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The Babysitters’ Club: Bad to the Bone (?)

Tripp York: “Which pacifist would you rather have on your side in a bar fight: Steve Long, Michael Budde, or Amy Laura Hall?”

Tobias Winright: “Amy Laura Hall, who is a Texan like Stanley Hauerwas but also George W. Bush and Rick Perry, would, I think, verbally disarm the hostile crowd…I’m sure her words in such a scenario would appear in ALL CAPS if they were written down later. She would stop people in their tracks.”

Here’s the Babysitters’ (and Dogsitters’) Club, trying to live up to the image.





The Babysitters’ Club is: Sarah McGiverin, Meghan Florian, ALH, Kara Slade, and Kate Roberts (who also took the photos).



[Robert Hall] It All Comes Down to Silence

Here at we’re grateful to host the Rev. Robert Hall, who recently retired from 47 years of ministry in the Southwest Texas Conference of the UMC, and who still serves as dad to Amy Laura and grandfather to Rachel and Emily.

It all comes down to silence.

Our Hebrew kinfolk have it right.
“Adonai” substituted for the divine name.
“I will be what I will be,” Moses heard from the burning bush.

Or old St John of the Cross,
God is “No lo se que.”
Or St Anselm, God is “that which nothing greater can be conceived.”
The “still small voice,” Dr Powers taught us, really means no voice at all.
An indecipherable whisper,
Like a breeze.

I have spent my adult life word-smithing,
searching for just the right words for the subject or occasion,
looking for beautiful pearls of wisdom.
Which is a joyful gift, this passion for expression.
And yet, there have been times when words have gotten in the way of truth.
“Less is more.”
All language, sooner or later, leads to quietness.

Yes: ask, beg, praise, intercede, confess–as we must.
But prayer to God ends with mouths shut,
hands still.
Like the silent sitting-together with a friend.
Or the peace which descends after beautiful music,
clapping be damned.


Postcards from Moral Monday

My mom and dad raised me with a passion for public school.  This photo is of my mom, about the same time she was working at Sears to help fund her college education.  She taught for over three decades, middle school and high school, French, Theater, History, English Literature, whatever the job market required, as my dad itinerated for the Methodist Church across Texas.  She is only 4’9”, and she continues to be a charming force to be reckoned with.  Two of her closest, lifelong friends Eva and Jeannie, were also lifelong school teachers.  Eva is an expert quilter and Jeannie knows absolutely everything about public school politics in Texas.


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