On “Aloha”

Adam and I just got back from 9 days in Hawaii. It was… amazing. We stayed on the remote side of Maui in a rustic little cottage with an outdoor shower, propane fridge and cooktop, cold water sink, and just three tiny LED lights. A compost toilet was down the path, with separate seats for #1 and […]

Book Review: Two Manuals for Dying

I wrote a review for The Christian Century of two companion books on dying by Marilyn Chandler McEntyre, a professor of medical humanities at UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco. Her two books are both beautiful and uncomfortably practical guides to facing an approaching death – your own, or that of someone you love. Here’s an excerpt from […]

Ministry of Silly Lenten Book Titles

I’ve been working on ideas for a new book of devotions for Lent (not based on Narnia this time). I’ve received wonderful ideas from many of you – keep them coming! I’ve noticed as I make notes, do reading, research, and brainstorming, that it’s easier to come up with ridiculous titles for books than serious ones.  Monty Python has a […]

The White Witch’s Hot Cocoa & Other Extras

This fall, while doing book events for Advent in Narnia, I’ve developed a few more activities for families, individuals, or churches that I want to share here since I’m too late to include them in the book (at least until the next – ?! – printing). Amazingly, the book has sold almost 2500 copies since it was released […]

Gratitude Lessons

Gratitude is dull because we always give thanks for the same things. For instance, going around the circle at Thanksgiving dinner, my various family circles always say: family, friends, health, home, a job, nature… Every November, people in my Facebook feed list things they are thankful for every day of the month. Again, like clockwork: family, friends, health, home, a job, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

“The same night for years”

Today, The Christian Century blog posted a piece I wrote: “Three times a year, a worship service ends and I go back to the vesting room to change — and I feel as though I’m entering a time warp.” Read More…

The Vicar’s First Book

I’ve been away from blogging more than I would like this month, in part because I’ve been finishing a book manuscript. Hooray! I want to fill you in a bit on what I’m working on, since it’s taken me away from doing much writing here. The backstory: last summer, Westminster John Knox offered me a contract for […]