Lately, as I’ve mentioned earlier, I’ve been reading Greek regularly for the first time in a long time.  I decided to start with the Gospel of Mark, since his Greek is “bad,” which is to say “easy,” since it doesn’t seem to be his first or most comfortable language.

Maybe it’s because I’m reading the Gospels not in English, but when I read it in Greek, the people in the Gospel seem much more pitiable and pathetic.  I do not mean those words in the usual, insulting way that we mean them these days, but in the sense that I am moved to feel sorry for the people around Jesus.  The apostles, notoriously hapless and clueless, seem even more country-bumpkin-ish in Greek, for some reason.  The Gerasene demoniac (whose story I read this morning) moves my heart to pity more than normal.  With his whole “I am legion for we are many” is usually in English seen as a kind of creepy, horror-movie line.  But in Greek it strikes me as a plaintive, oh-there’s-so-many-spirits-in-me-as-to-be-exhausting line.

But maybe that’s just me.  Anybody else have this experience?


I’ve heard this a million times, but I’ve never noticed Jesus’s tag line.  Luke 16:1-9

He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.


“I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”: one of the most memorable, most poetic, and most often quoted verses in the Gospels, maybe in all the Christian Scriptures. And I find it terrifying.

When I first got the invitation to preach, I was told that I could choose from among a few Sundays, but that this Sunday, today, the Fifth Sunday of Easter, was the Pastoral Team’s first choice of when I was to preach.

I looked up the lectionary readings, saw this Gospel, and immediately thought, “Well, that Sunday’s out.”

Yet as I read the other lessons for other Sundays, this Sunday and particularly this Gospel kept harassing me. After some thought, I decided to accept the challenge and the call God was issuing me through the Pastoral Team’s preference.

The Pastoral Team’s preference was just that —a preference— but I think God took it over to make it a call to wrestle with the Scriptures.

As I am sure is the case with many, if not most of you, I find this verse greatly troubling. It is a seemingly exclusivist statement; therein lies the great stumbling block for me. No Jesus equals no God equals no heaven, as the rest of the chapter explains or at least implies with its mentions of the many dwelling places in the Father’s house.

Exclusivity, in general, does not sit well with me. So much so that for a few years in college and a few after I was a practicing Baha’i, and shortly after Hank was born, when I was beginning to sense a call to ministry and a deeper connection with God, I though of answering that sense of call within the Unitarian Universalist tradition. While I feel certain of what the Truth is, I am not comfortable with that Truth becoming a barrier; indeed, I do not think the Truth is a barrier, the way so many mis-use this verse to make it a litmus test as to who is and who is not, who may and who may not call themselves children of God.

So there I was, thinking about preaching for the first time, and I could choose to look at this verse —this scary verse that made me very suspicious and defensive— or I could choose another. So, as I
am a fool, I chose to preach tonight.

And before I begin reflecting on tonight’s lessons, I hope that, if nothing else, you realize the necessity of grappling with passages of Scripture that are troubling, confusing, seemingly uncharitable and exclusive. While in our own personal study we may be able to say, as Marilynne Robinson says, “One wishes it were not so,” we cannot in our witness to the church and the world. Too often those who identify as progressive/liberal/pick-your-label Christians simply pass over these passages about sex, or vengeance, or patriarchy, or exclusivity with a dismissive “Oh, the Spirit says something different now,” or “Well, it’s clear that’s just wrong.” That’s not enough.

So, once I tried to figure out what this Gospel meant I looked at this passage in context, both of John’s Gospel and the lectionary.

Something I had never noticed is that Jesus says this after the washing of feet. Jesus says this right before he dies. Judas has ducked out of the party early, and the Apostles know something is up. Thomas asks, “Where are you going?” Phillip pleads, “Show us the Father.” They all look at him and, with their eyes, they say, “Throw us a freakin’ bone here, Jesus. Things are getting weird. Things are getting scary.”

