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January 2019

J

Yelling at the end

At our church, I’m one of the assisting ministers. At the end of the service, I turn off my microphone and my polite voice, and belt out the dismissal sentence: GO IN PEACE TO LOVE AND SERVE THE LORD. The congregation responds AMEN and we head towards the doors, back out into our lives. A lively organ or instrumental postlude leads the way. In the ancient liturgical tradition, this way of endingMORE...

Wondering wandering

This post-Christmas entry connects to the quiet Native American Christmas carol, I Wonder as I Wander. Its haunting melody and plaintive words can be deeply moving for any of us who have felt that “wandering” is an apt description of our lives! Among the benefits of being a retired older guy are the recurring moments when my wanderings through life’s necessary routines allow me the time and spaceMORE...

Climate conversation 4: Anyone listening?

Today’s entry is part of a periodic series of observations about changes in the world’s climate that will affect all of us, old and young alike. The series bends toward a key question: As God’s people, what can we think or do about these matters? Today’s entry: How to pay attention to these facts? The stark conclusions of the *Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA), Volume II seem so astoundingMORE...

See something, say something

Let me tell you about a recent experience that may illustrate a different take on the maxim, “If you see something, say something.” I was at my eye doctor’s office, waiting for my monthly injection. I noticed another elderly patient—we’ll call her Janice—who was politely asking the receptionist about her next appointment. As time went on, it became apparent that Janice seemed to have someMORE...

Being kind

This is the final entry in a series of posts that come from the gift of a magnetic bumper sticker given to me at a North Carolina retreat for older adults. The message was simple and compelling: BE SILLY. BE HONEST. BE KIND. The surprising author of this surprising quote: Ralph Waldo Emerson. Yep, that one…. Does the world around you feel kind? Maybe the Pollyanna part of me is working here, butMORE...

Being honest

This entry is the second part of a series inspired by a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote: BE SILLY. BE HONEST. BE KIND. If you follow either Chris or me as we drive, you’ll see this helpful message on a magnetic bumper sticker. Honesty may seem to be in short supply these days. Not just at the highest rungs of the political ladder, but perhaps also invisibly spread through various sectors of leadershipMORE...

Being silly

This entry begins a three-part series inspired by a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: BE SILLY. BE HONEST. BE KIND. This helpful reminder is the message on a magnetic bumper sticker that was the gift of another workshop leader at this past year’s 50Forward retreat at Lutheridge Camp in Asheville, NC. Thanks, Laura! From the time I was a youngster visiting shut-in’s with my mother, I learned thatMORE...

Terms of endearment

Recently it occurred to me that I usually hear the elders I visit called only by their first names. That got me to wondering whether these good people ever heard the sweet and loving names that they remember from their earlier years. Terms of endearment that their parents, lovers, partners, friends or children used to address them. The private names that carry relationships into close, enduringMORE...

Reliable again

  Now that I’m retired, I’ve enjoyed becoming dependable again. It’s not that I was a flake when I was working, but there were plenty of days when I didn’t finish what I had intended, and hadn’t fulfilled my promises or commitments to others. Their phone calls or e-mails had not been returned, their needs were still on my To Do list, their requests continued to linger on my desk. There wereMORE...

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Bob Sitze

BOB SITZE has filled the many years of his lifework in diverse settings around the United States. His calling has included careers as a teacher/principal, church musician, writer/author, denominational executive staff member and meat worker. Bob lives in Wheaton, IL.

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