At Royal Arch Lake, Yosemite


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.

Bereavement Support Specialist

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.”

Update: September 3, 2019

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.]

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  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.

  5. Hi, Larry!
    I found your blog on my dad’s computer. I’m excited to follow you. I started to read your book, but with my two little ones (Tobin & Sammie) I haven’t been able to finish it yet. It has been a great read thus far.

    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!

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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!

  9. Hi Larry,
    was searching my fathers name and ran acrossed your site. My dad died a few years ago so your safe! His name just happens to be Larry Patten as well. Happy Resurrection Day!

    Everett Patten

  10. Afternoon Larry,
    Guess I’m no longer on your mailing list, since I made the big move from Kerman to Fresno. Love my new digs who I share with my dog, Abbie. She is a very sweet and love able pitty.
    I was thinking about you the past several days, and finally decided to check you out. Wow you look just the same as when we worked together.
    Will tell Pat I found your site, as we go swimming 3 days a week.
    Take care

  11. Thank you so much for your writing. I’m a minister and found you today when I was searching for inspiration about Pentecost. I appreciate your post from 2015 and the question mark. I’m grateful I’ve found you today.

    1. Hey, Amy . . . thanks for letting my know you stumbled onto my “old” online neighborhood! I’m tickled somewhere near pink if anything I have written helped with your Pentecost preparations.

      Take care!

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