An inclusive faith community that seeks, serves and celebrates.


Mary Kay on 11/25/2015 - 2:33pm

By the RePilgrims arrive at plymouth Rock dumbartonv. Mary Kay Totty

This week we celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday in part to commemorate the safe arrival of European ancestors to North America, where they sought to live free of religious persecution. Today, many in our country would deny a welcome to other refugees seeking to live free of religious persecution.

So much fear and hatred are swirling as governors and Congress seek to make it impossible for Syrian refugees to settle in our country. They are so very afraid that a terrorist might sneak in under the guise of being a refugee. Sure that could happen, but it's highly unlikely given US screening protocol for refugees. We need to offer hospitality to refugees. We need to love the refugees. For we will change the world through love.

miked on 09/14/2015 - 5:09pm

            Black Lives Matter. A movement that started as a hashtag on twitter in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s killer being acquitted.
            Black Lives Matter.  A call to end police brutality.
            Black Lives Matter. A reminder that racism persists.
            But… But…

miked on 08/31/2015 - 11:00pm

On December 13, during our 11 a.m. service, I had the pleasure of leading our choir in a performance of "Visions of Hildegard," my newest choral composition.

 I've had writing an anthem for the Dumbarton Choir in mind since I joined the church in March, and I've always admired the music, texts, and life of Hildegard of Bingen; thus, when Mary Kay Totty announced her plan to preach on Hildegard for the four Sundays of Advent, I thought this would be the ideal time to write this piece.

"Visions of Hildegard" is comprised of five movements for women's trio, mixed choir, and four-hands piano. The work highlights five of Hildegard's own compositions; the three choral movements use Hildegard's text, and all five movements utilize a different melody from a Hildegard plainsong.

miked on 08/20/2015 - 11:27am

In my early years at Dumbarton, I got the impression that modern, enlightened parishioners had replaced narrow-minded,  intolerant church goers in the 1960s and 1970s. My work on Dumbarton’s history project in 1992 convinced me that things weren’t that simple.

Mary Kay on 06/28/2015 - 5:57pm

It was supposed to be my day off, but instead I brought communion to the steps of the Supreme Court. On June 26, most expected that the court's decision on marriage equality would not come until the following Monday. But mere minutes after 10 a.m., Chett Pritchett texted me, “Put on your collar.” The court's decision was being released and the agreed upon plan was that Reconciling clergy who were available would show up and offer communion to the gathered crowd — whichever way the decision went.

At 11 a.m., Rev. Kate Payton and I were celebrating communion on the sidewalk, at the Supreme Court. For more than an hour, we offered the bread of life and the cup of grace to any and everyone who walked or wheeled past. Wesley Seminary students formed a pickup choir nearby.

miked on 05/06/2015 - 4:40pm

Climate change is the most serious global environmental problem that we face. Many people find it a difficult idea to grasp, for it is complex, and its effects aren’t easily evident. But it is not an issue that we can afford to ignore.  The quality of future life on earth depends upon our taking action. Ultimately, climate change is an ethical issue.

Measurements have clearly documented that climate change and its consequences are happening right now. The overwhelming consensus among climate scientists is that most of the increase in global temperature is due to human activities, such as burning fossil fuels. If human behaviors do not change, scientists predict calamitous consequences:

miked on 03/25/2015 - 8:47am

What makes a church? Our travels have taken us literally around the world, to many interesting and unusual places. But our recent trip to New Zealand has made me stop and think about this question. Australia and New Zealand are both countries that are “younger” than the United States, and yet the Aborigines and Maori have been present on those island nations for much longer. The mix of cultures and spiritual encounters yields a blend of “church” experiences for the visitor.

Traditional Maori Wharenui