Archive for the ‘SECOND THOUGHTS’ Category


Posted by secondchurch on April - 28 - 2019

I remember one particular Easter, I think I was maybe 10 or 11, my family decided at the last minute to go to our family cabin for the Easter weekend.  We were living in northern Wisconsin and we were active in a Presbyterian Church that was not a good theological  [ Read More ]

Shouting Stones

Posted by secondchurch on April - 18 - 2019

On the south shore of Lake Superior, on the edges of Chequamegon Bay, there is a little stretch of beach where one can find, if one is patient and determined, the most remarkable, perfectly round stones.  They are dark reddish brown and they have been shaped relentlessly by the pounding  [ Read More ]

Which One?

Posted by secondchurch on April - 3 - 2019

When a story from Scripture is very familiar, like this one about the prodigal son, and the resentful brother and the forgiving father, it’s difficult to hear it as if for the first time – with the ears of those who heard it first from Jesus himself. The story, because  [ Read More ]

Refracted Light

Posted by secondchurch on March - 20 - 2019

  When a ray of light passing through the air hits another medium like glass, it changes speed.  Some of the light penetrates the glass at a different angle than it began its journey, and some of it bounces off the hard surface of the glass and is sent in  [ Read More ]

The Tempter’s Power

Posted by secondchurch on March - 20 - 2019

  Ever since I first understood the word Lent, I have come to the season with a nagging Progressive Protestant inferiority complex.  It just seems to me that Catholics, for example, do Lent a little better than we UCC-ers.  One can actually detect something of a change in behavior among  [ Read More ]

And another thing…

Posted by secondchurch on February - 25 - 2019

  Easter is later than usual this year.  As a result, we have more Sundays after the Epiphany than we usually have before Lent begins.  And as a result of that, this passage from Luke is not one that is often heard.  That may be surprising to you, since its  [ Read More ]

A Blessing on the Cursed

Posted by secondchurch on February - 25 - 2019

  I have a sister who lives in Texas.  Once, in a conversation I was having with my brother-in-law about my sister, I said something like “bless her heart”, to which my brother-in-law reacted negatively.  I don’t often bless people’s hearts so I was surprised by his reaction, but he  [ Read More ]

Considerably Less Dramatic

Posted by secondchurch on February - 11 - 2019

  On a day when I was feeling a little restless in my work, I visited a closed group on Facebook for women clergy in the United Church of Christ.  I typed this post: “In the book I’ll never write about parish ministry, an entire chapter will be devoted to  [ Read More ]

A time to…

Posted by secondchurch on January - 31 - 2019

For 19 years, I led church work teams to northern Mississippi for a week in Coahoma County with Habitat for Humanity.  My mother was a community organizer there after she retired from teaching.  The first time I ever visited Mississippi was in 1965 when, on a family vacation before interstate  [ Read More ]

The Hard Work

Posted by secondchurch on January - 30 - 2019

I was baptized by my grandfather, an Evangelical and Reformed pastor. It was in the living room of my grandparents’ home in Dixon, Illinois. My parents would have preferred we be baptized in the church in Wisconsin where they were active members, but it meant a great deal to my grandparents so, private,  [ Read More ]