Monday, June 30, 2014


When one moves, a series of activities is required to steer the transition from one home to another.

Take for example, my trek from Harrison Township to Detroit's River Place.  I've been at packing, sorting, and selling matter for weeks.

Plenty of time, energy and effort is required.

Perhaps you know from your own experience.

Transfer utilities, mail, and more. A change of address to the postal service helps.

Then, there's selling or leasing the current condominium while settling into the new place without too much difficulty.

It has been a smooth ride even though the corner of the very heavy glass table top crashed into the step on the way into my apartment.

Now, it is good for nothing.

But, the hand of the mover could have been shattered or bloodied, for that matter.  Apologizing profusely, I told the mover it was just a table top.

There is a liberating satisfaction to all of this as I rid myself of things no longer needed. 

Packing them and putting them in my car for St. Vincent DePaul nearby is gratifying.

Then, there's my watchful eye of not taking anything I don't need into the new home.

And, my Harrison Township condominium is looker leaner, cleaner and empty each time I spend hours there these days.

Moving. . .

I'm glad it happens rarely.

Saturday, June 28, 2014


We like power.

Power is like information we refuse to communicate to others in order to "lord it over them," and be in charge or control, for example.

But, unhealed woundedness and power is projected and transmitted onto others.

And, that's the rub.

Bullying, and more enters the scene.

The "false self" that the ancient mystics - those head over heal in love with God - speak of is full of the self, the false self, the ego, that edges God out, as some dub the toxic ego, the shell that is superficial that I like to present to others.

Imagination is born of still and quiet minds, hearts and beings who know to whom they belong, namely, to the Creator, the infinite One - the beginning and end, the alpha and omega of my being.

In a culture that projects and transmits its false self, beyond the "true self" that Trappist monk, Thomas Merton (famous for his Seven Story Mountain that many young people and seekers read) also speaks of, along with another Cistercian monk, Thomas Keating of a Colorado, bad power comes from unhealed wounds that toss about egocentric behavior, or, narcissistic personality disorder named in the Diagnostic Statistic Manual that social sciences label people for insurance payment and purposes.

When the shell and ego is surrendered, and,one submits to the Maker, the three conversions or ways begin in the process of morphing/mending and more.

Not before.

The first journey has the believer crawling like an infant in the spiritual life. It involves uncovering and taking off the masks one wears to present him or herself in the false self to others.

Stage two of morphing is clinically called discovering, when one begins to walk in his or her faith journey in God.

And, finally the third way of conversion of self involves divine union, running into the arms of God, as it were, submitting and trusting totally in surrender.

Such divine union happens by way of connecting with the Maker daily a couple of times at least of 15-20 minutes of stillness, of silence, hearing the voice of God.

In this conversion, the "false self" falls like a deck of cards tumble as they are lined up against one another.

Ever so slowly, the "real self" made in God's image and likeness evolves as the false self folds, and, lets go of ego.

False power goes the way of the false self also.

Service beyond the grab for power and influence shines and illuminates one in the surrender and submission to the true self, the only real self worthy of living the abundant life.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Some like it.

Others abhor change.

Change keeps me growing, morphing, even mending more daily.

Moving back to Detroit after decades away in Macomb County, Michigan, finds me loving the move and transition home again.

The nine of us lived at 7107 Arcola Street on Detroit's east side until the '1968 riot and a robbery pressed my mother to convince my dad and the rest of us to be safe and secure and leave.

We left.

After assignments as a pastor in Detroit Saint Raymond, St. Gerard, and St. Christine in Brightmoor, I moved to Sterling Heights after the bishop wanted me to do counseling.

"You're good at it," his aide said, unappreciative of the fact that I had no license, insurance or credentials to function without lawsuit, and more.

Ever since this "cryptic" assignment, I find myself not trusting those who requested this change of assignment.  In fact, the current boss decided that the counseling is a non-ministerial assignment, go figure.

With little experience, if any as a pastor, the present bishop changed my assignment for a so-called, Special Assignment with dog tags IDs and all, without even letting me know.


That change I can do without.

One goes with the flow even though some authorities have their own agendas.

But the move back to the City of Detroit is a welcome transition.

People are engaging and friendly in the Harbor Town market, and more.

They stop and listen as I engage St. Paul's Street Evangelization along Jefferson/McDougall Streets where I reside in River Place that overlooks Detroit jewel, Belle Isle Park, and the Ren Cen GM Building, among other historic buildings, churches, and nearby parks I walk daily with my dog, Katura, along the Detroit River.

Change is good.

I've downsized again and freed up massive amounts of books, and more.

A feeling of liberation buoys my attitude of letting go any attachments to things, property and more.

Bring on my Motown.

I'm glad to be home again in a booming city filling with restoration, renewal and vitality once more.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Does Someone You Know Suffer From Anxiety, Depression, Stress, Panic Attacks or Insomnia?