And Jesus gives this perplexing, baffling, challenging, non-answer: “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Jesus is saying here the Incarnation is sufficient for knowing God: “Very truly I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do.” If you want to know God, Philip, do the works that I do, because I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” To know God do the works I do.

And here is a new challenge this presents: the one who does the works of God knows God, whether we agree with that one or not. That includes Christians we disagree with as well as non-Christians who are doing the work of God. With a seemingly exclusive statement, Jesus includes all those who do the work of God and thereby know God. Jesus healed and consoled and guided, but he also prayed quietly in the Temple and included and, yes, rebuked people, pushing them closer to the truth of their lives to hopefully push them closer to the Truth of the Gospels.

We the many members of the Body may not always understand each other, may not always agree with each other, but the multi-faceted even idiosyncratic witness we give is the very Incarnation itself: it is the Way, the Truth, the Life. No one comes to the Father except by finding and accepting one’s unique vocation, right here, right now, both short-term and long-term: it might be changing baby diapers or adult diapers or dealing with the crap we get from a person who’s hurting or scared or lost or drunk with power or willfully oblivious to the needs of others.

Take Stephen. Poor Stephen! A man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, a deacon, chosen and set aside to serve —to do the works of discipleship, to take care of the most marginalized of the marginal, the widows and the poor— he walks the Way, the Truth, the Life, and less than sixty verses later it gets him stoned! That stinks! Discipleship sucks! The Way is hard! Thank God for those dwelling places, otherwise Stephen is S.O.L. So associated has Stephen been with his martyrdom that he is often depicted in artwork with those fateful stones floating around him or even resting on his tonsured head.

What does this mean for us? The stewardship we expect to be our vocation might not be what we are remembered for; our witness might be associated with some rather unpleasant rocks. I say this because our vocation goes beyond social justice. It is easy to think of serving those who are economically or politically disenfranchised, but this is a diverse neighborhood in many ways. Part of this church’s ministry might be to minister to the spiritually lost and poor, a ministry I find somewhat distasteful. I grew up Roman Catholic, so the focus on solidarity and service to the poor runs deep, but I wonder if sometimes we are also called to minister to those who are poor in hidden ways.

But take note, even in that hard, hard moment of martyrdom, putting his money where his mouth was, taking his last stumbling Steps, Stephen prays for those who stone him. Not condescendingly, not self-righteously, not smugly, but in love, in the love of the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.

And yet First Peter consoles us, as if the two poles of the Way are martyrdom and consolation: long for the spiritual milk of fellowship, of love, of the good in the world. “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people.” We are to live as a body of priests to serve God and God through God’s people. You —like Peter, Thomas, Philip, Mary Magdalene, Thecla, Junia— are not perfect, often fearful, sometimes sinful, but good enough because we are children of God through the Incarnation.

“I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.” The Way is hard but it is do-able, scary, but be not afraid because we are up to the task.

Andrew Marr of Saint Gregory’s Abbey quotes another monk, Sebastian Moore of Downside Abbey, as saying “Fear keeps the show going the way we know it and prefer it.”

Marr explains that the “show” referred to is “the tendency to keep our society going by making a point of excluding some people s o that we can define ourselves by what we are not rather than we are. In the risen life, [in the life of an Easter people] we define ourselves by who we are —children of God.

Christ is risen. Let us walk the Way, proclaim the Truth, and embrace the Life as children of God, gathering around the Table and inviting everyone —everyone— in.

I had a good post in mind for today. I could have sworn that somewhere in the readings for last week in the Daily Office (specifically, Hebrews) it said something to the effect that “he who knows Christ does not sin, but he who sins does not know Christ.”

What struck me was the unequivocal, your-either-with-God-or-against-God statement. I’ve spent a few minutes scanning and reading the middle chapters (7-11) which might contain this text, I’ve settled on this:

11:19Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, 20by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, 25not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

26For if we wilfully persist in sin after having received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27but a fearful prospect of judgement, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.

It’s that last pair of verses which really struck me. But the preceding six verse are rather confidence and comforting.

