Sabbath 2.0

Originally posted at Gathering Voices: Faith Conversations from My family once rented a cottage on the isle of Skye off the west coast of Scotland. While I remember little about the cottage itself (other than the view of sheep out the front window), I do clearly recall instructions in the guestbook: “do not hang out […]

Shifting Culture: Laws against texting while driving

This week, the Grand Forks City Council passed a law that makes it illegal to send text messages while driving. I’m glad the ordinance passed — and it certainly took them a while. For some time now, in the state of Minnesota, it’s been illegal to text and drive. I hope such laws mark not […]

Denying My Roots, it's Easier that way

I’m in the Twin Cities (or, for locals, just “the cities”) this weekend for a friend’s ordination. I’m still reflecting, though, on last week’s Celtic Christianity conference in Decatur. One curious thing struck me; I just can’t seem to shake. My mother is Scottish. My Dad’s relatives, back a few generations, are Scotch-Irish. I’m a […]

A Roundabout Way to Curb Climate Change

One of the frankly scary aspects of living in Scotland was driving on the “wrong” side of the road.  Scots are actually pretty good drivers, but then again, they have to be because the roads are crazy-narrow and pretty rutty and there’s always cars parked on the side of the road.  Always.  And did I […]

“All the Best”

Today marks my last day as Assistant Minister of Ayr: St. Columba Church of Scotland.  It’s been a really valuable year in terms of pastoral development, ecclessiastical enlightenment, and general significant ministry experience.   I may put up pictures of my celebration lunch today later, but here’s a few snaps of several generous and beautiful […]

Series: What I learned about America by living in Scotland, I

I’m pretty swamped right now, and have lots of fantastic post ideas but no time to write. But I wanted to at least begin a series both fun and ideal for quick posting. The series is: What I learned about America by living in Scotland. Ok, so it’s a really bad name, but at least […]

Grave truth

image by Mattman4698 I lowered a coffin into a grave today. I’m told Scotland is one of the few places in the west in which coffins are still manually lowered into graves by mourners. Today, at a funeral of a church member with no living relatives, there weren’t many to hold the eight cords attached […]

Easter Photos

GEDC0219Originally uploaded by thorland2006 I just put up some Easter photos on flickr. Nothing too special, but you can at least see the sun at the 7:30 am service by the seaside. Also, some photos of St. Columba and the Easter cross. (To see all the photos click on the chicks or just click here.)

Obama's Speech: My British Pub Take

In Britain, there’s a great phrase that describes how a complicated issue is boiled down and discussed in public life: people in the pub. When politicians make long speeches or detailed arguments, political commentators wonder, “But how will this be discussed or understood by people in the pub?” In the pub, you see, heart wins […]