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My Saint Margaret

Hold Hands And Go Right

I have come across a few genuine miracles in my life. The Rev. Dr. Margaret Neill was one of them. I remember the first time I met her. I must have been in that impressionable teen/tween phase, and I had never met a woman preacher. It had always been men: Roman Catholic men with their […]

Holiness Hotspots

October 2014 Holiness Hotspots

On a beautiful July evening this summer, I ate dinner at a little table out my back door.  In the glorious, long-lived light of summer evenings, my eye caught a patch of the neighbor’s yard across the street.  The light hitting the section of the yard was golden.  Sunlight was passing through the various kinds […]

When Procrastinating on the Sermon is Good


It was late July, and I was enjoying the school holiday break from my usual School Chaplaincy activities. Over those two weeks I had periodically glanced at the readings set for our staff commencement service on the first day back, at which I was to preach, but I was lost for ideas and put off […]

Blogging as Spiritual Practice


I have always loved writing. I was called to ministry when I was thirteen, but I felt called as a writer when I was eight years old. I won a school-wide poetry contest in the fourth grade. And when I went to college, I knew I was going on to seminary, so I decided to […]

The Risky Thing About Risk


I spent my first two years of ministry scared to death. Now, preaching and teaching do contain some measure of risk, and running a committee meeting can be a risky endeavor. These things were part of what I knew I was signing up for when I was ordained. They were part of the job. Likewise, […]

Ask a Young Clergy Woman: Solo-to-Senior Edition


Dear Askie, Help! After serving for years as a solo pastor, I’ve been called to a senior pastorate, at a church with an associate pastor (she is, as it happens, a somewhat-younger-than-me clergy woman). Yay! I’m excited about the possibilities this new call holds, but a bit concerned about working with an associate pastor for […]

Episodes of Holiness: Clergy on TV

  It really is a shock that there aren’t more TV shows about clergy. Doctors, lawyers, police, firefighters, college students…honestly, they have nothing on the wonderful strangeness of our careers. In what other profession can one day encompass breakfast with a group of teenagers, an office crisis situation around the location of a set of […]

Book Review: Blessed Are The Crazy

Blessed Are The Crazy

“Blessed are the crazy for we shall receive mercy.” – Sarah Griffith Lund If you have ever struggled with mental illness or loved someone who has, then you know that we have a cultural problem. There are many misperceptions; high-profile, violent events have become the face of mental illness. Yet most people with mental illness […]

Life-giving Transition


My daughter’s face popped up on The Today Show’s fourth hour on July 22, 2014. Co-host Hoda Kotb said, “And Happy Birthday to little Lydia Davis.” Of course, I knew it was going to happen, but it was still shocking to see it when it did. A little prince was also celebrating his first birthday […]

How Dorothy L. Sayers Made Me an Anglican

Dorothy L. Sayers

“So long as the Church continues to teach the [humanity] of God and to celebrate the sacraments of the Eucharist and of marriage, no living man should dare to say that matter and the body are not sacred to her. She must insist strongly that the whole material universe is an expression and incarnation of […]