I’ve placed this quote here because as I was thinking about Lent last week, this passage really struck me. To me this is one way of looking at what Lent is all about: in faith, we go forth confident in the power of God to help us be our best selves. The Christian life is the life of those who try to encourage each other in various ways. The great risk being a confidence that makes us think we no longer need conversion.

Conversion is a word we often use to denote a change in religious affiliation or religious tradition. Someone converts from Christianity to Islam, let’s say. But here I mean it in the sense of constantly resolving to do better, leave aside bad habits, and to take up good ones.

This quote, for me, will be the motto of my Lent.

My friend Jason has emailed me this snippet in a greater debate about the relationship between Christians’ faith and their political opinions/activity. To some extent, it is not the debate that interests me, but the email that Hanna Rosin ends the exchange with. I’d like to look at some of the assertion Anonymous Patrick Henry Grad (hereafter APHG) makes.

There are people out there who believe that the convictions that stem out of their faith have direct consequences in their jobs, votes, positions, and principles.

This comment is something of a red herring: no one disputes this, except for the policy wonks, and, unfortunately, when it comes right down to it, most politicians and consultants are just that, policy wonks. Policy wonks enjoy the fight, the negotiations, the strategy the campaigns (advertising, electoral, legislative, whatever) and are people of principle second. Most Americans believe that politicians are people of conviction; some are, but they are rarely successful. The most successful politicians are those whose convictions (faith-based or otherwise) do not interfere with their ultimate political decision-making.

APHG is describing an average person, a person whose convictions (again, faith-based or otherwise) “have direct consequences in their jobs, votes, positions, and principles,” but he’s not describing the politicos, the politicians, the consultants, and their political supporters, who, from what I understand, is who Patrick Henry wants to turn out.

As long as your faith is an ambiguous thing that’s determined by your culture and personality and the parts of the Bible that you like best—that’s fine with most liberals. But the moment your faith becomes grounded in a God that has revealed his opinions and principles in a document (the Bible) that people rally around, study, learn, and believe despite their personalities and personal convictions (which is the sort of “elite” evangelicals you hung around with at PHC)—you’re dealing with a united force with a relatively united voice.

Ugh. Where to start with this one? When you support capitalism and its trappings whole-heartedly while claiming to be a Christian, mostly on social and so-called “moral” issues, is that not what is happening: holding on to a “faith [that] is an ambiguous thing . . . determined by your culture and personality and the parts of the Bible that you like best”? And if “God . . . has revealed his opinions and principles in a document” he’s done a poor job: this is the very document that teaches both the Pauline justification through faith and James’ “faith without works is dead.”

This is the book where Jesus both teaches that a man who looks at a woman lustfully should pull out his own eye, going into the Kingdom one-eyed, rather than going to gehenna, and also eats with the great sinners of his day: tax collectors, prostitutes, and even healing a Roman centurion’s slave. The Bible as “a document” is pretty contradictory, contradictory enough to be unreliable. The Bible is a book of faith, not a record of anything but a composite understanding of the development of Judeo-Christian beliefs. It also happens to be a record of God’s saving acts on behalf of humankind, but it’s impossible to separate from that understanding.

It may seem that I’m hiding behind some phenomenological convenience, but I think it’s true. This is a conviction of mine, after all, that has direct consequences in my positions and principles (Look! A principles liberal!)

And while I agree that Jesus preached a radical repentance, a “radical change of people’s loyalties, and demanded all-or-nothing of their opinions and alliangences [sic],” it simply isn’t that simple. Jesus often preached about loving, even if He didn’t seem that loving himself. Consider the parable of the Good Samaritan.

The Good Samaritan usually is interpreted as exhorting people to act like the Samaritan, and it is. But one point is to show who was the neighbor to the man left to die: the priest, the Levite, or the Samaritan. It is the Samaritan —a person whom the man left on the roadside should hate, the person who it would be a scandal to love— who is the neighbor. And being neighbors is a reciprocal relationship. If we are called to see those who need love and mercy as our neighbors, this parable shows we are called to see the most unacceptable and undesirable as our neighbors if they need love and mercy.

