Keep Death Always Before Your Eyes

Today, at 9:39 a.m., someone shot an office worker and then shot themselves at a warehouse office between my house and my church, here in Bolingbrook. The news went out at about 11 a.m. I was at St. Benedict, meeting with a parishioner. I’m ashamed to say this, but I didn’t feel sad, or scared, […]

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 […]

Learning to do a funeral

Not many people die at my church (Lord, have mercy). Many members move away to warmer places in retirement. Most current members are in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, with few folks 80 and above. So, it’s taken me a while to really learn to do a funeral. Usually, the story is that a young […]

Funerals at Home

Episcopal Cafe’ ran this piece I wrote as “The Daily Episcopalian” last Friday. Funerals at Home Recently, I presided at a tiny home funeral. Twenty people gathered in the living room of a mother and son, approximately aged 90 and 60, who had died on the same day. I’ll call them Leona and Joe. They had […]

The Disappeared Houses

On a walk last month, Adam and I noticed a memorial plaque under a tree… for a street address. Curious. (If you want to go find it, it’s along Lily Cache Greenway between Orchard and Plainview.) When we got home I searched for “109 Arcadia Court” on Google Maps and a little red tag popped […]


This are two foreclosed homes on our block, down from three. Will County has had one of the highest rates of foreclosures in the state, and Bolingbrook has been one of the epicenters. Some foreclosed homes are kept up well, but this one was pretty neglected. The front door looked like something out of a […]

Memorial tire swing

The park near our house is full of memorial trees, and now, we also have a memorial tire swing. An 11-year old girl, Jordan Oliver, drowned in a retention pond behind her school last week. She was playing along a bridge with a bunch of other kids, slipped into deep water, and didn’t come back up. […]

The Bolingbrook Memorial Tree Program

How does a human settlement become more than land with houses on it? How do people start to merge the story of their lives and relationship with the ground they live on? One of the ways humans mark ground with stories is by making graves. Farming families started digging graveyards in the Bolingbrook area almost […]