What's Tony Thinking

A Poem for Today, Advent I

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November 28, 2020 — Many of you expressed appreciation for the poem I shared last Sunday, so maybe we’ll make that a Sunday practice — sharing a poem — for the time being. This Sunday is the first in the season of Advent. Here is one of my favorite poems for that season, “Making the House Ready for the... Read More

Evangelical and Liberal

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November 27, 2020 — I was recently asked to provide an endorsement (“blurb” in the trade) for new a book due out this next spring, Better Than Brunch: Missional Churches in Cascadia. After reading the short study by Jason Byassee and Ross Lockhart, both of whom teach at Vancouver (B.C.) School of Theology, I was enthusiastic about endorsing Better Than... Read More

I Really Am Thankful

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November 25, 2020 — It’s the day before Thanksgiving. And honestly, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. For Joe Biden’s election, and the beginning of a serious and decent new administration. I could join the chorus of voices damning Republicans for their failure to challenge Trump in recent weeks. But I really wish for a season and spirit of reconciliation,... Read More

Bor . . . ing!

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November 24, 2020 — “I hate that word!” burst out the remarkable woman who is my wife. As an educator she has grown weary of hearing children saying “boring,” in that sing-song-y and dismissive way, that elongates the first syllable. We were watching the Newshour on PBS. Normally, we enjoy their “Politics Monday” segment with Amy Walter and Tamara... Read More

A Poem for Today

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November 22, 2020 — As a part of today’s service at our daughter’s church, Bethel UCC in White Salmon, a poem was read that I really liked. The title is “Trough,” and it is the work of the poet, Judy Brown. Maybe you will like it too. Here it is, “Trough.” There is a trough in waves, a low... Read More

In a Time When Extremes Dominate, Some Thoughts on Moderation

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November 21, 2020 — As Trump continues to do what he does best — suck the oxygen out of every space into which he stalks — my form of protest, at least today, will be to argue the virtues of moderation. To do so I reach back to a speech given in 1988 by the President of Yeshiva University,... Read More

An Upside to a Lockdown?

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November 19, 2020 — Here in Washington State we are in week one of a new four week period of tightened restrictions due to the increase in COVID cases. Essentially we have returned to the “lockdown” of last spring. A new lockdown has brought with it a renewal of what we’ve been struggling with all along — an inability... Read More

The Sin of Smugness

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November 18, 2020 — After every election there are many attempts to ferret out what it all means. What were the voters saying? While buoyed by Biden’s win there is a lot of angst among Democrats about two things. First, the much higher than anticipated level of support Donald Trump did get, especially among women and people of color.... Read More

Thanksgiving Cancelled?

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November 16, 2020 — The current surge in the pandemic — it was predicted! we were warned! — is throwing a spanner in the works. The holiday works. If your family is like ours, hard conversations are underway about the plans made just a month ago, for the first of the really big “holidays,” Thanksgiving. “But we made reservations... Read More

The Problem with Carrying the World (or the team) On Your Shoulders

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November 15, 2020 — After starting the season by winning their first five games, the Seattle Seahawks have now lost three of their last four games. Fans knew this middle third of the season was going to be rugged, facing tough opponents one after another. What they hadn’t anticipated was that the skid would be marked by the always... Read More