Farewell to Bolingbrook

In a week, the moving truck will come and a crew of Chicago bruisers will load all our earthly belongings into a truck or two and haul it into the city. We’ll leave behind a bed of ripening strawberries, a renovated bathroom that still flutters my heart, a wheelbarrow, four kinds of iris, rampant mint, […]

Ashes To Go: In The Joliet Herald-News

St. Benedict and I were in the Joliet Herald-News for offering “Ashes to Go” for the fourth year yesterday, Ash Wednesday. I was glad to work with the reporter and photographer – they “got” what we were doing and did a wonderful job capturing the day. Donna Ialongo, our Priest Associate, and I got to […]

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 […]

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 […]

Ashes to Go, 2014

St. Benedict did “Ashes to Go” again this year – we offer ashes and a prayer of confession to passers by, since so many people have become too busy for their spiritual lives, and because we believe church shouldn’t stay contained inside the four walls of a building. We were out from 6-9 a.m. We […]

Our Annual Pet Blessing

A Pet Blessing is a great way for a church to meet its neighborhood. Today, St. Benedict hosted its annual Pet Blessing. Two of my wonderful leaders set up plates of dog and people cookies, a water bowl, lemonade and coffee. I put on a stole and we  gathered under our driveway portico to welcome […]

How I May Not Be the Vicar of Bolingbrook

I don’t post many of my sermons here. They’re better live. And who wants to read sermons? But I’m going to break my rule because I got a lot of comments on this one and it connects to the theme of this blog – spiritual geography and being the Vicar or Priest or Church to […]

On “Ashes to Go”

Starting early on Ash Wednesday morning, while it was still dark, two church members and I stood in our church driveway and parking lot, wearing white robes and offering ashes to the people driving by. We’re on a relatively busy street, but it was freezing cold and dark and I’m not sure that, before the […]

What a Pastor Does

“So, what exactly do you do as a pastor? Do you do a lot of counseling?” Adam and I were on vacation the week after Christmas and the man who ran the B&B where we stayed asked me this. It’s hard to explain. At least this guy didn’t ask if I only work on Sundays. I […]

Inside My Church

On the Sunday before Christmas… probably during announcements. We had the children’s pageant that morning, so it was a full house. That second shot – wide angle lens! – makes it look more narrow that it really is. Actually, it’s almost a square. My husband, Adam, took these pictures from the back, where he sits […]