What's Tony Thinking

Last Vesper Service

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December 22, 2023 — As happens every seven years, the Fourth Sunday of Advent falls this year on Christmas Eve, which makes for a busy day for clergy, choirs, musicians and all the folks who support the life of worship in a congregation, from the janitors, to the people who print and fold the bulletins, and those who set... Read More

Bleak House: Dread of Motherhood

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December 20, 2023 — There’s a thought-provoking piece at Vox by journalist Rachel Cohen on “How Millennials Learned to Dread Motherhood.” Cohen does justice to the complexities and uncertainties most people feel about having kids these days, and to the challenges mothers in particular feel “to do it all.” But she also helps us step back from the narratives... Read More

All We Want Is for You To Be Happy

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December 18, 2023 — “All we want is for you to be happy.” It’s a line that parents often say to their kids. Is it a helpful sentiment? I suppose it depends a good deal on the context and the relationship. I can imagine it could be expressed in a kind and loving way. But I can also imagine... Read More

The Grace of Not Knowing

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December 18, 2023 — Here’s my meditation for Advent III, from yesterday’s Advent Vespers. I forgot to hit the “record” button. Sorry. Our next and final Advent Vespers will be next Sunday. As it happens, Advent IV falls on Christmas Eve. I know it’s a busy time, but I hope to see some of you at 4:00 p.m. on... Read More

End of the Week, December 15

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December 15, 2023 — We’re still six days from the longest night.┬áBut of course the good news is that after the winter solstice on December 21, the days begin the long lengthening that goes on until June 21. This evening’s sunset has the sky full of reds, a promising sign for the weekend. But the dark ain’t so bad.... Read More

The Comfort of the Gospel

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December 11, 2023 — Here’s my meditation/ sermon from our December 10 Advent Vespers, titled “The Comfort of the Gospel.” First there’s a link to the recording of the vespers, then the written text. https://us06web.zoom.us/rec/share/AXkDdP7ezcOqEp8yLsqaHIzUSqKZyCfIBR6naUoDkpOPq3skr5-w5Tayuyo2ywBW.8AgVw68Qedr7RpoG The Comfort of the Gospel Isaiah 40: 1 – 11, Mark 1: 1 -8 December 10, 2023 When I first read the Old Testament... Read More

End of the First Full Week of December

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December 9, 2023 — I continue to be grateful for the work that Ezra Klein is doing at his podcast on the Israel – Hamas war as well as the larger issues at the root of the conflict. (Clicking on these links will give you the option of listening to the podcast or reading a transcript of it.) Early... Read More

Advent II Vespers, Sunday Dec. 10

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December 7, 2023 — Great to have so many of you log-in for our first Advent Vespers last Sunday. Thanks. Look forward to seeing those who can make it this coming Sunday, when my meditation is titled “The Comfort of the Gospel.” As joyful as these weeks before and of Christmas can be, they also tend to be emotional... Read More

Lights Shining in the Darkness

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December 6, 2023 — The middle school lunchroom had been converted into an auditorium. On stage were the assembled musicians of the middle-school band, 6 – 8 graders. Among them our grandson, Levi, a happy sixth-grader with his clarinet, clad in a new band uniform about three sizes too large. He had taken up the clarinet as a fourth... Read More

Waiting for God

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December 4, 2023 — Thanks to everyone who joined me for the first on-line Advent Vespers yesterday. And here’s my “meditation” from the service. A bit long. In future week’s we’ll aim for something shorter. Advent I: Waiting for God Isaiah 64: 1 – 9; I Corinthians 1: 3 – 9 December 3, 2023 Thank you again, friends, for... Read More