This is J. Mark Lawson's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following J. Mark Lawson's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
J. Mark Lawson
Liverpool, New York
Pastor, United Church of Christ in Bayberry, Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies, LeMoyne College
Interests: Hiking and photography in the Adirondack mountains, American history. The images in the banner are pictures I've taken while hiking.
Recent Activity
Image
(If you haven't already, please scroll down and read parts 1-5 before reading this entry.) August 21, 9:00 a.m. in central Iowa We slept the whole time we were traveling through Nebraska. So that’s two states (the other being Idaho) that I’ve been in for the first time, but didn’t... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2018 at Traveling in Place
Image
(If you have not already done so, please scroll down and read parts 1-4 before reading this entry.) August 19, 5:00 p.m. in Northern Nevada Leaving Roseville, the train began its ascent into the Sierra Nevada Mountains, climbing from just above sea level this morning to the highest point on... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2018 at Traveling in Place
Image
(If you haven't already, please scroll down to read parts 1-3 before reading this entry.) August 15, 8:00 a.m. in Seattle We’re at King Street Station awaiting our next train. Martha bought a copy of the Seattle Times, and the front-page story is about the smoky haze from wildfires in... Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2018 at Traveling in Place
Image
(If you haven't already, please scroll down and read parts 1 & 2 before reading this post.) August 12, 4:30 p.m., in north central Montana Even though we afforded ourselves the luxury of a private sleeper for this excursion, we still interact with lots of other people, including multiple attendants... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2018 at Traveling in Place
Image
(If you haven't already, please scroll down and read Part 1 before reading this post.) August 12, 9:30 a.m., in northern North Dakota “O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain...” “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it.” (Psalm 24:1) We’re in the Great... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2018 at Traveling in Place
Image
Martha and I just returned from a nearly two-week excursion of train travel and visiting two West Coast cities. I had thought of posting something to my blog every day we were traveling, but that proved to be impractical. For most of the trip, we had no Wi-fi, and for... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2018 at Traveling in Place
“A dangerous movement, undetected by many, is now challenging and eroding our great tradition of religious freedom. [This movement] must be confronted and stopped.” – Attorney General Jeff Sessions on the establishment of the “Religious Liberty Task Force” within the Department of Justice. I serve as a pastor in the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2018 at Traveling in Place
Image
On the first truly free day of my summer – just this last Wednesday – I decided to go looking for loons in the Adirondacks. I’m happy to say my search was successful. I hiked around Black Pond near Paul Smith’s, and spent as much time crouched or sitting on... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2018 at Traveling in Place
From time to time, someone who knows how much I love the Adirondack Mountains will ask me if I’ve been hiking lately. The regrettable answer has been “no,” though I hope to return to the wilderness before the summer gets completely away. One reason I haven’t been to the mountains... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2018 at Traveling in Place
Image
“I just don’t feel like singing patriotic songs,” a church member said to me a few days ago. She was one of several whom I have heard express, with some sadness, that they cannot get into the mood to celebrate Independence Day this year – not because they don’t love... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2018 at Traveling in Place
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has managed to unite Christians as diverse as Franklin Graham and Pope Francis. He has won condemnation from delegates of the Southern Baptist Convention, leaders of several evangelical organizations, and all the major Protestant denominations. How did he do it? By quoting the Bible to defend... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2018 at Traveling in Place
I have a confession to make. I wrote the last post, “Character Matters,” two months ago, around the commemoration of MLK’s “Dream” speech. After I wrote it, I sat on it, and decided not to publish it. When I read it again a few days ago, I asked myself why... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2018 at Traveling in Place
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” These are among the most memorable words of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream”... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2018 at Traveling in Place
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15) I’ve been reflecting over the past week about how, in the life of the church, we learn to weep and rejoice at the same time. It is nearly always the case that some part of our body is... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2018 at Traveling in Place
Image
I cannot count the number of times I’ve heard this confession, or something very similar, in the last few months. I have to check in with (insert favorite cable news channel here) every day, because so much is happening that I’m afraid I’m going to miss something. When I start... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2018 at Traveling in Place
If spring is the time when Mother Nature wakes up from winter, she’s hit the snooze button several times this year. Actually, she got a bit restless back in February and acted like she was getting up early, then went back to sleep. The Vernal Equinox represented the official arrival... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2018 at Traveling in Place
Image
After a full morning of celebrative worship on Easter Sunday, I was glad to rest for the remainder of the day. In the evening, I watched NBC’s live production of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” featuring John Legend in the role of Jesus, Sarah Bareilles as Mary Magdalene, Brandon Victor Dixon as... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2018 at Traveling in Place
Yesterday, I heard an interview with former President Jimmy Carter. He’s just published a new book entitled Faith: a Journey for All. I’ve read and heard Carter address the importance of his Christian faith many times. I’ve always admired Jimmy Carter. Did he “succeed” as President? Not in the way... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2018 at Traveling in Place
Image
“How’s your Lent going?” a colleague asked me a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t know how to respond at first. My eventual honest answer was, “It’s going fine for the church, but I haven’t really internalized it.” Fortunately, that simple but penetrating question was posed early enough to give... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2018 at Traveling in Place
Image
This week’s tragedy in Parkland, Florida, marks the 18th (and deadliest) school shooting of 2018. In the last decade, mass shootings in the U.S. have reached epidemic proportions. After each of these heartbreaking incidents, we offer our thoughts and prayers to victims and survivors. We send money to the grieving... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2018 at Traveling in Place
I just filled out the mind-numbing, repetitive medical paperwork to see the second medical specialist in a week’s time. After I saw the first specialist last week, an array of prescription drugs contained in bottles, boxes, and sprays crowded the bathroom counter. There’s nothing seriously wrong with me, but I’ve... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2018 at Traveling in Place
Image
On Martin Luther King Day, plenty of preachers and protesters lamented that we as a nation seem to be going backwards. Racism, which never went away but was at least purged from the public sphere, has now been legitimized as a way to express perceived victimhood. Membership in racist hate... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2018 at Traveling in Place
Image
How did Christmas get started? The answer is not as simple as, “Jesus was born.” Yes, he was, but nobody knows exactly when. So let me restate the question: What are the origins of the Christian festival celebrating the birth of Christ? This subject has long been a matter of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2017 at Traveling in Place
Even though Roy Moore hasn’t yet conceded the Senatorial election in Alabama, the results are pretty clear. He lost. Even President Trump, his biggest cheerleader in the last couple of weeks, has congratulated his opponent, Doug Jones, on his hard-fought victory. Now the analysis cycle is in full motion. The... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2017 at Traveling in Place
Image
All the stories in the gospels of the events leading up to the birth of Christ share something in common: the element of surprise. Mary was surprised to be visited by an angel and told that she would give birth to the Messiah. Joseph was surprised (and distraught) to learn... Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2017 at Traveling in Place