Skip to content
Monday, October 14, 2019
~ for those who have too much integrity to preach someone else's sermon!

The Back Page

JON, JOB and INRI

You can credit (or blame) AOC for this column. I mean, she’s the inspiration for the meandering thoughts which follow. You see the initials of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez everywhere. AOC is the U.S. representative for New York’s 14th Congressional District. Shortening her name to AOC is a media thing. Much easier to use initials than her…

Read More

Put Some Dinner in Your Church

Put Some Dinner in Your Church

By Henry G. Brinton   When I served a multicultural Presbyterian church in Alexandria, Virginia, older white parishioners didn’t always see eye-to-eye with younger African immigrants in the congregation. Disagreements arose over a variety of issues, including worship and church government. But when we sat down for international potluck dinners from time to time, the…

Read More

The Liver Sermon

The Liver Sermon

My grandparents on my mother’s side were German immigrants. When they hit America just before the war, they had no money, no kids and no English. But Grossmama and Grosspapa had plenty of food, especially spuds, which they heaped high on the kitchen table of their southern Idaho farmhouse. We kids liked to visit our…

Read More

Getting a Word from the Lord

Many mysterious things happen in the life of a preaching pastor — like why the mike fails to work on Christmas Eve and Easter Sunday morning; why the best-prepared sermon often falls flatter than roadkill on I-95; and conversely, why those sermons cobbled together at 6 a.m. Sunday are so often blessed with the fire…

Read More

The Cross Checkpoint

Not long ago, I returned from a two-week trip to Israel and the Palestinian West Bank with our youngest daughter, Deborah. She had never been to this part of the world, and it was my fifth trip, so naturally, she thought I’d be the perfect person to show her around. While there, I was able…

Read More

When Holy Communion Isn’t So Holy

When Holy Communion Isn’t So Holy

One Sunday recently, a youngish man, thirtysomething, father of two girls, asked me if the communion bread had any nuts. “We have some nuts in the congregation,” I said, “but not in the bread.” He smiled graciously at this lame attempt at humor. I went on to say that I would confirm this and would…

Read More

Tree of Life Synagogue Shootings: So What Now?

The shooting that took place Saturday, October 27, at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, was, like all of the mass shootings we live through, an assault by hatred upon hope. I say hope, because most people of goodwill, and certainly people of faith, live with hope and by hope. Every day in Pittsburgh…

Read More

Gratitude in a Culture of Outrage

We’re coming up on the two months of the year which unequivocally call for more gratitude, rejoicing and celebration than any other 61-day period on the calendar: November and December. The clarion call to be grateful is issued on Thanksgiving Day, and thereafter we’re reminded of the arrival of the transcendent, ineffable God in human…

Read More

Change of Scenery

Every season has its own particular glory, and with that, downsides, too. Summer has so much to commend it that there’s no need for me to restate the obvious. But there are negatives that deserve mention. In the summer, wrote the Bard, “sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, / And often is his…

Read More

Give It a Rest

My colleague Bob Kaylor is on sabbatical this summer. You can read about it in this issue on page 7. I think he’s doing something important — for himself, his ministry and his church. He will be a better person for it. Let’s talk about sabbaticals for a moment. I read an article recently the…

Read More