Church O The Pines Sanctuary

IT IS NOT SUNDAY, but at the Church O The Pines the sanctuary is always open for moments of peace, and renewal, and spiritual reflection.… The chipmunks agree to this, as do the deer, bluejays, crows, chickadees, foxes, squirrels, and hummingbirds. Even the wandering local bear. In fact, all the members of our humble congregation believe that doors should always

CHURCH O THE PINES August morning

AT THE CHURCH O THE PINES it is a gray and slightly gloomy August morn, but no one seems to mind. The bluejays shout their names and utter all manner of other vocalizations. Chickadees announce their name as well. (Evidently it is a thing in our church to arrive broadcasting your own name.) Goldfinches sing sweetly. Chipmunks chip and woodpeckers

A Good Day to Be Alive

ON THIS SUNDAY at the old cabin in the Church O’ The Pines, it is a fine day to be a goose, gabbling from the river. Or my favorite songster, the wood thrush, singing ethereal songs from the deep woods. Or my old friend Sparky the Cardinal singing his own heart out, or a flame-sided orilole flashing across the yard

The Grandson Humor

FROM THE DEPARTMENT of 9-year-old grandson humor here at the Church O The Pines: Knock-knock. Who’s there? Panther. Panther who? Panther what you wear on your legth. OR… What did the fisherman say to the magician: Pick a cod, any cod. OR PERHAPS… How many tickles does it take to make an octopus laugh? 10 tickles. AND FINALLY… It’s inappropriate

The Oriole and The Eagle

THE ORIOLE AND THE EAGLE… Today we awaken back in the Pine Point woods—the Church O’ The Pines—after a week leading Road Scholars through the bluffs and valleys of SE Minnesota. In exploring the great Mississippi flyway we encountered scores of bird species, vast numbers of warblers, including the ever-sought Prothonotary—or the Swamp Candle, as I like to call it.

Birds and Blossoms

Birds and Blossoms

ON THIS SUNDAY MORN I am back within the friendly confines of the Church O The Pines. It is a good feeling to return after a wonderful week guiding Road Scholars in SE Minnesota’s Bluff Country/Driftless Area. We call the trip Birds and Blossoms, as we haunt the woods, streams, and bottomlands of the great Mississippi flyway. On this particular

The Yellow-Rumped Warbler

The yellow-rumped warbler

MANY, MANY of these gorgeous and lively little birds visiting us this week, and mingling with the congregation of the Church O’ The Pines. They love the suet feeders and Kathy gives them little meal worms as well. The yellow-rumped warbler, long called the Myrtle warbler, is one of the first spring migrants among the warblers. (Who don’t actually ‘warble’

Share Books, Readings and Songs

AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES the congregation must fend for themselves this morning—with the help of Caretaker Kathy—as I am tending wayward souls in the wilds of Wisconsin. At Camp Wapogasset to be exact, where I lead discussions and share books and readings and songs, for the participants of Northland Rec Lab, a going concern since the 1930’s. ‘Grandads

Today is a Big Day

TODAY WAS A BIG DAY at the Church O’ The Pines along the Father of Waters. The day the church moat (Mississippi River) opened up a lead along the far shore and began to give way to spring. So far it’s a gentle opening with no ice jam or flooding. But that is still an open question. Still, a big

Ways to Understand Easter

THERE ARE MANY WAYS to understand Easter. But perhaps the essence of it is that life is greater than death. That life overcomes death. And that at the very center of things there is a goodness that transcends evil. We are accosted by a seemingly endless variety of death and evil in our world. The rolling of tanks and the