying at the Hilton (and if you are, don’t tell my chaperones or they’ll expect the same!), but you can almost make a church floor as comfortable an experience as one. As a bonus to the series on service trips, here’s my chaperone survival guide. Continue reading Justice-Service (Bonus)

Justice-Service (Part 1)

0A38F0B702In all the commentary on trends of young Millennials and the iGeneration at the intersection of religious involvement, it’s easy to get caught up in an attitude of defeatism. These young people aren’t going to make a commitment. Or, Those young people only care about what’s happening on the screen in their hand.

Such categorizations are an oversimplification, of course, but I use them as archetypes that I have actually heard said in conversation. Continue reading Justice-Service (Part 1)