Bishop Woodie White term image

Reflections: Thanksgiving 2012 – Sandy casts shadow

Very soon, families will gather across the country for the observance of Thanksgiving Day. Over time, the celebration has taken on practices of both religious and secular significance. This duality is manifested in my own memories of Thanksgiving, whether from recent years or long ago. Food, family, worship and football are the primary elements. Growing […]

Reflections: Pets aren’t just blessed—they’re also a blessing

I took my dog, Buddy, to church recently! Buddy, is our 9-year-old family companion, a gift from a daughter. I must admit, I did not want another dog; we had a dog all the years our children were growing up. Our last one, Lady, was a big, beautiful, adorable collie. But I had had enough […]

Reflections: Troubled visitor deepens worship

I was recently in a worship service when the solemnity of the moment was unexpectedly interrupted. A young woman entered the sanctuary and, with the service well underway, walked down the long aisle and took a seat near the front. It was impossible not to see her. As she joined other worshippers seated on the […]

Reflections: A word to pastors serving in their first appointments

With fall comes the return of students to school and the end of summer vacations, but also the practical beginning of new pastoral appointments made at spring annual conferences. Among the clergy are those serving their first appointments following seminary graduation. I remember the excitement and anxiety of my first appointment fresh out of seminary. […]

Reflections: When it becomes difficult to believe in God

The man simply said, “I no longer believe in God.” It was said without emotion, no effort to be dramatic. Clearly, he did not intend to shock me, or otherwise create a scene. He went on, “I do not believe there is a Supreme Being who looks down to protect me or even cares about […]

Reflections: Visit to a far-off cemetery offers lessons in sacrifice

There are six chaplains commemorated at the Cambridge American Cemetery, the superintendent noted, including three whose names are on the Wall of the Missing. As we remembered them, the superintendent told the story of four gallant chaplains who were made famous partly because of a documentary film about them. The four—two Protestant clergymen, a Roman […]