My Rites of Passage

My Rites of Passage

Da’ Kwamsta’ was my Rites of Passage. From the moment we first met. I was raised by my Aunt/Mother Willie Mae Johnson at 718 West Central and St. Albans. Willa Mae was very Old Skool, born in 1918: Faith and Trust in GOD. Sincere Prayer was number one at 718 West...
City Dumps: When “Away” Was Near

City Dumps: When “Away” Was Near

To me, the rusty fifty-gallon steel barrel near the alley in the northeastern corner of our back yard had been there forever. It was where the wrapped-in-newspaper food scraps and other assorted discards were deposited. When I got tall enough to reach over the top, I...
Advent

Advent

Newly ordained, I stand in front of a brightly decorated Christmas tree. Next to me is Nhia (Jonah) Xou Yang, former CIA collaborator turned minister. We are in the shared sanctuary of our respective Hmong and American congregations in a church on Saint Paul’s North...
A Strange Man Named Hicks

A Strange Man Named Hicks

There once was a strange man named Hicks Who yearned to create limericks But he failed at the sport For he wrote them too short   Paul Ofstedal, a retired pastor who last served at St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church, also co-founded China Service Ventures (CSV) in...