The Great Burami Oasis

Once, we visited an ancient oasis city, called Al Ain. It is about 80 miles due east of Abu Dhabi, into the heart of the desert and on the edge of some craggy mountains. We drove up one of those mountains, Jebel Haffit, and saw the apricot-colored desert spread out...

Esse Quam Videri: To Be, Rather Than To Seem.

Esse Quam Videri. To Be, Rather Than To Seem. This is the state motto of North Carolina. And I got to thinking about it after last week’s election, one in which we were barraged with ads and videos and Facebook pages and Tweets and news reports and television, all of...

A Friday Night at Shabbat Shalom in Davidson

This past Friday night, November 2, the members of Temple Kol Tikvah in Davidson opened their arms and hearts to welcome visitors to their Shabbat Shalom service. Rabbi Michael Shields issued a generous invitation to the community to join in the service, and the exact...

One Summer Sunday

On a summer evening at Bible study, just over three years ago, a gunman entered the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston and opened fire on the people who had been praying with him. Nine people were murdered, among them the senior pastor, who...

Hope from a Cave

Much has been written, and will be written for weeks to come I imagine, about the rescue of the Wild Boars soccer team in Thailand. As I write this, eight of the thirteen souls have emerged from the cave, alive and receiving loving care. It doesn’t take much...