The Invitation

Mesabi Unitarian Universalist Church

AT THE CHURCH O THE PINES, the congregation of birds, squirrels, possums, and other critters had to fend for themselves this Sunday morning, as the parson headed for Virginia, MN to visit our affiliated congregation at Mesabi Unitarian Universalist Church. They have a lovely and well-behaved membership as well, though not quite as fancy dressers as our piney woods foxes,

The Opossum

TODAY AT THE CHURCH O THE PINES, as the temperature climbs, one of our infrequently seen congregation members makes a welcome appearance. The opossum has a hard time dealing with the harsh realities of a Minnesota winter—perhaps not unlike human beings who now endure a national climate in which kindness, decency, and honesty have been replaced by bitter winds of

Enjoyment in the Game of Life

IT IS SUNDAY AT the Church O The Pines. And the piney woods look like a snow globe and the chickadees and squirrels dash back and forth among the falling flakes, and eagles sit on their eggs in a tree-top—as persistent rumors of spring remain in the air. But in the old cabin a new game has been discovered by

The Sun Rises on Another Winter Day

Spring’s here

AT THE CHURCH O THE PINES the sun rises on another winter day. But change is in the air. Although the church moat (Mississippi River) is still frozen, the eagle pair has remodeled their nest and eggs are being tended. The music of geese and swans echoes through the river valley. The sun climbs a little higher each day and

Sparky The Cardinal

AT THE CHURCH O THE PINES, famed soloist Sparky the Cardinal has begun to sing his favorite hymns. After a long winter of gentle ‘chips’ from the forest thickets, and sensing a change in daylight hours or the angle of the sun, he once more dazzles us with vocal calisthenics and time-honored melodies. His tone and timbre are unmatched—until those

The Pines Whisper

AT THE CHURCH O THE PINES, there is an insistent whispering and shushing in the pine tops, under a gathering overcast. The wind is restless, and the woods seem to be in a waiting, anticipatory mood. The blue jays are restless, too, and in full cry at the slightest disturbance. Other birds and congregation members are more quiet, gathering food

The Sun Has Arisen

The sun has arisen

AT THE CHURCH O THE PINES it is a Sunday morn, and the members of our humble woodland congregation—ranging from snow fleas to eagles—strive for even greater levels virtue and moral rectitude than is normally the case. Although in truth I can tell no difference. The sun has arisen in the east, as is its wont, and shines brightly on


Douglas Wood

Hello Everybody… I am writing this evening with a bit of distressing news, and, perhaps a request. About ten years ago a good friend, who is more modern and ‘connected’ than I, suggested that I get onto Facebook. Frankly, it was not something I was very interested in. But she persisted and, eventually, I relented. To my surprise, as I

The Rafters Are Ringing

AT THE CHURCH O THE PINES the rafters are ringing. Someone got the old furnace working again and the choir and full congregation lift their voices rapturously to the heavens. Chickadees call their names and sing their sweet, two-note song. Goldfinches and pine siskins twitter and gossip while bluejays broadcast the word through all the the neighborhood. Even the old

Questions Arisen

A proper church

THERE HAS ARISEN some question, perhaps among newer followers of this page, about my posts from The Church O’ The Pines. As to the nature of the church, and whether it is even a proper church at all. And so on. I have been issuing Sunday bulletins and reports from our little woodland chapel for about 10 years now, and