If so, you'll want to join Dr. David Jantz, Thursday, July 10 at 12 noon in La Dolce Vita Restaurant, at 17546 Woodward, Detroit, just blocks north of McNichols in Detroit.

Alternative solutions will be proposed over medicines and more.

The Palmer-educated chiropractor studied in Iowa and now practices in Grosse Pointe amid multiple talks he gives on nutritional and other solutions, and, the dangers of psychiatric drugs, particularly psychotropics and their side effects and long-term effects

Join me as I serve as host at a Detroit favorite Italian restaurant where the iconic Elanor Josaitis often dined.

The talk is free.  You pay for the dinner, however.

Limited seating will rush you to reserve a spot in the meeting room by calling (313) 881 7677 to mark your seat.

It Ends Where It All Began

Someone said something similar to that heading.

T.S. Elliott came closest suggesting that one goes full circle and ends where one started.

So it is with me.

Back home to my native Detroit, Michigan.  Moving back to my city on a rebound.

That's what I will do next Tuesday as I pack up the little I have and transport it to Rivertown where pastoral green walking paths, a spirit I appreciate, symphony and shows downtown, festival of all ethnic origins, and more await me.

Couple that with ministry on the streets along Jefferson, and, nearby, Belle Isle (now leased by the State of Michigan) a  jewal of enormous respect.  There, the late William Cunningham, a revered pastor who founded Focus:HOPE in the wake of Detroit's civil unrest in 1968, jogged before he would trek to Saint Bonaventure Monastery nearby to pray and quiet down some in stillness with the Maker.


Detroit awaits me like heaven does as I make another round of five years with a passion for Motown.

By then, I will have turned full circle.

Born in Detroit in 1949 at St. Joseph Hospital on Milwaukee and East Grand Boulevard, my twin, Patti, and I emerged on Detroit's east side at Lynch Road and Van Dyke, near the City Airport.

Ministry awaits me, and, the joy of engaging with enthusiasm and then some, for the Maker.

Bring on my City! 

And, heaven can wait at least another half decade as I nest at River Place along the Detroit River. 

There I will overlook Belle Isle and Windsor.

Home, I will call it for Cara, Katura, my 4-legged Yorkie who bustles with energy I had decades ago in Brightmoor.

Home sweet home.

My Detroit.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Hundreds to Converge on Warren, MI., City Hall Thursday

When the saints go marching in. . .

Remember that tune by Louis Armstrong?

I do.

Trumpet and accordion will accompany those in procession with balloons, banners and international flags.

It will steer hundreds of families, among others, into the Warren City Hall June 19th at 4:45 pm when Mayor Jim Fouts welcomes the All-Faiths Festival, and more.

"The Star-Spangled Banner"  and "Ave Maria" will be sung by Maggie Rees-Baker.

"Amazing Grace" will be sung by Bob Gillenkirk, a blind man.

Felician Sister Mary Felicity, campus minister at Livonia Ladywood High School will say an opening prayer
after anniversary couples, and more, march into the atrium at the civic center of Michigan's second-largest city.

Jewish, Christian and Muslim Scriptures will be proclaimed.

Skits depicting humor, forgiveness, conflict resolving, and more will add to the festivities celebrating family at a time when its definition is enlarging.

It will be upbeat.

When the Saint Go Marching In.... will end the hour-long event after a benediction.

All are welcome.

I don't want to miss it.

Announcements will remind the crowd of a joint Belle Isle Picnic, Sunday, August 3rd from 12 noon, and, a Urban/Suburban Unity Walk, Thursday, Aug. 28th at 8 Mile/Van Dyke's Warren side into Detroit toward Outer Drive and Saint Lazarus Serbian Cathedral for a pot luck meal and program to bridge Detroit, and, step further into overcoming racism, lifting love.

How Big Is Our Table?

 CORPUS CHRISTI: Body of Christ

At home, our table would enlarge around supper time when the aroma of mom's fresh-made apple pie filled the nostrils of my friends and me. 

The buddies I hung out with wouldn't go home.

So, mom made sure they were fed.

It was in her DNA to be hospitable and welcoming.

It was.

We always seemed to have enough even though nine was a crowd and we were poor.

Like the feeding of the five thousand, tradition maintains that there was an abundance out of scarcity.

There was.

Where did the extra food come from?


Did the Massasoit bring deer and maize? 

Certainly, the road to enough was through the caring hands and hearts of one another, for sure.

Jesus would make certain of that.

He would.

From the few fish and loaves, much emerged. 

Much more.

Baskets full.


Hospitality over hostility is a lesson my parents taught by example.

No one was shut out.

No one.

And, in a day and age when exclusion and absolutes reign for some, the table has to enlarge.

It does.

Jesus is like that.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


If you're like me, we tend to do something when we have to, and, usually not before, true?

