About The Cottage
Drop in. Sit down. This is a place to explore faith and spirituality. Especially for those who feel dissatisfied, discomforted, or uncertain about religion — and who need a different angle, a new view of things of the spirit. Here you’ll find both inspiration and thoughtful commentary. My door is open.
Notice: this space isn’t The Sanctuary or The Parsonage or even The Retreat. This is The Cottage. That’s because I’m not a clergy person or a paid religious professional. I’m a writer, speaker, and itinerant teacher.
And The Cottage is a real place in my backyard where I write, think, reflect, and even meditate and pray.
Virginia Woolf famously wrote that a woman needed a room of her own to write. My house is too modest for a separate office (I wrote two of my early books in my family room!), so we built this cottage in our yard to accommodate my library and my work. From here, I’ve written blogs, articles, essays, and books - and these days it serves as a makeshift television and recording studio! I look out of the Cottage to the garden and from there out to the world, which means that I view spirituality, religion, and faith from my backyard.
But unlike Virginia Woolf, I didn’t want to keep the cottage as my “own.” I wanted to open it up, invite in my friends and readers, to share the magic and the hard work of this space — and so I created The Cottage on Substack. Here, I’ll share what I’m writing, what trends I see, how faith is growing and changing, issues of concern, and things that I find interesting or challenging or beautiful. And, as The Cottage community grows, I’ll host conversations and threads so we can get to know each other — and share our questions, concerns, hopes, and gratitudes. It is good to have friends in these hard days. To feel less alone.
The Cottage publishes three midweek newsletters a month and four weekend reflections called Sunday Musings for all subscribers — there are additional offerings and events — including a Third Thursday Zoom Gathering — for those who financially support this project.
And, by way of full introduction, I am a Christian (even thought that label is more than a bit awkward these days) and I write from that perspective, with a generous heart toward wisdom wherever it is found. The “creed” that guides me most closely aligns with these 1,000 year old words from the mystical poet Ibn Arabi:
There was a time I would reject those
who were not of my faith.
But now, my heart has grown capable
of taking on all forms.
It is a pasture for gazelles,
An abbey for monks.
A table for the Torah,
Kaaba for the pilgrim.
My religion is love.
Whichever the route love’s caravan shall take,
That shall be the path of my faith.
Or, in the simple words of Jesus: “Love God, and love your neighbor as yourself.”
Wherever you are on your journey, I’m glad your route has led here — to my backyard and The Cottage.
For a longer bio, a list of my books, and information on having me speak to your group, please click here.
1) There are three choices for paid subscriptions: Monthly ($5 each month), Yearly ($50 per year), or as a Cultivating Member ($150 per year). Benefits for all three levels of paid subscriptions are the same - regular newsletter, full archive access, occasional online chats, discounts to some events and online classes plus:
A monthly Zoom chat
Occasional members-only podcasts called The Secret Garden
Book recommendations, author visits, special guest posts
Sneak peeks at my work-in-progress
Special subscriber-only announcements and posts
Cultivating Members are those who want to support others who cannot pay, and who contribute an extra gift toward the costs of creating the new offerings.
2) Free subscriptions include about 6 posts a month. You will also be able to comment on free posts, have partial archive access, participate in occasional open chats, and access discounts to some events and online classes.
3) No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Contact me directly (click here).
You won’t have to worry about missing anything. Every new edition of the newsletter goes directly to your inbox — or the new apps available for your phone.
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To find out more about the company that provides the tech for this newsletter, visit Substack.com.