Discovering John Stott’s Special Place

hooksesMy wife Susanna and I recently returned from a four week working trip to the UK. (See my last post). One of the highlights of that visit was a week in Wales staying, just the two of us, at the Hookses,  an old farmhouse and outbuildings purchased by John Stott in 1954.  This was his personal retreat – he wrote all but the last of his books here – and is now a small retreat center. Our stay was a profound experience for me… Continue reading

Climate Change in Kenya: A video conversation

Some colleagues of ours traveled to Kenya a couple of years ago under the auspices of World Concern, the mission arm of the Christian Reformed Church.  It’s taken them some time, but they have recently released a video summary of that trip.  Faces you will see include Craig Sorley, Care of Creation Kenya Director, Raphael Magambo, Director of A Rocha Kenya, John Elwood, publisher of Beloved Planet blog, Cal DeWitt, professor and founder of Au Sable Institute, Peter Vandermeulin, Director of CRC’s Office of Social Justice and a number of local voices from Kenya.  This is worth a few minutes of your time to watch and to pass along to others.  (Link them to this page).

If you would like to support Care of Creation’s ongoing work  in Kenya, you can do so here.

[This is the trailer to the series - find the whole list here.]

Moon Memories Move Emotion, Climate Action

I cried in Washington, D.C.

It happened in a narrow opening of time, an eye of the storm between flying in to Reagan International Airport the day before and sitting down for the first Citizens’ Climate Lobby 2014 Conference session that Sunday, June 22 afternoon. I took a morning stroll to find some

Washington National Cathedral, home of the stained glass “Space Window” with embedded lunar rock and site of Astronaut Neil Armstrong’s 2012 memorial service.
Washington National Cathedral, home of the stained glass “Space Window” with embedded lunar rock and site of Astronaut Neil Armstrong’s 2012 memorial service.

spiritual grounding within the architectural and liturgical beauty of the renowned Washington National Cathedral. Strikingly, I found it most profoundly not in the 11 am worship service on the spacious main floor. I found it more in the 1 pm docent led tour discussing the stained glass “Space Window”.

The docent explained the Space Window had been dedicated in 1974 on the fifth anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. In it was sealed a seven gram rock sample from the Sea of Tranquility presented by Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon,
and his Continue reading

Observations on biking to work

One street I bike on. Photo by Brittany Ederer
One street I bike on. Photo by Brittany Ederer

Does the idea of bicycling to your workplace strike fear into your heart?  Perhaps you imagine the aftermath of encountering an angry driver: they honk at you, causing you to swerve off the road, tumble pell-mell down an embankment, and land in a briar of buckthorns and raspberry bushes.  Or, less dramatically, you imagine showing up to work in total disarray, with sweat under your armpits and a severe case of helmet hair.

In my experience, biking to work is Continue reading

A Church, a Smartphone and a Sin that has to stop

2014-09-23 13.13.36A church stands silent, hiding in the woods, surrounded by leaning, moss-covered gravestones, as it has for almost a thousand years. I use my ever-present smartphone to snap pictures of this monument to an ancient faith that still guides my own life. As I seek to capture the mood of the place, I am struck by the juxtaposition of time frames that I am experiencing. The device in my hand, one of the latest Android devices, was only invented a few years ago, and will likely be obsolete and useless within two or three more. Everything about my life changes in a year, often even more quickly, but this place has stood for centuries and will likely be here for centuries more.

The contrast between a church a thousand years old and the smartphone that will last less than two is jarring and disturbing.

Let me explain… Continue reading

Not-so-old Literature: Wendell Berry and the Pleasure of God

Originally published June 9, 2009.

Wendell Berry [courtesy Wikipedia Images]
Wendell Berry (courtesy David Aaron Marshall)
“Wendell Berry (born August 5, 1934, Henry County, Kentucky) is an American man of letters, academic, cultural and economic critic, and farmer. He is a prolific author of novels, short stories, poems, and essays. He is also an elected member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers.” – thus Wikipedia introduces one of my favorite authors.  Among his many achievements, however, he is not listed as a theologian.

Continue reading