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Columns

  • Only one month until Christmas - are you ready?

    Wow!

    A glance at the calendar today will show there is only one month left before Christmas.

    I remember when that seemed like a lifetime to wait. As kids, Christmas seemed like it took forever to arrive. But as an adult, I’m finding that the holidays kind of sneak up on you when you least suspect them.

  • December 2007 is a time to grow in generosity

    December is a very special season for various faith communities. Our general U.S. society puts a big focus on giving gifts (with more than one motivation, granted).

    I have been thinking about this 2007 season. It seems like a very special one with unique urgency entailed this time.

    It seems we are called to think about gift giving and its root generosity in whole new ways. The caller: the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change!

  • Has the idea of the American dream died?

    We’re not who we think we are.

    The American self-image is suffused with the golden glow of opportunity. We think of the United States as a land of unlimited possibility, not so much a classless society but as a place where class is mutable — a place where brains, energy and ambition are what counts, not the circumstances of one’s birth. But three new studies suggest that Horatio Alger doesn’t live here anymore.

  • Send a message, throw the rascals out

    Americans should remind their elected representatives and senators that we do not have the parliamentary system in this country.

    Under that system, which the Founding Fathers rejected, the executive branch is chosen from the majority party in the legislature or, if there is no majority, from a coalition of parties. The Founding Fathers were wise to reject this system, because for one thing it makes the majority party virtually a dictatorship.

  • Sometimes our biggest hungers aren't for food

    Last November someone wrote me a letter — no return address, no signature. I’ve been holding on to it all year, reading it every so often.

    It’s a heartbreaking letter and I hadn’t known how to respond to it. I’m not sure I do now, but I feel compelled to tell this woman’s story. Maybe by sharing it the letter writer will find some peace or happiness or whatever it is that she needs most.

  • Thanksgiving memories are meant to share

    How accurate the story all of us learned in school about the Pilgrims and Native Americans is, I cannot be certain because I was not there and neither was anyone I know. But as far as I do know Thanksgiving is a holiday that began as a celebration of two cultures sharing their resources. Throughout the years the tradition of sharing a meal and giving thanks for all that we have received during years past has remained. What a wonderful lesson for us all to take part in each year. To stop and remember to be thankful for the food we eat and the air we breathe.

  • Finding the right words doesn't always come easy

    It’s been 11 weeks since I became a mom and still I can’t find the words to describe it.

    Daughter. Family. Mama. Daddy. These are the four that frequent my vocabulary most, now. Still so new, still sweet tasting, still a little surprising. I love these words. They come often and linger.

    But parenthood, or rather, the words to describe it seem less willing to surface.

  • Nonviolence can build peace in a violent world

    Veterans Day included the fifth annual Nelson County Interfaith Service.

    This year’s theme was “Peace and Justice As Seen Through the World’s Great Religions.”

    Persons from 10 faith communities gathered with a couple hundred of us to mull on the fundamental connection between peace and justice. I found it very inspiring and I learned more about the teachings and aspirations of other faith traditions.

  • Clinton does rhyme with front-runner

    “That’s an excellent question” normally doesn’t make the list of utterances that can get a candidate in trouble on the campaign trail. But this presidential campaign isn’t what anyone would call normal.

    John McCain gave that anodyne response Monday at a “town hall” event in South Carolina when an elegant woman, of patrician bearing, posed this question about a possible Democratic nominee: “How do we beat the [expletive]?”

  • Will casino gaming prove to be big for Kentucky?

    Marooned in Iowa for the week, amid fields of cornstalks and beef cattle, the hot topic of the week is the weather. Surprised? When is the weather not a main topic of discussion in Iowa