Finally, APHG cites the famous “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no one comes to the Father except through Me” to refute the (allegedly) liberal article of faith that says Jesus preached “You can live how you want, and I’ll live how I want.” Both Jesus and I can profess a particular belief —in the wrongness of religious exploitation for monetary gain or an allowing ourselves inordinate physical desires and satisfactions— and still love the person who engages in these activities.

Consider the family member who makes racial comments, or supports Planned Parenthood, or supports the war in Iraq. Now extend the same feelings —complicated, sometimes contradictory feelings— to people you may not be as positively disposed to. We are called, by this Jesus, to love everyone, even if they don’t agree with us, even if they engage in things we don’t believe are right, that we are not so perfect and holy that we could or should avoid loving contact with these people, that we do not lose what holiness we possess through such contact.

Ultimately, I am frustrated whenever someone cites “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” to show how uncompromising Jesus was. It conveniently illustrates this, but only out of context. In context, I’m not entirely sure what it means, but if it was meant to be an exclusivist claim, why mention the many mansions? It seems that “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” quote and its context is about reassuring those who doubt (that is, Christians who sometimes have difficulty being certain of their beliefs). What do you think? John 14:1-14 follows; the whole chapter is here.

‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. 2In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. 4And you know the way to the place where I am going.’

5Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’

6Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’

8Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.’

9Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 12Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.’

A Call to Repentance

21 September 2007

I have also observed, and have seen particularly in the West Coast, an uncomfortableness with repentance and confession of sin. The theory, as I understand it goes something like this: The archetypal Eucharistic rite is focussed around the gathering, the word, the intercessions, the table and the going out. Confession is an optional extra. This was almost encouraged by the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation document on the eucharist, and by the pattern where the confession in the middle section was displaced when there was, for example a baptism, marriage, or an ordination. There has been a reclaiming of penitence in some of these rites recently, especially in the Church of England, by placing the penitential section at the beginning of the service. It is one thing to omit penitence in a church which has the expectation of personal auricular confession, but quite another to omit it in a church of the Reformation which enjoins General Confession. There is, in my view, behind this, a serious underplaying of personal sin and personal salvation.

This quote comes from this post by Bishop Harold Miller, Bishop of Down and Dromore, Church of Ireland.  In my experiences of the Episcopal Church —all of them in the Midwest— nearly every service has a confession and absolution in it, sometimes near the beginning, but more often in the middle.  I am glad for this, since I agree with Bishop Miller that it’s an important point.

And while I disagree with him (I believe we are all called to the Table) on some points, I do believe we are called to repentance, confession, and ultimately conversion of life which is concomitant with absolution and forgiveness.  No absolution can be given without conversion, which cannot happen without some kind of confession, and no one need confess unless they have something to repent of.

I think confession, both the concept of it and the Rite of Reconciliation of a Penitent, are important treasures the church has, quite undervalued and underutilized.

One root of contemporary unease with confession/repentance is the equation of confession or repentance with self-hate.  Such an understanding of repentance is unusable and unhealthy.  Something struck me while at the monastery about repentance.

Each Lauds begins with Psalm 50/51, the most universally used psalm of contrition.  A few middle verses leapt out at me:

6 Indeed, I have been wicked from my birth, *
a sinner from my mother’s womb.
7 For behold, you look for truth deep within me, *
and will make me understand wisdom secretly
8 Purge me from my sin, and I shall be pure; *
wash me, and I shall be clean indeed.
9 Make me hear of joy and gladness, *
that the body you have broken may rejoice.

Verse six, taken out of context and read uncritically, seems to be a fairly self-hating verse; I am corrupt and always have been.  Considering the next line, however, it makes it seem as if the sinner has had truth deep within, perhaps even while a sinner and wicked.

