My name is Jim Burklo and I am trying to understand who I am and what I am meant to be and do in this spectacular, precarious, and wondrously strange world. I muse about the human/divine condition quite a bit. So welcome to my "Musings". I would enjoy seeing yours, as well-- whether or not they are in response to my own.
I am grateful to be married to the alluring, creative, soulful love of my life, Roberta Maran. I'm grateful and humbled to be the father of Liz, the step-dad of Nick and Josie, and the step-grandfather of Rumi and Indi, each a fascinating universe of unique proclivities and possibilities. Roberta and I live in Hollywood, California. Every day I take a walk on the flanks of Mt. Hollywood. Many of my musings begin to congeal on these sojourns.
My new book, BIRDLIKE AND BARNLESS: Meditations, Poems, Prayers, and Songs for Progressive Christians (St. Johann Press), came out in August of 2008. My first published book, OPEN CHRISTIANITY (St Johann Press), is a primer on the progressive Christian movement. Both books are available at the "store" at The Center for Progressive Christianity. I write and speak around the country on behalf of this movement. My new book, HITCH-HIKING TO ALASKA: The Way of Soulful Service, (2013) is available at Amazon.com.
I am an ordained United Church of Christ pastor and writer. Since 8/08, I've been serving as the Associate Dean of Religious Life at the University of Southern California. I am also an adjunct professor of public policy at the USC School of Social Work. Before coming to USC, I was pastor of Sausalito Presbyterian Church, and until 2003 I was the minister of College Heights United Church of Christ in San Mateo, and also the ecumenical Protestant campus minister at Stanford University. Before these jobs, until 1993, I was the founder and then the executive director of the Urban Ministry of Palo Alto, an interfaith agency serving homeless people. I graduated from San Francisco Theological Seminary in Marin (1979). My undergraduate degree was from the University of California, Riverside. At birth I lived in Los Gatos, CA, grew up in Columbiana, a small town in Ohio, and went to high school in Santa Cruz, CA.
The older I get, the more I know about how little I know. I'm increasingly giddy in the face of it all. Why does my heart ache with joy when red-orange sunlight sears the mountaintop? How dare I tell my wife that I love her, when I barely comprehend the sacred mystery between us? Who am I to preach and write about the divine, when I hardly fathom what it is to be human? Bear with me, believe with me, hope with me, endure with me as we muse about it together....