Month: October 2017

The Gift of the Strange

Friend of the Abbey Lily Burana is a novelist and spiritual writer, whose works include: I Love a Man in Uniform: A Memoir of Love, War, and Other Battles; the novel Try; and Strip City: A Stripper’s Farewell Journey Across America. She has written for The Washington Post, GQ, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly, the Village Voice, and the New York Observer. She was a contributing editor at New York Magazine and SPIN. Her newest book, “Grace for Amateurs: Field Notes on a Journey Back to Faith” can be ordered here. Continue reading

A Place at the Table

I once did a funeral for a man who tragically died of a massive heart attack at Tim Horton’s coffee shop at the age of 59. He deeply loved his wife and children.

This was a man who enjoyed the simple things in life. He found his place in the great outdoors, hunting, fishing, 4 wheeling, boating, barbecuing, spending time back country at the camps, and most of all having friends over for cold beers in the garage while watching the Detroit Red Wings. Continue reading


When I was 25, I was ordained to go serve as a minister on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Over the course of five years, I spent time with these people who were complicated, quiet, and compassionate. The accents, the food, and the friendliness were only matched by the tempers, the laughter, and the grudges that extended beyond generations. Continue reading