Monthly Archives: June 2024


We pray for the victims of violence and war; for those wounded in body and for those wounded in mind.

John called his wife and the pastor of his church a couple of minutes beforehand because he didn’t want one of his twin sons to find his body in the garage – he didn’t leave enough time for Linda and David to prevent it.

John couldn’t find a way to talk about the war that left his heart, mind, and soul in a dark room with no way out but a bullet. 

John left behind a family and circle of friends that loved him, and a bunch of us in the congregational church choir who loved his wife and eight year old sons. 

At twenty-one years old, I couldn’t imagine how anyone could be so isolated and so grief-stricken that death seemed the best gift he could give himself and those he loved. 

War and violence claimed him, caged him, and spilled into the lives of those he wouldn’t for the world want to hurt. 

But hurt us he did.

I hope we learned enough from John’s death to find other ways out of dark places.

Jane Goodall's Prayer

No Choice

Every child deserves to be welcomed into the world with joy. Each baby should have the basics – safety, food, clothing, shelter, engagement – provided without fuss or resentment. No child should have to offer his or her body for the use and gain of others, and no one should have to choose between death and committing murder.

Violence or violation? No child should have to choose. No adult should, either.


We pray to the Great Spiritual Power in which we live and move and have our being. We pray that we may at all times keep our minds open to new ideas and shun dogma; that we may become ever more filled with generosity of spirit and true compassion and love for all life; that we may strive to heal the hurts that we have inflicted on nature and control our greed for material things, knowing that our actions are harming our natural world and the future of our children; that we may value each and every human being for who he is, for who she is, reaching to the spirit that is within, knowing the power of each individual to change the world.

I’ve been lucky enough to have mentors who provided guidance without insisting that I take up a particular profession or remain in their particular discipline. I had a grandfather who let me learn boy’s skills, and a father who didn’t value me less because I was a daughter. Math, languages, science, home economics – it was all encouraged if I wanted to pursue it.

Many of my friends weren’t so lucky; if they questioned the direction chosen for them, there were serious consequences. Perhaps they weren’t wished a lesser life, but they were encouraged to be who they were not rather than who they were.

In the here and now, here’s hoping we mean what we pray…


From Jane Goodall’s A Prayer For World Peace, Hong Kong: Minedition, 2015


What do I want to leave with my children when I die?

Something positive rather than a mess to clean up.

Something more than an account balance.

Fewer things and a smaller footprint.

The ability to tell wants and needs apart – and to be content with needs met if it means a healthy planet and a peaceful spirit.

The courage to be gentle with this creation.

Joy in the flight of a sparrow and the turtle’s measured gliding.

The World.

Please, God. Amen.

For All Life

A Prayer for World Peace

Jumping worms have invaded Vermont. They aren’t the helpful kind of worms that improve soil. Instead, they drive out native species and damage forests. They are causing enough damage that the state of Vermont has put out warning flyers. Because I’m installing a couple of raised beds, they may become my problem soon enough.

I’ll do my best to prevent an infestation – checking plants and soil for worms and eggs and keeping a watch on everything after planting. But if I find these jumping worms, I’ll have to make a choice: kill them or let them decimate the local environment. Loss of life will occur, by my direct action or my inaction. I hope I never get to the point that it becomes an easy choice.

[This is part of an ongoing series. Click ThreeP’s above for more in this series.]