I’m Larry Patten, a (now retired) 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 2007 I finished nearly nine years at a church in Fresno, California. It was my last full-time-pastor gig. Before reaching the tenth year, I decided to spend more minutes with my wife than with committee meetings and to also reclaim time for writing.
Currently, I’m a part-time Bereavement Support Specialist (fancy title, eh?) with Hinds Hospice in Fresno, CA.
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 are owned by several pets.
There’s Liam (who kinda showed up at our doorstep) and Milo (who wooed my wife when she visited the local animal shelter). Kynzi is our “special needs” puppy. We refer to her that way for many reasons, including the elbow dysplasia that appeared in her front left leg when she was six months old. That led to surgical repair and continued vigilance about her health.
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.”
As of September 3, 2019, I have stopped posting regular weekly reflections. I started writing about faith on this site back in June 2007. During the summer of 2019, I began to feel it was time to quit. But I also wanted to be intentional about the end. It irks me to stumble onto a blog and then discover the writer appeared to “give up” on the effort. Did he or she die? Get bored? Was he kidnapped by pirates? Did she win the lottery? Not me! I wanted to openly end this project . . .
And yet not!
I will likely—randomly, occasionally—post more stuff. Who knows what or when? I will also continue writing about dying, death, and grief over yonder at: Hospice Matters.
[The front picture is a view of the Kaweah Ridge in the Sequoia National Park backcountry.]