At Royal Arch Lake, Yosemite

Hello and welcome. I’m Larry Patten, a United Methodist pastor if you want to slap a label on me. I’ve served churches in various settings, including stints as a hospice chaplain and campus minister. Way back in June 2007 I finished nearly nine years at a church in Fresno, California. Before reaching the tenth year, I decided I wanted to spend more minutes with my wife than with committee meetings and to also reclaim time for writing.

Currently, I’m working part-time as a Bereavement Support Specialist (fancy title, eh?) with Hinds Hospice in Fresno, CA.

Maintaining this site is an essential commitment to my calling. Before formal ordination, my relationship with the Holy included writing, on wondering about my faith through and with words. And there’s also wandering into the wilderness. Inspired by the likes of John Muir, I’ve gone “to the mountains to get their glad tidings.” I’m married (we did the “I do” in Yosemite’s chapel), don’t have kids, and–sadly–our home has experienced the death of pets during 2014. Two of our cats (13 year-old Moses and 15 year-old Madison) died before summer. In October of 2014, we helped our beautiful 14+ year-old golden retriever Hannah have a peaceful death and a few weeks after that the oldest of the kitties, Jynx, died at 16.

Now we have Liam (who kinda showed up at our doorstep) and Milo (who wooed my wife when she visited the local animal shelter). In March of 2015, we added a new puppy: Kynzi.

Though enthused about many subjects—from taking the Bible seriously but not literally, to full equality for queers and straights, and with appreciation of other faith traditions—I try not to take myself too seriously. “Angels can fly,” G.K. Chesterton wrote, “because they take themselves lightly.”

I write reflections on faith and foolishness every week, following the Revised Common Lectionary, but also the newer Common English Version. Look for a new musing by Tuesday afternoon. If you subscribe, I’ll send you a reminder.

I also post weekly essays on hospice . . . and have started a new website: Hospice Matters.

The top picture is a view of the Kaweah Ridge in the Sequoia National Park backcountry.

Our newest addition: Kynzi, born in January 2015, and arrived at our home in March 2015 . . .
Our newest addition: Kynzi, born in January 2015, and arrived at our home in March 2015 . . .


  1. Larry – you sound like my kind of guy – something of a retirement failure! Maybe their is a deal for you – ever thought about Indonesia for a spell?

    1. Hey thanks Lyle. But I’m not really a retirement failure, since I haven’t retired. Maybe I’m a retirement “avoider.” But actually, what’s retirement for writers, pastors, and other word purveyors? Those thoughts, ideas, and stories always keep nudging us.

  2. It’s been several months since I was here last. Site lookes much brighter, cleaner, and more inviting. Very nice.

  3. It seems as though the weatherman miss read the snow possibilities for the
    trip….Regards to you both Morgan

  4. Larry,
    I just now found your website, it was great to learn more about you and your work. (And Hannah, though the crazy cat lady that I am demands equally adorable pics of the three feisty felines!)

    1. I understand what you’re saying, but the cats won’t sign the waivers to allow online photos. I threaten to post some anyway. They meow about knowing lawyers who adore cats. Sigh.

    1. What, my blog was lurking somewhere in or around your Dad’s computer!? That’s kinda scary.

      Hey, Buffy, thanks for discovering my wandering words!

  5. Hello Larry,
    I’m currently querying literary agents and saw you on Dawn Dowdle’s list of clients at the Blue Ridge Literary Agency. I was wondering if you could tell me about your experience working with her.
    Thank you,
    Mary Ellen

  6. Larry,
    thanks for sharing your powerful story about Lost Coins and Boxes.
    What a treasure to show what truly matters. We may lose our possessions, but faith in Christ is our real treasure. Heide

  7. Larry, you are a top bloke. Thanks as ever for sharing something of yourself on the web. I was delighted to find your site by accident and it/you has nourished me with faith, hope and love, ever since. Sincerely, Marc (Uk – Norwich).

    1. Though not an English expert in a real English/British kind of way, I do assume being called a “top bloke” is a good thing! Glad you found me, Marc!

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