Tag Archives: Chicago

Chicago Diarist: A Priestly People

(Note: I wrote this in January 2011) Back when I was just getting started in ministry, early in my seminary career, Christmas was a high point of the year. There is a strange thrill in doing something, as it were, from the inside out–in knowing the alleys that connect the gleaming storefronts, in working while […]

Chicago Diarist: Happy Birthday to Ya

(Note: I wrote this for my blog in January, 2008) Yesterday we celebrated the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. at church. The pastor switched the appointed Gospel reading with a passage from the Sermon on the Mount and, between the readings and the children’s sermon, we listened to an excerpt from one of King’s […]

Come First, Then See

(Note: I preached this sermon at Messiah Lutheran Church on the Second Sunday after Epiphany 2018).  Sisters and brothers, grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. I want to note two special prayer concerns for today, one of them sorrowful and one joyful. First, I have added […]

Chicago Diarist: Waiting

(I wrote this in December, 2009) Say what you will about cold weather, crowds, and snow or the threat thereof grinding the streets to a halt, but I kind of love Chicago in December. I love the concerts of sacred music for free or cheap, the Bavarian Christmas market at Daley Plaza (with offsetting public […]

Chicago Diarist: A Drunkard’s Home Companion

(I wrote this in August, 2006) Last Friday I made it to the Music Box for the first time in far too long to catch the midnight showing of Big Time, the Tom Waits concert film of 1988. A friend and I stopped at a Southport watering hole for a couple quick glasses of Irish whiskey before the […]

My Back Pages: Iftar with the DuPage Republicans

(A version of this appeared in The National, Abu Dhabi, in September 2009. It is not longer extant and their site, so I have posted it here). In the years following the attacks of September 11, 2001, enthusiasm for interfaith iftar events swept America’s liberal Christians. When I was studying theology, an interfaith iftar – […]

Chicago Diarist: Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

(I wrote this in January, 2007) My literary production, such as it is (and as far as I may use the term without self-mockery), is highly dependent on the CTA. Back when I still tried to write poetry, a conversation about a dead man overheard on a bus furnished the matter of one of the […]

Chicago Diarist: Thought for the Morrow

(I wrote this in February, 2011, when I was serving as a part-time associate pastor in a small Chicago parish and it seemed that I was not going to receive a full-time call anywhere) “Be careful what you wish for” is advice that I long ago learned to heed in my preaching life. I don’t […]

Chicago Diarist: Home

(I wrote this in July, 2008, shortly after my internship at Bethel-Imani Lutheran church ended) Early last year, after buying yet another friend a copy of Gilead to see him on his journey away from Chicago, I read the opening on the train. I made myself stop after this: I don’t know how many times people have […]

Chicago Diarist: All Roads Lead to the Southside

(I wrote this in July, 2007, as I started my year of internship at Bethel-Imani Lutheran Church) A few short days after finalizing our move to the western suburbs following seven years of calling Chicago home, I motored down the eastbound Ike on my first day as a true commuter. I wondered if I would […]