Mark's Blog

There are forces and voices in our increasingly polarized world that want us to view the issues of the day in a binary way: this or that; good or bad. Most issues are more complicated. This blog seeks to invite people to journey beyond the safety, if not the rigidity, of our silo and our ego – to the soul; where we have the opportunity to see things differently.
What Do The Risks of Aleksei Navalny and Jesus Say to Us?

What Do The Risks of Aleksei Navalny and Jesus Say to Us?

When Aleksei Navalny returned to Russia from Germany in January 2021 after recovering from being poisoned, prison was certain and death was likely.   Navalny died on Friday, February 16 at the IK-3 Penal Colony, located 1200 miles northeast of Moscow in the arctic...

Aging, the Election and a Pathway Through the Chaos

Aging, the Election and a Pathway Through the Chaos

Are Joe Biden and Donald Trump too old to be President?  This question is getting a lot of attention, with no end of commentary.  Assessments are being made as to each candidate’s physical stamina, mental acuity, and psychological health.  Recommendations have been...

Immigration:  Moving Beyond Technical Fix to Adaptive Challenge

Immigration: Moving Beyond Technical Fix to Adaptive Challenge

In 2013 I spent a couple of days at the southern border with a group of fellow bishops.  We stayed in Douglas Arizona, but several times made our way through the checkpoint into Agua Prieta, Mexico.  A small group of us helped deliver water to the several water tanks...

From a Dentist’s Chair: Musings on Vulnerability

Last week I sat for two hours in a periodontist’s office while receiving a dental implant.  My mouth was adequately and expertly numbed, and the only discomfort I felt was the anxiety I experienced when the periodontist began to drill into my jawbone.  There was not...

I Versus We

I Versus We

Some fifty years ago, The Episcopal Church, along with many other Christian denominations, went through a liturgical upgrade.  The Nicene Creed, which was first written in 325 during the Council of Nicea (and from which its name is derived), and which is said at most...

Stepping Out of Fear and Into Light and Hope

Stepping Out of Fear and Into Light and Hope

It was someone else’s story, but over the years I have retold it as if it has become my own.  It was Gardner Taylor’s story, which he told at the end of a sermon during my first year of divinity school, nearly fifty years ago.  Dr. Taylor was then the pastor of...

Where Does Evil Come From?  How Best to Deal with It?

Where Does Evil Come From? How Best to Deal with It?

Several years ago, while still an active bishop, I facilitated a meeting that I suspected would not go well.  It didn’t.  People, including me, came in angry or scared – or both.  Half the group resisted the agenda, and the other half resented the resisters.   Nearly...

Our Shared Humanity is Threatened by Fear and a Siege Mentality

Our Shared Humanity is Threatened by Fear and a Siege Mentality

The challenge, Henri Nouwen said in a class I took with him nearly fifty years ago, is not to see how we are different, but how we are the same.  Yes, there are differences, he acknowledged – gender, age, culture, race, religion, life experience; but at root we all...

The Promise of Peace and the Reality of Violence

The Promise of Peace and the Reality of Violence

“Glory to God in the highest”, the angels reportedly sang, “and peace to all people of goodwill.”  The particulars of the Christmas story have been debated for centuries: was Mary really a virgin?  Was there a cohort of angels flying around in the night sky?  Did a...