Saturday, September 27, 2014

Under the Trees at Elmwood Park Community, Detroit, Michigan, USA

How can I pray for you?

That's the question asked of my downtown Detroit community.

Quickly they ask me for a job.

And, as fast, I shoot back with Focus:HOPE.  You can secure training and education at, or, (313) 494 4933.

In fact, a Job Seeker's Boot Camp information session is set for Wednesday, Oct. 1st at 11 am with classes starting Oct. 6th at 9:30 am at the iconic social services, civil and human rights organization founded by the late Father William Cunnigham and Eleanor Josaitis, at 1400 Oakman Blvd., Detroit, MI., 48238.

Focus:Hope was founded in the wake of Detroit's riot and unrest among races in 1967.

Be there!

It's a free four-week program to give you the skills to find a job.  Commit to meeting daily from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm, and, to obtaining employment as a resident.

You will be remembered in prayer.  I can already see you working at your new job with help from Focus:Hope.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi By Richard Rohr

A good read.


As usual, Rohr takes the reader to new depths, and then some.

Francis of Assisi is a beloved creature of Italy beyond Padre Pio, among others.

Francis was a paradox.

Prophets are like that.

They are.

Down to earth while reaching toward a better understanding of the world beyond.

The Franciscan friar -- Rohr -- is an ecumenical teacher like Francis who is loved across faith traditions.

Francis was "a master of 'making room for it' and letting go of that which was tired or empty," claims Rohr in this head-turner of a tome.

This alternative way of Francis paves a way and a path to the divine that will deepen and enrich our spiritual lives for sure.

Francis lived on the edge of the inside of both church and society.

He did.

I like that.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Jordan, Israel Pilgrimage

Join me for an interfaith pilgrimage to Jordan and Israel, May 12-23, 2015.  Register with me and call Linda Bugess at the World of Travel (248) 203 0022.

October 12th Focus:HOPE Walk, Jordan/Israel Pilgrimage, May 12-23, 2015, More

Join me in the Focus:Hope 40th Annual Walk Sunday, October 12, 2014.  Register at

Monday, September 15, 2014

Shot to Hell

I like Jack Lessenberry's columns.

His latest on loving guns merits reprinting.

"We love our goddam guns," Lessenberry notes.

Japan makes it harder to get and keep guns at home, he notes.

We love our guns more than our children, Lessenberry says.

With a little less than the U.S. population, Japan had eight homicides while the U.S. had 9,146  in 2007.

Go figure.

Is anyone else speaking up against guns besides Lessenberry?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Life of a Priest

Off to Mass after some quiet prayer time much earlier and a cup of coffee.

Appointments followed at nearby Elmwood Park community, a favorite spot where an hour is spent daily, at least.

One guy in a wheelchair accepted "Everybody's Prayer Book," a highlight for many I visit there.

Some errands follow.

Off to Harrison Township to sort notes in my garage as I prepare to sell my condo in a sleepy sort of town.

After an hour I'm off to Celina's for lunch at Harper and 13 Mile Road in St. Clair Shores.  There, some conversation with multiple people enlivens my day.

A classmate from high school is arriving by 4:30 for dinner and the Tiger ballgame.  I look forward to that after some phone calls are returned.

And, another pause in prayer.

The pace and practice and prayer of a pastor's day.


I'll sleep well as usual.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Swanson Funeral Home's Prayerbook for Everybody

Everybody's Prayer Book.

I like it.

Others seem to also.

Swanson Funeral Home published it.

While I was borrowing a casket for the Second Annual Urban/Suburban Unity Walk recently, I asked O'Neil D. Swanson if I could have some to hand to people I minister with at Larned and Chene near Jefferson in downtown Detroit.

He gave me a couple hundred.

I was impressed that a funeral home would have such a prayer book and begin with a description of prayer.

"Prayer has been described as conversation with God," the book begins.

It also speaks of prayer as an obligation.

It does.

A Morning Offering follows.

