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John Shelby Spong

**JACK** I’m walking, excitedly, from the Hall of Philosophy, past Chautauqua’s 3,000 person amphitheater, holding my cell-phone next to my ear talking to Larry, my BFF. “I’m very jealous of you,” Larry tells me. “You should be,” I tell him. We both laugh. I follow Morris Avenue in this “model train village come to life” …

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conversion-thoughts

Greeting Cards. I’d like to manufacture a line of greeting cards: “Congratulations on your Child’s Conversion!” There ought to be demand; there is a marked uptick in religious conversion numbers during uncertain times. I can imagine the card’s cover would have a picture of an arrow. Bold text floats above the graphic: Extraordinary! Wonderful. The …

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Obey

In what used to be the sisters’ laundry building, I sit in a standard-issue, burgundy, vinyl, wingback chair. Marylhurst University’s conference center. Lake Oswego, Oregon. At the time, I am the only rabbi in the world teaching mathematics in a Catholic high school. Both non-teaching staff and us with more direct youth interface are making …

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Mourning: A Tale & Thoughts

**My Mourning Neighbor**  I walk home in the early evening light from using my friend Dave’s chop saw. I’ll later assemble the parts I’m carrying into a base for an abstract, stained-glass lamp I’ve been working on. Across the street from our Hamilton-blue Dutch Colonial, I see Nancy descend the flight of steps in front …

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The Music. By Hafiz

Photo of me on the Union College Campus. I couldn’t think of what better image to put along with this article.     The Music by Hafiz Many people don’t know it is my friend’s words on the bumper sticker, “Even after all this time the Sun never says to the Earth, ‘You owe me.’ …

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Unity. Not Binary.

Image: Leslie and Maryellen’s wedding. Me officiating. Los Angeles, CA. 1998. Unity. NonBinary.   *Jesse, calmer* Most of my millennial friend’s ever-present anxiety is notably absent as we sit in the clutter of their apartment.    I sit, cross legged on a bench, heart filled with delight to see my friend so beautifully mellow.    …

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A Rabbi’s Apology

***A Rabbi’s Open Letter*** To those affected by the discovery of unmarked graves of First Nation’s children In Canada.I am Rabbi Brian Zachary Mayer. As a clergy person, I deem it part of my responsibility to the collective to apologize onbehalf of my fellow clergy when they fail to do so. Today I apologize on …

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