African culture

2017 June

For Gloria, the fatherless girl we left behind

2017-07-24T21:55:24+00:00 June 17th, 2017|Categories: Hamilton Spectator|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

She's the Ugandan girl who we left behind in a part of the world where, this weekend, there is no Father's Day. And even if there was, this girl, our friend, has no father to honour on it. So while it's only suitable that so many fathers and children be given one day a year to consider how ...

2016 May

Home is a place of God’s differences

2016-07-11T18:09:09+00:00 May 23rd, 2016|Categories: Newspaper columns, The Standard|Tags: , , , , , |2 Comments

(The UCU Standard - Monday, May 23, 2016) MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ It was in Canada and we were at a campy lakeside retreat, and it was a beautiful summer day and a gaggle of children were playing outside the large window near where we ate. My daughter, that is my adopted Ugandan daughter, Hannah, looked at me with a tear rolling down her cheek. I asked her what was the matter, and, looking down in shame, she said, “I’m the only black person here.”

2016 January

No matter how desperate, we are not alone in this world

2017-07-18T01:39:57+00:00 January 4th, 2016|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

(The Hamilton Spectator - Monday, January 4, 2016) MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ It was evening and dark and dozens of voices, mostly African, by candlelight and under bright stars, were singing carols in front of our long-time East African home. It was a moment to reflect on the days ending 2015, and a moment, also, when I was asked to say a word. “So where does everyone go at Christmas?” I asked the kids more than anyone. “Home!” they yelled into the night air.

2015 December

Caught between health care and (the worst parts of) religion

2017-07-18T01:43:07+00:00 December 12th, 2015|Categories: New Vision, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , , , , |0 Comments

(The New Vision - Saturday, December 12, 2015) MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ She questioned if having the surgery was “God’s will,” but the truth is that she was afraid and misguided and besides her own safety, she was leaving her unborn child’s life to hang dangerously in the balance.

2015 December

The spirited ways of Pope Francis

2017-07-18T01:45:58+00:00 December 5th, 2015|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , , |1 Comment

(The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, December 5, 2015) KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ I am not Catholic. And, like you, I have my images of fatherhood. The better ones have more to do with the holiness of, say, my boy with a ball and a catching glove on our sun-filled front lawn than with the Holy Father coming to visit.

2015 February

The Nature of Peace – Complete address

2015-03-26T13:52:03+00:00 February 17th, 2015|Categories: Other|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

  In November 2014 I returned from my African home to speak at the Hamilton Convention Centre on the theme of The Nature of Peace. This was on the invitation of the YMCA of Hamilton-Burlington-Brantford, which holds an annual Peace Medal Breakfast to honour the people of Hamilton region who work towards peace. Following is [...]

2015 February

Better than wine. Stronger than death.

2015-02-14T08:12:55+00:00 February 14th, 2015|Categories: Christian Week, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

(Christian Week, February 2015) KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ “Love is better than wine,” is how the writer of the Song of Songs put it. “Love is stronger than death.” Solomon, said to be the wisest of men ever, is credited with the words that resonate with meaning even now, almost 3,000 years later, even in our time, as insecure and fickle an age as any.

2015 February

The Nature of Peace – 5 – Lost in translation

2015-02-17T08:33:25+00:00 February 4th, 2015|Categories: Other|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

This the fifth of several excerpts from an address I gave in Hamilton, Canada in November 2014. Excerpt #1 is here and #2 is here and #3 is here and #4 is here. + If nothing else, when we cross borders we’ll be misunderstood. I remember once we had some Canadian visitors in Uganda and they needed [...]