Training to Walk the Camino

Over the last year, I have been training to walk the Camino.   At my age, balance and muscle resilience are key to a successful walk. That, and endurance. I’m now in week eleven of twelve for training.  By the end of this week, I need to be able to hike five hours in hilly terrainContinue reading “Training to Walk the Camino”

The Scallop Shell

Many pilgrims on the Camino tie a scallop shell to their backpacks or on the laces of their boots. The scallop shell is also used to mark the route one is meant to walk on the way to Santiago de Compostela. So, what’s the deal with that? The association of St. James with scallops takes usContinue reading “The Scallop Shell”

Who was St. James?

As I prepare for my Camino, it occurs to me that I should learn a little about St. James the Great whose relics are believed to buried at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.  500 miles is a long way to walk without knowing anything about the person who has inspired millions to make a pilgrimage toContinue reading “Who was St. James?”

Walking the Camino for Lasting Change

The board of Episcopal Relief & Development has generously granted me a sabbatical this fall.  As I was thinking about what I wanted to use the time for, I decided that I had a couple of goals for my sabbatical.  

Spiritual but not Religious

In my experience the declaration that “I’m spiritual but not religious” is often greeted by a collective eye-roll in church circles.   For many of us affiliated with formal church or faith organizations, it can seem a ridiculous thing to say. What we think we’re hearing is “I’m spiritual but not yet religious.”

Interstellar Space

Living as I do in an urban environment, it is not usually possible to see many, if any, stars on a regular basis.  Fortunately, my work takes me off the beaten path to places where there is little ambient light to obscure the night sky.   Most recently, I found myself in the desert ofContinue reading “Interstellar Space”

One billboard outside Sandusky, Ohio

Each year my wife and I attend St. Bartholomew’s three-hour Good Friday service.  Each year I wonder how on earth I will sit through three hours of music, extended periods of silent prayer, readings on the seven last words of Christ, and a homily on each.  Each year the time disappears.

“Do not be afraid…”

Today I find myself in the Holy Land—on a pilgrimage.  This is not my first pilgrimage, nor, do I suspect, will it be my last.  Moreover, this is my 5th or 6th time visiting many of the sites on this trip.  Yet, each visit is a little different.  Each visit challenges and rewards me inContinue reading ““Do not be afraid…””

What kind of person does God want me to become in 2018?

Christmas decorations tend to linger around our house until Ash Wednesday.  I’m always reluctant to sweep them away too quickly after December 25th.  After all, there are twelve days of Christmas—it’s a season not a day.  Certainly any decorations associated with the Three Kings have their place in our home through Epiphany.   Those whoContinue reading “What kind of person does God want me to become in 2018?”

Fanfare for the Common Man

For the last several years my wife and I have marked the passing of one year into the next with a quiet dinner, sometimes with friends, sometimes just the two of us, followed by an 11 p.m. organ concert at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church here in New York City.  The program for the concert variesContinue reading “Fanfare for the Common Man”