It bears repeating…

One thing rural communities rely on is repetition. Repetition creates consistency, memory, and tradition. This repetition matters, whether it is football of Fridays in the fall, the festival on the first weekend of May, or knowing who to call when someone in the community dies to get the prayer and meal train going. I’ve learnedContinue reading “It bears repeating…”

Death and Deviled Eggs

A few years ago, I was on my way to a funeral. An in person, non-masking, church member funeral with a receiving of friends, a service, and committal. Funerals remind me of funerals, the same way this Christmas will remind you of last Christmas. So many of the practices are the same. At this funeral,Continue reading “Death and Deviled Eggs”

A Can of Soup

My wife’s Valentine’s Day gift to me was a trip to our local art museum. They just opened an exhibit titled “The Works of Warhol.” For years, Andy Warhol has been my favorite artist. If I am ever in a city and they have an art museum, I always check to see if they haveContinue reading “A Can of Soup”

The Importance of Place

I spent some time on my parents’ land yesterday. I try to walk the land regularly, but in the past few years it’s been harder as I’ve been working more. I found myself in my grandparents backyard. I was next to Pawpaw’s old truck. The tires are now flat and it’s grown over with vines,Continue reading “The Importance of Place”

Final Fragments: Easter

There are two main scriptures for today. Click here for Mark & Click here for John Both scriptures have a Jesus who will not be controlled. Mark has a Resurrection with no appearance and the women run away. (The gospel ends here, the rest is addendum to make it like the other gospels). In JohnContinue reading “Final Fragments: Easter”

Holy Week Fragments: 30 Seconds at a Time

Here’s a link to today’s lectionary text – John 13:1-17, 31-35 The commentaries for today’s scripture remind us of a couple things. 1) There is a meal in John, but it is not the Lord’s Supper in the traditional sense but it connects to it. 2) The foot washing is something crucial to community toContinue reading “Holy Week Fragments: 30 Seconds at a Time”

Holy Week Fragments: Wednesday

Here is a link to the lectionary reading for today, John 13:21-32 Today’s scripture bothered me. I didn’t want to focus too much on Satan, betrayal and over explaining this. However, since, I’m not alone in my study of scripture, I turn again to commentators. Francis Moloney suggests that the thing we should look towardContinue reading “Holy Week Fragments: Wednesday”

Holy Week Fragments: Palm Sunday

As the Scholar in Residence at First UMC, Newton, I challenged the congregation to read the gospel lectionary text for each day of Holy Week and to sit with it. Of course, I am doing this too. I wanted to provide my first thoughts on Holy Week from a rural theologian and Christian educator. HereContinue reading “Holy Week Fragments: Palm Sunday”

Can these Porch Lights Still Glow?

There’s a saying from that annals of rural southern mythology that goes something like “If the porch light’s on, come on in.” I think this statement is designed to promote the idea or heritage of rural hospitality. The idea that country folk will welcome anyone in need need into their homes. I can, with someContinue reading “Can these Porch Lights Still Glow?”

Learning to “Sit Watch”

This pile of used surgical masks is my reminder that in the past month, I’ve clocked more hours in hospitals than in my office. A family health issue—one that I won’t go into too much detail here because of privacy and the reality that it is still ongoing—has me coming and going from a 5Continue reading “Learning to “Sit Watch””