Immaculate Conception for All

What good is to me for the Creator to give birth to his Son if I also do not give birth to him in my time and my culture?

—Meister Eckhart

It so happens that, in a mother-to-be’s womb, the amniotic fluid is changed every three hours, or five times every 24 hour cycle. This is one reason Muslims pray five times a day. The Immaculate Conception, therefore, is not limited to Advent. Each day, we are invited to tend our wombs: to grow the seed of the Divine within, to labor with the Divine as we give birth to our True Nature and, to celebrate, cherish and honor all that arises as we discern our Right Lives. Joy to the World! This practice is not just for Mary; it’s for all of us! And our future is shaped by how each of us heeds this daily invitation to joyfully, authentically BE Born. Let every heart prepare Him and Her room!


Rev. Lauren Van Ham is an interfaith “Eco-Chaplain” who has worked in a range of for-profit, non-profit, interfaith ministry, and environmental advocacy capacities. She is now the Dean of Chaplaincy at the Chaplaincy Institute in Berkeley, CA. Lauren is the featured guest in episode 16 of The Common Good Podcast where she talks about her calling and work. See Lauren’s website for more.


Chaplain for a New Century

In my work for Jubilee Economics Ministries, I record audio podcasts with Rev. Lee Van Ham and a monthly guest. For our August episode, we recorded an interview with his daughter Lauren, and on this occasion I decided to capture a bit of video too. If you like what you see and hear, please go listen to the full length (about 30 mins) audio podcast. This video is only about one-third of the program.

Lauren is an interfaith chaplain with an interesting background that doesn’t suggest she was originally from Nebraska! She is the Dean of Chaplaincy at the Chaplaincy Institute in Berkeley. She goes into quite some detail about her professional formation and how she understands the role of the chaplain in society today.

Lauren plans to contribute to Women Who Speak In Church, and the timing is such that this bit of video serves to provide a great introduction to Lauren, and if I might be so bold, it gives a taste of the JEM podcasts too. This video is posted to the JEM YouTube channel where a number of other clips feature Lee, who himself is a retired pastor of 32 years. No doubt he set a good standard for Lauren to follow 🙂