Russell E. Saltzman is a former Lutheran pastor, transitioning to the Roman Catholic Church.

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I’d Rather Preach a Wedding

From Web Exclusives

It was a bad day for a funeral; name a day that isn’t. But this one came in a period of family turmoil in the middle of last month. My mother just admitted to a nursing home and exhibiting severe dementia; my father lost without her; and me at Day 6 in a ten-day course of antibiotics for a sinus infection that had knocked me flat for the first four days… . Continue Reading »

A Near Miss

From First Thoughts

This is being billed as “the closest near miss on record, beating the previous record holder, a rock that buzzed Earth in 2004 . . . .” That’s the pickup truck-sized asteroid called 2011 CQ1 that came within seven thousand miles of Earth February 4. I didn’t notice it, and . . . . Continue Reading »

Dementia

From Web Exclusives

It’s been a ride that has not reached a destination. Those people who say it’s the journey, not the destination, do not know what they are talking about. My mother is descending”has descended”into dementia. My wife and I have noticed little markers along the way over the last year. … Continue Reading »

Gushy Over Kepler 10b

From First Thoughts

Quoting the Times , “In a down payment on riches to come, scientists from NASA’s Kepler satellite announced Monday that they had discovered the smallest planet yet found outside our solar system and the first that was unquestionably rocky, like the Earth.” It’s the “like . . . . Continue Reading »

Beware the Congressional Hordes

From First Thoughts

An NPR article on the prospect of creating a part-time Congress (unlikely) begins by describing “hordes of conservative Republican lawmakers” descending on Washington. Hordes? Yes, hordes of Republicans, all conservative, are about to fracture the previous hold that “hordes of . . . . Continue Reading »

From the ELCA to the NALC

From First Thoughts

I finally have applied to become a member of the clergy roll of the  North American Lutheran Church , which means leaving the clergy roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. (Here is the NALC’s site .) About time, too, inasmuch as the NALC made me a dean back in early . . . . Continue Reading »

Pity the Downtrodden Billionaires

From First Thoughts

William McGurn has a piece at the online  Wall Street Journal asking exactly why Republicans have a hard time providing moral argumentation for tax reductions affecting billionaires. The other side, he points out, have their contentions well in place. In [Senator Bernie Sandners, Vermont] . . . . Continue Reading »

The Reverend and Russefeiring

From First Thoughts

A Norwegian reality show,  The Great Norway Adventure , takes American-Norwegians, some generations beyond their ancestral homeland, and initiates them by various contests to the true rites of passage real Norwegians are said to put up with in becoming authentically Norski. One of the . . . . Continue Reading »