My first funeral

I conducted my first funeral this week. Conducted? Officiated? Celebrated? None of those verbs quite fit what it felt like, which was more in the realm of Journeyed, or Travelled With. It was almost the end of the working day when the phone rang. I contemplated not...

Still showing up – surely that counts

“Honour thy father and thy mother” For my interfaith homework, I am reflecting on a chapter of the book, The Ten Challenges: Spiritual Lessons from the Ten Commandments, by Leonard Felder. So far I have got a lot out of reading this book. It has helped me...

My Crib Notes on Confucianism

The goal of the Confucian project is to become fully human. Kung Fu-tzu (Confucius) understood the self as a “node” rather than an entity, a “meeting place where lives converge.” (Smith, 1991). This resonates with my theories of the gift circle. In my PhD dissertation...

My Crib Notes on Islam

Reflections on Islam and the Koran la ilaha illa’Llah “There is no god but God” Background of Islam The word “Islam” is derived from the root s-l-m. which means “peace” or “surrender”: “the peace that comes when one’s life is surrendered to God.” “Allah” comes from...

My Crib Notes on Judaism

  Anokhee Yud-Hei-Vov-Hei, Eloheykha, Asheyr hohtseitikha mei-eretz mitzrayim, me-beit avadeem. “I am the mysterious and unknowable name of God (the one who is and will always be your God), who [can] bring[s] you out of a narrow way of seeing things, out of your...

Merry Christmas and a brief history of Jesus

I think most Christians understand that Jesus was not actually born on 25 December in the Year 1 AD. Like the Queen’s Birthday, Christmas Day is a symbolic date rather than a literal one. Christmas is thought to originate as a festive season from a number of...

White people don’t fart*

*Caveat: Some of my best friends are white people, and they definitely fart. This post is not about them. It is about those who do not fart. And when I say “do not fart,” I mean, of course, “Do behave in a racist fashion which implies that...