In honor of Mother’s Day, this is a modified version of the eulogy that I wrote for my Mom, Nancy Garred, who passed away on 30 January. Mom loved being locally rooted, living nearly 50 years in Tumwater, Washington State, and all her life in the Pacific Northwestern USA. I, however, lost my local roots … More Homemade Lessons for a Global Life
I usually resist the urge to write about every heartbreaking event that comes along. I’m a slow blogger, and by the time I finally write something the moment has often passed. But here’s the thing: silence sometimes looks like acceptance. So let’s talk right now about Ferguson, Missouri. This looks like complex situation in which … More Ferguson: No silence, no acceptance
Jean-Baptiste, a survivor of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, wants his story told and remembered. I had the privilege to sit in his home and listen. Listen. It started with house burnings. Then cattle thefts. Then machete hacks and seven days in a pit, praying, surrounded by the dying and the dead. Ten siblings among the … More A Conversation on Genocide and Whiteness
I see broken inter-group relationships everywhere I go. This is part of my DNA as a peacebuilder, but it can become heavy. I must remind myself to celebrate the positive. There were signs of hope around Seattle in 2013. Representative Jim McDermott introduced the Duwamish Tribal Recognition Act. There’s a history here of broken promises. The … More 2013: Signs of Hope in Seattle
The turkey leftovers are gone, but I’m still thinking. Most of us know that the ‘Pilgrims and Indians’ story taught in school has been – ahem – sanitized. But the day is about being thankful, so it’s all good, right? Well, sort of. I do like Thanksgiving. It’s not about the food; it’s about being … More What does God think of Thanksgiving?
I can’t not look at ‘unpeace’ in the USA. I’ve never been able to look away. Wherever in the world I’ve wandered, some stubborn part of my heart has never stopped monitoring the pain unfolding in my home country. I learned the term unpeace from colleagues in Mindanao, Philippines many years ago. Unpeace simply means … More I Can’t Not Look
I used to live in Washington DC, but that was a decade ago, so I didn’t see the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial until last Saturday. I was in DC briefly for a conference, and I didn’t want to leave without visiting that site. I am not a big fan of statues in general, … More I’ll Stand by You. Won’t I?
I discovered this week, while visiting the Hibulb Cultural Center, that the Tulalip Tribes celebrate annual ‘Treaty Days.’ This event commemorates the Point Elliott Treaty of 1855, in which local tribes were pushed to cede 10,000 square miles of ancestral land between Seattle and the Canadian border. Most of us would consider this an epic … More An Unlikely Celebration
Several months ago – Yes, I am a very slow blogger, but this is a story worth telling…. So, several months ago, I had the privilege of meeting two new colleagues at an inter-faith conference. Paul is a Palestinian Christian from Jerusalem and Salim is a Palestinian Muslim living in Nablus, 60 kilometers or so to … More Sins of Omission
Three months after its dedication, I stand at the foot of the John T. Williams Honor Totem. The totem has bold lines and bright colors, and its significance fills my eyes with tears. There is no mention here of how Mr. Williams died. Rather than proclaiming that he was felled by a police bullet, the totem … More Opportunity & Uncertainty