I take out the garbage when I have to, I wake up when I have to, I look for a job when I have to. . .

You know the routine.

In 1950, a year after my twin sister, Patti, and me emerged from mom's womb, my Detroit was hometown to 1.85 million people. 

Now, Detroit is smaller than Milwaukee with less than 700,000.

What happened?

You name it: Detroit shrank when economic forces in the world undermined my Motown's base.

There was corrupt government.

Leadership failed to lead well with little or no accountability.

Government officials squandered my Detroit's wealth.

My parents, among others, moved to Warren when security and safety seemed to vanish after the '68 uprising that pitted blacks and whites against each other.

So, why would I want to move back to Detroit after having served in the blighted Brightmoor area at Fenkell and Lasher in northwest Detroit from 1979-81 while concurrently completing a doctor of ministry degree, and, organizing the ecumenical Michigan Coalition for Human Rights?


After all of that did me in and required a three month respite to mend up, the evergreen virtue of hope once more calls me to my native town where the seven of us - including two sets of twins - resided in our aluminum-sided home on Arcola Street near Lynch Road and Van Dyke, miles from the late, once upon a time, sprawling Romanesque edifice and grade and high school where sports champions and scholars, and more emerged from Saint Thomas the Apostle Church at Townsend and Miller.

Of course, it will take many years to raise up this great City!

It will!

It will take money.

Like the $456 million coming from the bankruptcy plan earmarked to remove blight in the vacant lots, abandoned homes, tired, tried and rundown industries like the Dodge Plant in Hamtramck, MI., where immigrant flocked to work on the assembly line building cars in the '50s.

Detroit, however, is not a disease. 

It may be down.

But, it is not out.

It may be dire, but it is not without promise.

And, besides being a model for what may happen to other towns in need of awakening, Detroit is being watched across the country.

After all, as Detroit goes, so goes the nation, warned the late, charismatic Father William Cunningham of Focus:HOPE who pumped hope into Detroit with its mission statement that illuminated the dignity and worth of every human being when civil unrest exploded in the streets with fire, fury and anger over race.

Simply listening to Detroiters these days while shopping in Harbor Town on Jefferson Avenue where I live now, there is a bouncy in their walk, their spirit, and, in their voice, often accompanied with a smile.

Where I lived in Harrison Township, MI., for six years, the drivers speeding along Jefferson, between Crocker and Shook Roads literally scares my dog and me as we try to take a scroll along that stretch each day.

We played 'dodge em ball' in the street when we were kids, now they play 'dodge em cars,' I'm told.

For one's safety and security, one's eyes and ears must be fully engaged along Jefferson where speed limits are hardly enforce, and, even police cars drive as fast, or faster than resident, or visitors to this boat town and sleepy community where leadership has yet to steer.

officials want to erect a so-called 'nautical mile,' I'm told, near Terri's Terrace Restaurant and a trailer home park doomed nearby in Harrison Township.

After a couple of unreturned calls about these plans over enforcing speed limits, it became clearer that show and 'primping' of Boat Town transcends safety and security.

I want to be part of the revival in faith and promise in my Detroit.

I do.

It will take tons of energy, stamina, vision, an enduring spirit, and more amid dilapidated buildings and empty lots where sturdy homes and families once stood.

Social and spiritual problems stem from a lack of meaning and purpose in life.

Aimlessness abounds.

For sure.

No doubt about it.

But I want to help Detroit rebound the way I did in high school when I played basketball and football in teamwork even though I mostly played left out!

A walk yesterday at noon by the river with full view of Belle Isle and Windsor, Canada, followed by a visit to River Place, and more, spikes much hope and healing here in Detroit.

That evergreen virtue.

It's green.

And, it calls out beyond those people who "don't do Detroit," and will take more than bulldozers, wrecking balls and dump trucks.

I'm in.

Engagement is part of the package of the solution to rise from the ashes.

And, I'm ready for the challenge again.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

7 Big Myths About Marriage

While Millennials, ages 18-33, reveal that only 26% of them are married, 69% says that they would like to marry.

Generation X claims 36% are married, and 48% of baby boomers, a survey from Pew Foundation shows currently.

Christopher and Jennifer Kaczor's, The Seven Big Myths About Marriage, sums up what marriage is, along with being a recipe to navigate marriage's consolations and desolations today.

With humor and humility, the authors appeal to me in this tone.

Celebrating marriage and family, this tome is a valuable resource while being a reminder of the fruits of marriage even today.

In Good Times and in Bad

In sickness and in health,
we belong to each other
as we belong to you, God ever faithful.
By morning and by night may your name be on our lips,
a blessing to all our days:
so may kindness and patience be ever among us, a hunger for mercy, justice, and truth,
a song of thankfulness in all we do.

We ask this of our Maker, and more.


Do you remember where you were this day on June 4, 1976?