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This Sunday in our congregation, we begin a new year of Confirmation Class, when 8th and 9th graders explore their own faith--not the faith of their parents, or of their Sunday School teachers, or of their pastor, but their own. The hope is that they really dive in to their questions and wrestling and come out on the other side with a desire to keep asking questions and keep wrestling for the rest of their lives.  I came across a poem by Mary Oliver, and it made me think about how we share faith with young people. I'm wondering whether any such endeavor might begin with Mary Oliver's words: "I have a lot of edges called Perhaps and almost nothing you can call Certainty." "Angels" by Mary Oliver You might see an angel anytime
and anywhere. Of course you have
to open your eyes to a kind of
second level, but it’s not really
hard. The whole business of
what’s reality and what isn’t has
never been solved and probably
never will be. So I don’t care to
be too definite ab…
Recent posts
An Open Letter to the Three Village Community from the Three Village Interfaith Clergy Association
Over the past weeks and months we have witnessed yet again the devastating impact of gun violence throughout the nation. As clergy we are wrestling, alongside our communities, with how we can best respond to the increasing violence and tension in our country’s communities and throughout our entire nation.  What role can faith groups play?  Like the members of the congregations we serve, we are concerned, angry and frustrated.  We are facing a public health crisis; guns have taken the lives of too many of our siblings. 
As faith leaders we serve congregants who are impacted, directly and indirectly, by gun violence. We are there when families have lost loved ones due to gun violence, we hear the concerns and fears of our people, and we feel deeply within ourselves the endless attacks on children of the Divine. When our children return to school they will likely participate in active shooter…

My Spiritual GPS

In conversation with friends the topic of favorite spiritual writers came up. New books, recent articles, favorite quotes from various sources were shared. And then someone offered the following question: Who is your spiritual GPS? A few moments of silence and then a lively discussion ensued! I was at first intrigued by the question and then there he was with his various publications lining my book shelves! Henri Nouwen! He was a Dutch priest, professor, spiritual writer, and theologian. He based his thesis for an advanced degree on the work of Anton Boisen, an American minister who founded Clinical Pastoral Education, the training and education undertaken by every board-certified hospital and hospice chaplain. I did not know this about Henri Nouwen until much later in my spiritual journey with him. As a board-certified chaplain I appreciated him and his work even more. Fr. Nouwen focused on psychology, pastoral ministry, spirituality, social justice, and community. In his writings an…

3V Clergy Speak Out Against Hate and Violence

The courage to say NO to hate

I was going to write this blog about something different, but the recent events, especially the most recent shooting in a San Diego synagogue on the last day of Passover have totally occupied my thoughts.
I am preparing a small service for my students for Yom HaShaoah- Holocaust Remembrance Day.We usually light a candle and read some poems and sing a song.I felt I needed to do more this year.The Holocaust is not some distant past event of history.The students have seen videos of Nazis marching on the streets of American cities yelling anti-Semitic slogans.Houses of worship are targets of violence of hate all over the globe, including 2 synagogues here in our country. These acts of hate and ignorance must be confronted head on, and Holocaust Remembrance Day seems the perfect day to begin.
As a clergy member, these recent events have left me bereft and downtrodden.My faith is tested, and my sadness is all encompassing.Of course, I see the goodness in those who rise up against such hate.He…
Circles for Peacemaking
You have probably heard of at least some of the elements that go into peacemaking circles and perhaps you have used some of them in discussion groups or decision-making exercises. The elements - a talking piece, a facilitator or keeper, guidelines that all agree on, and consensus decision-making - are simple; used together they create a powerful and effective way to make decisions, do restorative justice, and build community.
Circles can be used for purposes such as community-building, healing, decision-making, transforming conflict, celebration, and more.In some communities, courts will participate in restorative justice circle processes to decide on sentencing for certain types of crimes.Some schools use circles to handle school discipline.Circles have been effective in working with rival gangs to reduce violence.
The circle process draws directly from the traditions of indigenous people who use a Talking Circle to discuss community issues and it is supporte…

Liberation is Costly -- Reverend Dr. Linda Anderson

South African bishop Desmond Tutu said: “Liberation is costly.  Even after the Lord had delivered the Israelites from Egypt, they had to travel through the desert.  They had to bear the responsibilities and difficulties of freedom.  There was starvation and thirst and they kept complaining.  They complained that their diet was monotonous.  Many of them preferred the days of bondage and the fleshpots of Egypt.  We must remember that liberation is costly.”   Liberation is costly.  A rebirth into freedom requires courage and it requires sacrifice. Think about your own lives. Are you in the midst of breaking free from something? Breaking free from the circumstances, the situations, the conditions, the patterns, the work, the people that keep you enslaved?  Are you in the midst of experiencing new growth, in the midst of your own particular exodus?  For some of us rebirth into freedom is major.  We are liberating ourselves into different work states, different relationship states, different…