A Welcoming of the Lunar New Year

Dear Ones, I write to you on the Lunar New Year, a tradition that is not endemic to my culture, but one that I’ve come to value for a number of reasons.   I often feel that I start the calendar year with ideas of what the year SHOULD be, and by the time Lunar New…

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Death and Faith in 2020

The following is my response to the 787’s prompt to contemplate death and faith in 2020. It is divided into four sections, each accompanied by a piece of music. If for whatever reason you can’t read all this, I recommend you simply listen to the music. It does a much finer job of expressing what…

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Precarity and Preparation: Grappling with Death in the Age of Covid-19

Like most people, I’m terrified of death. There are probably some folks who have come to terms with their own mortality, either because they believe in an afterlife or because they are obsessed with the undead (as in a 1997 episode of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer). But I’m comfortable assuming that, like me, the majority…

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God Help Me To Be Free

God help me to be free.God I want to be seen for me. God please be with me…May I not meet a fate such as what we’ve seen. With black hands tied in pleasant knots in front of me,I pray they’ll know I’m not threatening, and as kind as can be. Let my lungs expand…

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Danse Macabre Introduction

As I write this, it is November 11, 2020. It is approximately six months later than we’d hope to start this series, which is something I now lovingly call “pandemic time.” That is, nothing happens as planned or on schedule in this pandemic. Today is Veteran’s Day, a day we remember people willing to face…

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Wakefulness

Hello partners- It’s back to the news and the news is kind of hard these days.  Like many folks, I’m working to strike a balance between avoidance (or one could say head completely in the sand) and engagement that leaves me feeling committed to the work before us and not helpless or overwhelmed.  It’s not…

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Anointing with Oil

Hello Travelers- Greetings from my Thursday night newsletter on Saturday night!  I began piecing this together Thursday evening still feeling jostled and unsettled by the debate, only to wake up Friday to even more surprising news.  Perhaps the one thing on which we can all agree is that last week was not what we expected. …

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Consider: Nourishment

Oh friends!  So much change is loose in the world, and it’s been too long since we last wrote.  The effect of this change, and how it feels to each of us in our individual lives on any given day, is rife with both difference and similarity.  I’ve taken heart in some of our recent…

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Universal Needs In Time of COVID-19 : Connection

Sopphey Vance is an MDiv student at Austin Seminary. Throughout this year he will be writing some of his reflections about universal human needs. Preface In the narration of the creation story in chapter two of Genesis, the Lord God says that “it is not good that the man should be alone;”. [1] While, the…

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A Scattering Journey

Hello fellow travelers! What a journey we are on.  It’s almost Friday, and the night sky is clear and beautiful in Austin.  It’s hard to believe that the same natural world renders things like hurricanes, or a deadly virus, into being. As the fall approaches, I feel and observe the accumulated fatigue in my own…

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