Advent in Narnia Open House

First, we filled the narthex (or lobby) of St. Benedict with artificial Christmas trees! We had lots of help – people loaned us their trees, and a few volunteers helped us set them all up and “fluff” the branches! When guests came, the first thing they saw was a “forest” … and Mr. Tumnus and […]

The Mosque Next Door

I wrote an article for The Christian Century about our church’s growing relationship with our Muslim neighbors here in Bolingbrook, a relationship that means a lot to us, but that is also as ordinary as any suburban worshipping communities who happen to be neighbors. “…we visited the congregation’s Eid al-Fitr festival, held at the end […]

Suburban Brutalism

Suburban architecture is not, for the most part, very remarkable. But here in Bolingbrook, Oak View Elementary School begs to differ. It looks like a big concrete box, yes; but in my opinion, it is actually a classic example of Brutalism, a modernist style based in raw concrete and pioneered by the architect Le Corbusier in […]

Book Launch Open House!

Dear readers, You are invited to come celebrate the new book with me next month… Book Launch Open House Sunday, September 20, 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. The Church of St. Benedict, 909 Lily Cache Lane, Bolingbrook There will be door prizes, Turkish Delight, and a few characters in costume (Thank you, Dave & Carly!). Bring […]

Empty Churches

I have a melancholy, hopeful love for abandoned churches. I visited this one last winter, meeting one of our Bishop’s staff to pick up some used furniture, cassocks, and hymnals for St. Benedict. The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany was built in 1885 and closed in 2011. It’s located in the medical district of Chicago, just west […]

Images of America: Bolingbrook

I bought the book Images of America: Bolingbrook at Village Hall last week. It was put together for the 50th anniversary of the village this year. I was pretty excited to look through it – but I couldn’t help but notice that there weren’t as many images of people of color as I was expecting. This may be because when […]

Mint is Impossible (The Mint Project, Part 3)

Mint is in the Bible twice! Who knew? I like to imagine King David, Peter, or Lydia enjoying it in their tabbouleh, but it’s only Jesus who mentions it, when he accuses Pharisees of being overzealous in the tithing of their crops: Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have neglected […]

Garden Tour 2015

A few people have been asking me how the garden is this year. Here’s an abridged tour of the Vicar’s backyard from this past spring, and now summer. Last fall, I planted five (5!) different kinds of garlic – each with an obscure name. Here’s my very accurate and detailed planting map: Four of the five varieties produced beautiful, […]

Suburban Cyclology

When I was growing up in Chicago, my dad taught me to ride a bike in the street with the flow of traffic.If I tried that in Bolingbrook I’d get run over.

Death On Campus

Here at Kenyon College, there’s a graveyard on campus. I’m here this week for a writing workshop and I stumbled across it on a walk. I found gravestones from the 1830s and the 1990s, including those of professors and alums. I’d never seen a college graveyard before. It must be a great source for campus jokes. But […]