From a Pastor's Desk

A series of opinion articles from rostered ministers and lay leaders from our Synod.


Monastic Spirituality Retreat: Leadership Development Grant Program

Aug 29, 2019
I am on a personal retreat at Holy Cross Monastery north of the City on the Hudson River. I am taking this time at summer’s end so that I can be grounded and better prepared for the busy new program year that is unleashed just after Labor Day. This kind of spirituality is for everyone, and everyone can discover in it blessings that are in keeping with who they are as children of God.

Finding Our Roots: Postcards from a Sabbatical

Aug 21, 2019
Just over 125 years later, the Amsterdam Consistory would ordain another pastor who would eventually make his way to New York. The Rev. Frederick Henry Quitman was ordained in 1783 and called to serve the Lutheran Congregation in Willemsted, Curacao. By 1795, Quitman had gone on to New York.He also served as President of the New York ministerium from 1807-1825. Today, the Oude Lutherse Kerk still stands in the lovely Spui neighborhood of Amsterdam. It is now part of the University of Amsterdam

Rest easy?

Jul 16, 2019
In the past year, I have spoken with several colleagues who have been on sabbatical. Each of them told me, in their own way, that it changed the way they do ministry and it changed them personally. The changes sabbath time makes in us restore us to whom we were created to be, for God is truly our good maker! Sabbath allows the peace and patience of grace to seep into our being, from there into our relationships and communities.

Trading Places

Jul 03, 2019

The Jericho Walk Prayer

Jun 20, 2019
Who will soothe the future? What companion can outlast this new middle passage time, this new desert journey time that leads us to devalue one another? From whom comes the liberty we need to resist Siren Songs that bind us to sin and the chaos of systemic evil? In the silence, as deep calls to deep, I sense some answers.

See the Asylum Seekers’ Wounds and Believe

Apr 26, 2019
At the border, survivors of violence present their scarred bodies as testimony.

Black History is Everyone’s History

Feb 22, 2019
"If we as a people realized the greatness from which we came we would be less likely to disrespect ourselves"—Marcus Garvey


Jan 08, 2019
The important thing to focus on is that this is about discernment together. It is not a competition, it is not about seeking a “promotion,” it is not about campaigning. It is an ongoing, mutual, conversation together, to discern together who God is calling to serve as our bishop.

Advent Apocalypse

Dec 07, 2018

Advent Blessings

Dec 02, 2018
This is why Advent is so important. Yes, Christmas is great with the lights and beautiful music, but we also need to know that HOPE and LOVE come to us in the midst of the most terrifying and scariest of places. That LOVE wanted us to know that we are never alone as we wait in that space of sorrow. This is when LOVE sits with and accompanies us. Please remember that you are not alone in the spaces of grief and struggle. Love is born among us and HOPE draws near.

The Power of Forgiveness – Roll The Stone Away

Nov 14, 2018
On Saturday, October 6th, we came together to begin the exploration of what true forgiveness looks like. We explored Forgiveness= Grace & Mercy; Reconciliation/Change; Unity in the Church; and Worship/Love.

Is Anyone "Illegal" in God’s Kingdom?

Oct 09, 2018
May we follow Jesus’ call to create a net of refuge. May protected status not be taken from those who beg not to join those who’ve been deported to their death. May we see, listen, and speak to our Salvadoran brothers and sisters whose cries still rise to heaven. May we heed Saint Romero’s cry to "Stop the repression", as we herald God’s kingdom, where all are beloved and no human being is illegal.

Pride Is Life

Jun 22, 2018
"In our family pride is life because we know all too well the implication of letting the status quo continue while promising to protect the vulnerable. We know the result of silence." —An article by the Rev. Jared R. Stahler

I’m Not Giving Up

Jun 15, 2018
"Jesus is not tired. God is still with us. The Spirit is an ongoing, loving, stubborn presence. The Incarnation of the Holy in the bodies of Rainbow folks and our families and our friends and our enemies is beyond our power to stop or alter."—An article by The Rev. Katrina D. Foster

On My Way to a Prayerful Sabbatical

May 17, 2018
"In early January of this year, our Synod’s Executive Committee approved my request for sabbatical leave in keeping with our synodical employment agreements. For that I am thankful to our elected leaders and to God! I have spent these intervening months preparing for this sabbatical. Now I am embarking on this adventure, which over the course of the next two months will take me to two different Benedictine monasteries, one Episcopal here in New York state, and a Lutheran one in Michigan."