Category Archives: My Life as Pastor

It’s Time to Self-Isolate . . . from the New York Times

Like a lot of people, my usual morning follows a routine.  First, coffee. Second, make toast.  Third, drink coffee.  Fourth, say good morning to others who may be in the kitchen at the same time.  Fifth, open computer, review the … Continue reading

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Can This Old Dog Learn New Tricks?

Ministry in the Age of COVID-19 My twenty-year-old son blames his twenty-three-year-old sister for everything that is happening in the world, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  For Christmas, Margaret gave her brother a t-shirt from Venice, Italy (where … Continue reading

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Getting My Non On

At some point during this year’s annual meeting at Old South, I experienced a moment—an instance that I can only describe as almost terrifying.  I was looking out at the assembled group of good, dedicated church folk and realizing that … Continue reading

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Identity Crisis

Last Sunday’s sermon was on unity, focusing on the lectionary passage from the beginning of First Corinthians. The title of my sermon was “Give Me a U.” The plan was to talk about Paul’s encouragement regarding unity, to remind us … Continue reading

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Don’t Sit There!

And you may ask yourself, well How did I get here? —Talking Heads, Once in a Lifetime During my homily last Sunday, on our first winter worship service of the season in Old South’s parish house (where worship is a … Continue reading

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This Writing Life 3: Creating Community

At first I wasn’t sure how they all seemed to know who I was.  I was greeted by name by more than one person.  One reached out a hand, “Susan, it’s nice to meet you,” before I uttered much more … Continue reading

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The Remarkable Sound of Silence

Many years ago, when I was a second year divinity school student trying to figure out what sort of ministry was the right path for me, I took a field education assignment at a local church, after a year spent … Continue reading

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The Dreaded Funeral and Its Dreadful Portents

It doesn’t happen often, thank goodness, and less often than it happened in my first years at Old South: leading a funeral/memorial service for someone I’ve never met. In the almost fifteen years of serving Old South, I occasionally discover … Continue reading

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The Not So Graceful Art of Treading Water

The typical routine of life at Old South Church means that the Advent and Christmas seasons are followed not so much by the season of Epiphany, but the season of Annual Meeting—finalizing the budget, figuring out and nominating a slate … Continue reading

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When Right Is Wrong (or, if not exactly wrong, not exactly right either)

Perhaps in response to a humid, but dry, summer in Maine, much of my reading this season has involved a lot of cold and ice. After watching the AMC series “The Terror” in the spring, I read the book by … Continue reading

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