The Art of Noticing (the world and everything)

Notice blue skies, white clouds, shimmering water, stillness in the breeze, the sound of water against the oar.

When working too hard gets in the way of what we value . . .

These days of my sabbatical have given me back the gift of time–unplanned, unstructured time. And with this time my mind has had the chance to let go of producing, accomplishing, and making things happen. I am driven to do good as if time is running out. And to be honest, more than I would like to admit, I do feel like time is running out on me. I am a child of three generations of Alzheimers patients–first my granddaddy, then my mom, and now my eldest sister all suffered, and like the rest my sister will ultimately die from complications from this disease. It is hereditary. My mind constantly asks, “will I be next?”

Continue reading “The Art of Noticing (the world and everything)”

Rites of Passage in Interfaith Families

Our two children receiving the blessings of their elders at their Hindu coming of age ceremonies.

Rituals can help kids integrate both traditions.

Raising kids in two religious traditions can be quite challenging. Honoring both parents, making the grandparents happy, trying to fit it all into an already busy schedule can seem daunting. With all the challenges, many families just give up on the tradition and give in to the desire to not do anything. But in the end, wrestling to redefine what these rituals mean to our kids will benefit everyone. When we learn how to balance these different aspects of our lives, it models navigating complex situations to our children. The hassle is totally worth it.

Make the time to walk with your kid on their faith journey.

Continue reading “Rites of Passage in Interfaith Families”

Birthdays, Seva & Social Activism

Want socially engaged kids? Show them your faith.

When we celebrate Deepavali every year, we focus on what we will give.

It starts with birthdays.  In India the question is, “What will you give in honor of your birthday?”  In America the question is, “What will you get for your birthday?”  Getting versus giving, this is the fundamental shift in understanding between our competing cultures of Indian values verses American values.  In our multicultural interfaith family, we deal with this tension between giving and getting, sharing and receiving, serving and being served.  By celebrating both Deepavali and Christmas, star birthdays and date birthdays, attending temple and churches we have strived to teach our children the values of service and activism. 

Continue reading “Birthdays, Seva & Social Activism”

Faith & Fault-lines in a Pandemic


Poverty is the Pandemic

We are not in the same boat.  We are not in the same storm.  In fact, an economic storm has been raging all along and we have left many without a boat or paddle to weather the most recent epidemic to hit Rock County, Wisconsin.  Continue reading “Faith & Fault-lines in a Pandemic”

The New Prophetic Age:A Demand for Love & A Call for Justice


Angels and Prophets

What is the difference between angels and prophets? Both have a message from God, but with one very important difference. It is a little bit like the secret every grandparent knows—one gets to give the kid back, the other has to raise the kid up. They angel brings the good news and. then leaves, the prophet must stay and walk with the community in through all their ups and downs.  We have had our ups and downs over the years, and even in this last week together.

So, which would you rather be?

An angel or a prophet?  One is loved, the other often thought of as inconvenient, and often criticized. Me too, I would rather be angel too. But since I haven’t learned how to grow wings…

Our Prophetic History

Over these past 5 years together I have spent time reading our history, studying the stained glass windows, walking the halls of every room of this church and I have listened to what the angels of this church have been telling me about you, and about the legacy that has been handed to us, here in this very place. A place where worship has been going on uninterrupted for 175 years—more than 6 generations of people have learned what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ and to love God with all their heart…in this place. And you are among that great legacy of faith.

What I have learned, is that this church has a strong prophetic tradition—a tradition that has produced great community leaders who did not accept no for an answer, who believed they could make a difference, and even if they didn’t, they knew that they should try because they believed in hope. Rev. Hiram Foote, the first called pastor after the founding was a national figure in the abolitionist movement. Willing to take a stand on freedom of all people. Fredrick Douglas, a. black freeman spoke here in support of abolition of slavery. Rev. Hiram Foote helped to establish this church’s call toward justice.

Most recently, I have learned of a remarkable woman, and member of our church, a prophet in her own right, Rhoda Lavinia Goodell. You might know that she was the first woman who accepted to the Bar of Wisconsin as a lawyer. What you may not know, is that she spoke out on many subjects, including the appropriate place of women in the church—in the pulpit. Hear her words from 1872…

“Miss Smilie, preaching in the .. pulpit, seems to have shaken ecclesiastical authority… it is amusing as well as instructive to observe upon what general principle the objection to woman preaching is based. ….The reason that woman must not preach is – not that …it is incompatible with her other duties, … not that she lacks any intellectual or spiritual qualification – simply and only that this would be coming out … and asserting equality.”

Continue reading “The New Prophetic Age:A Demand for Love & A Call for Justice”

Remembering Well, Grieving Well

A Tea Party Shows off my mom’s playful personality.

My mother died 1 year ago this month, on our daughter’s 16th birthday. As a pastor I have often counseled people through the stages of grief and know that grief can take many twists and turns along the pathways of our life. Grief may walk beside us when we loose a parent, a spouse, or a child—these are journeys people notice. Continue reading “Remembering Well, Grieving Well”

2015 in review

Pastor TanyaHappy New Year Yall!

Thanks to everyone who viewed my blog in 2015.  The biggest news is that I was able to join in Ministry with as their new minister.  My installation service is January 10th, 2016.  Wish me luck.

My hope for 2016 is to integrate the fabulous work we are doing there into posts for this blog.

In Good Faith,

Rev. Tanya

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 18 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.