What's Tony Thinking

Burned Out on Burnout?

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May 25, 2021 — The historian Jill Lepore has a piece on burnout in a recent New Yorker. It is titled, “It’s Just Too Much: Has Burnout Become the Human Condition?” As befits an historian Lepore gives us some history of the concept. “Burnout” was first named by the psychologist, Herbert J. Freudenberger in 1973. The term is too imprecise for... Read More

How To Talk With an Anti-Vaxxer

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May 24, 2021 — A reader recently wrote to ask my advice. The subject? Talking about COVID vaccination with an anti-vaxxer. Just to flesh the picture out a bit, the anti-vaxxer in question is my reader’s hairstylist (of ten years). But when the topic of vaccination came up, my friend was stunned to hear from her stylist, college-educated and... Read More

From the Wallowas

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May 23, 2021 — We arrived here in the Wallowas in Northeastern Oregon late on Saturday afternoon. The weather on the drive over (7 hours from Seattle) was alternately stormy and sunny — just the way it is this time of year in the Northwest. As we arrived the cloud cover opened up enough to reveal a substantial winter snow... Read More

Seattle Has to Find a Middle Way

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May 21, 2021 — Nine people gathered on the outdoor deck of our small condo building on a recent evening. We celebrated birthdays, an anniversary and a retirement as we shared drinks, appetizers and conversation. If such a gathering has been rendered unusual by the pandemic, it was a usual Seattle gathering in other respects — namely in the... Read More

What’s Your Pandemic Exit Strategy?

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May 19, 2021 — We are into a new phase of this whole thing. The pandemic and the various measures — which have been adopted variously — for combatting it are sort-of-but-not-quite over. Even if we’re not out of the woods yet, we are near enough that people and organizations are thinking about their pandemic “exit strategy.” For individuals,... Read More

Building Tiny Homes

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May 18, 2021 — I spent today, as I did last Tuesday, building Tiny Homes in a warehouse in Seattle’s SoDo industrial area. Sounds Foundations NW is part of Seattle’s Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI). At Sound Foundations we build tiny homes that become part of one of a LIHI “Tiny House Village” somewhere in Seattle. These villages offer... Read More

The Importance of Role Models

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May 17, 2021 — A seminary in our region has asked me to work with them on the future of the “field education” component of their program. For the non-initiated “field education” in seminary means working, while also a student, in the kind of setting where one might serve following completion of studies. Often, of course, that’s a church/... Read More

Fast Takes: Mask-less, Un-Discovered, and Grand-dogs

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May 14, 2021 — What a day it was in Seattle today for our first day of going mask-less! Whoo-hoo! While the place where I work out still wanted us masked, I joined a friend for a walk in Discovery Park on this most gloriously beautiful day. We were gratefully mask-less, as were virtually all of those we saw... Read More

A Graduation Message: Expect Trouble

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May 12, 2021 — This is the season for all sorts of transitional rites and rituals — graduations, confirmations, retirements as well as year-end assemblies, recitals, performances, annual school and church picnics. And the wedding season is upon us. All the flowers of the spring make me think of the floral feasts of weddings. Back in a pre-pandemic era,... Read More

Should Biden Be Barred from Communion?

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May 11, 2021 — One of you, dear readers, asked what I thought about the reports that some Catholic bishops are threatening to bar political leaders President Biden and Speaker of the House Pelosi from the sacrament of communion because of their support for legal abortion. In particular the San Francisco Archbishop, Salvatore Cordileone, is pressing the issue. This... Read More