Category Archives: Chaplaincy

Keeping Our Hearts Alive: On the Contribution of One Veteran (homily)

November 8, 2015 First Parish Church of Groton audio version here Spirit of Life, breath of our breath, source of humility and deep ground: be with me as I preach this sermon. When a minister preaches on a topic about … Continue reading

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Tonglen: Enough. For Now.

I met Doris* as she lay in a bed on the pulmonary unit to which I had been assigned as a hospital chaplain intern. At the moment when we met, she her breathing was “good enough” – not well enough … Continue reading

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Coming to the Pond: Surrender & Prayer (sermon)

Unitarian Society of Northampton & Florence August 9, 2015 (The Mary Oliver poem referenced in this sermon can be found here.) When I joined my first Unitarian Universalist congregation, this very one, nearly twenty ago, there was not much tolerance … Continue reading

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On Not Waiting to be the Hummingbird (sermon)

On Not Waiting to be the Hummingbird: The Life and Death of Lee Hawkins First Parish Church of Groton May 24, 2015 [For audio version, click here.] Two decades ago, I had the chance to speak with the coordinator of … Continue reading

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F*ck Bucket Lists

So there’s this thing.  A term of art that apparently everyone (who’s anyone) knows what it means and its relative import (very) in the scheme of things.  There’s even a mediocre-to-bad movie I cannot bring myself to watch. When did … Continue reading

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Reading Life Into Failing Bodies: The Chaplaincy of Eros and Thanatos

A third of my summer chaplaincy internship was spent at a nursing home. It was quite a contrast from the pace of chaplaincy work at the hospital, each with much to commend it. At the hospital, I liked the pastoral-care-as-extreme-sport, … Continue reading

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Trooper Responsive: The Story Continues

(Earlier today, I sent this letter.  I comment about the response at the end of this post.) Colonel Timothy Alben Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police  Dear Sir: It is not an easy time to be a police officer in … Continue reading

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Bidden or Unbidden: God in the House?

God keeps popping up at my house. Which is a little strange given that we are a couple of Buddhists. It started this summer, while I was interning as a hospital chaplain, part of the process to form me as … Continue reading

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Forget the Blessings (poetry)

for T.C. Forget pious blessing chatter. The nice-nice that assures polite company the world still spins properly.   It doesn’t. It’s off kilter. Your son is gone. All is not right in the world.   Should you take my advice, … Continue reading

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Don’t Fear the Reaper: Reactions When I Tell People What I Do

I was in line at my local food co-op, which just so happens to have the planet’s best dirty chai (the treat I get for myself after an especially hard day’s work). It’s embarrassingly expensive, but nothing else compares. IMHO. … Continue reading

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