Sabbatical Reflections

The Other Half: How Ascension Spent the 2017 Sabbatical

I’ve written a lot of reflections over the last six weeks about my sabbatical. But there are also other things that Ascension did. If every one was written down, I suppose the world itself could not contain the books that would be written!*  You, our parishoners, also experienced Ascension’s sabbatical in various ways. Our staff and leaders enjoyed opportunities and met challenges in my absence. A year and a half…Keep Reading

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Sabbatical Reflections Zero Degrees III

Perhaps most surprising to me about our Ecuador trip was how much what we experienced was influenced by the personality of each of the travelers in our group.  I should have expected this.  I have read Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in which the characters on the pilgrimage determine the journey much more than their destination.  Yet I had not given thought to how each of us would expand for one another…Keep Reading

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Sabbatical Reflections: Zero Degrees II

In some ways Ecuador and Minnesota are alike.  They both have large metropolitan areas, modern international airports, skyscrapers, universities and millions of people.  There are ritzy condos, trendy shops, and restaurants as well as low-income neighborhoods with cramped apartments and dimly-lit stores.  Both have countrysides of farms and small towns and trucks on the highways delivering goods to and fro.  Ecuador uses U.S. currency and many residents speak English. But…Keep Reading

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Sabbatical Reflections: Zero Degrees

At the midway point of the sabbatical, I rejoined Amy, Peter, and Ella, and we set off for Ecuador.  In contrast to my single-island hermitage in the Northwoods, this trip had us in a different town every night or two, each was chock-full with people.  In common with the hermitage, we became guests in a dramatic way, relying over and over on others’ hospitality. The zero-degree equator, which gives Ecuador…Keep Reading

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Sabbatical Reflections: Alone in the Woods III

The second practice that made a way for me to be drawn to this divine bulls-eye was a routine, a pattern of spending the daylight.  Earlier in my life, time at an Episcopal Benedictine monastery taught me the value of routine.  There, the brothers followed a set pattern, hour by hour, through an entire day. They called it (not surprisingly) The Hours.  My pattern was not as detailed as theirs,…Keep Reading

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