In 16 pages, Everybody's Prayer Book, ends with a Prayer for the Home:

Visit, we beseech Thee, O Lord, this house,
and drive from it all the snares of the enemy.
Let Thy Holy Angels dwell herein, to preserve us in peace;
and, may Thy blessing be upon us forever, through Jesus Chrst Our Lord.


Swanson Funeral Home in Detroit has been around a long time.

They seem to realize how daily prayer is key to prosperity, and more.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Pilgrimage of Jordan and Israel May 12-23, 2015

Join Rabbi Dorit Edut, Chaplain Yvonne Moor with me and my guests accompanying them, for an interfaith tour to Jordan and Israel, May 12-23, 2015. Call The World of Travel and Linda Burgess at (248) 203 0222 or (888) 268 7500 to request registration form.
Complete package, including air is about $3989.00 per person/double occupancy.

Highlights include Jewish/Christian perspectives of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, 11 nights in 4 star hotels, a camel ride, baptismal site on Jordan River, Dead Sea, and much more.

Jobs, the Golden Rule and Safety Now, Theme October 7th

"Job, the Golden Rule, and Safety Now," is the theme of an inter-religious dialog, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014 from 11:45 am until 1 pm in the Big Boy Restaurant, 7033 E. Jefferson at E. Grand Boulevard, Detroit, with block clubs, Neighborhood Watch, and area business leaders concerned about jobs and dignity and a quality of life for all.  All are welcome.  Care of the Soul and Companions Counseling All-Faiths Festival is host. Call (313) 530 2777 for information.

When I ask people how I may pray for them, immediately they ask me for a job while I converse at the Elmwood Park community at Chene and Jefferson in downtown Detroit where I spend at least a hour daily in street ministry bringing Good News.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Addressing Violence by Males with Mentoring, More

The Golden Rule to treat others as one wants to be treated is a common thread in Jewish, Christian and Muslim faith traditions, among others.

It is.


And, with Summer giving way to September and the Fall season, one wonders about whether gunfire will ring out in schoolyards again, too?

God no, we hope and pray.

It would be gratifying to lift up the dignity and worth of all with the Golden Rule of respect if no more balloons and bows of yellow, green and red are needed to mark the sites of shootings by school bullies.

Mind you, it isn't little girls who are doing the gunning.  Females tend to do a better job of bonding with young girls.  They admit pain more readily.  The feminine expresses feeling more fully than guys, it seems to me.

More study about this predicament will help save a society and the soul of this nation.

Could this trend of growing violence by boys be about a quest of meaning and purpose nurtured while lads are young and formative?

I think so.

Youngsters need to be initiated early in life, let alone introduced to the predicaments, mysteries, even miseries of life by their father.

They need to be taught as nowhere else that they are not the center of the world; that pain is real, life is hard; you win some and lose some; you are not in control, you may be passed over at school, at work, by the coach, or, the teacher; one day you will die; and, you life is about something or someone bigger than you -- the young male will not know how to manage pain, loss, alienation and rejection or abandonment.

And, if he cannot deal with his pain, he will abuse power.

He will.

Lads listening to and looking into the eyes of their fathers may help. 

That may change the order of violence that seems more common than blowing one's nose these days.

Initiation and introduction into the mysteries of life can help lessen the violence of schoolyard bullies, and more.

It can.

Fathers, even grandfathers and sons checking into a hotel for a weekend together, or, a hike in the woods together to hear about life's struggles and the realities of the trek through life's limitations and boundaries, including pain, suffering, difficulties and death, may best help male mentoring and bonding for boys who may become bullies otherwise.

Guns and gangs don't have to win.

They don't.

Men and fathers need to mentor and mold their sons.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Catholic Church Closures

They're having final Masses and closing their doors.

Too many are being shuttered too often.

When will it stop?

Who is next?

Why not require clergy to bring Good News to the neighborhoods?

Visit neighbors,  ask them what they need prayers for,  and ask how you can be of service to them?

After twelve months,  invite the 'hood to evaluate any growth at the local church.

Think outside the box and grow the church.