I wonder if this psalm not only laments our sinful state but also our propensity to sin, our habit of falling short of all we are called to be.  As only God could create us, only God can make us whole when we fall short of our calling to be holy.

For me, this is a very hopeful psalm, while for many it may seem a gloomy one.  To deny that we are all flawed, that we all sin, is to deny the truth; at the same time, we can all be comfortable and even esteem ourselves with that reality.

The central kernel of this psalm is two-fold: we both tend to sin and also have the divine within us.  While we all know how hard it can be to do the right thing and be good, even when we want to do and be so, the truth is already within us; after all, why would God look for something that might not be there?

This psalm is a psalm of hope.  We are called to embrace God and the truth within our souls and turn away from the bad habits and propensities we might acquire.

Which returns us to the idea of repentance; repentance is not a bad thing, it need not be something that is done in self-hate.  It is done in great self-love, and if churches have forgotten this, they are poorer for it.

Perhaps part of my vocation shall be to help rehabilitate repentance and confession.  It is, after all, a beautiful thing.  As the neo-futurist Noelle Krimm once said, “you do not throw away your beautiful things.

When Gentiles, who do not possess the law, do instinctively what the law requires, these, though not having the law, are a law to themselves. They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, to which their own conscience also bears witness; and their conflicting thoughts will accuse or perhaps excuse them on the day when, according to my gospel, God, through Jesus Christ, will judge the secret thoughts of all.

This passage struck me today during Vigils (whole reading here). I have been greatly influenced by Garry Wills’ reading of Paul, especially his emphasis that when referring to Jew and Greek/Gentile, Paul means Jewish Christians and Greek/Gentile Christians most of the time.

Yet here, in Romans, Paul seems to be saying that morally upright Gentiles, ignorant and unbound by the law, can be judged favorably (presumably, “excuse[d]”) 0r unfavorably (“accuse[d]”) depending on what their conscience bears witness.

I wonder if Paul means Gentiles in the sense of those outside of Christian community and if the “hearers/doers of the law” in this passage, presumably a reference to Jews, is a reference to Jewish Christians or non-Christian Jews or both. I’m not sure.

This whole passage (Romans 2) begins with an exhortation to not judge, because God will judge each according to his deeds, with no partiality, punishing the wicked and rewarding the good. I get the sense that, according to Paul, the punishment and reward will be meted out to Jew and Greek, both those within the Christian community and those without. If this is true (and I don’t know if it is: I have neither the Greek text in front of me or much recent instruction in this part of Romans), Paul seems to be arguing the possibility of the salvation of all. Not an Origenist or Nyssan universalist claim certainly, but a Balthasarian hope that all might be saved.

When I opened my Benedictine Daily Prayer, praying Vigils on Sunday morning, I read a passage from the Gospel I have no recollection of ever having read before.

I’ve read each of the Gospels several times, but this story, for some reason, has never really stuck with me. Most of the selections I read in the Breviary I am familiar with; my approximately twenty years of frequent church going as a child and adolescent has given me the opportunity to hear most of the Bible in church. Add to that religion classes in grade school and theology classes in college, and most every passage in the Gospel rings a bell. This one, however, seemed totally new. As if I had never read it before.

The Raising of the Widow’s Son at Nain follows the healing of the Centurion’s Servant. In a mere 17 verses, Jesus manages to alienate himself from the politics of his fellow Jews by healing a member of a Roman soldier’s household (saying that in Israel there is not so much faith as the Roman’s) and also make himself unclean by touching a dead body. These two passages show us that Jesus goes where there is need, even to the margins and unpopular places, doing what is right and compassionate even in the face of ugliness, impropriety, or unpopularity. The childless widow in First Century CE Galilee, of course, is about as marginalized as it gets.

Later that day, the sermon at All Saints’ dealt, initially, with the death of Jim Kelsey. By all accounts a bishop with an anarchic streak, he asked that no one but the presider and deacon be in vestments, with all other clergy dressed in street clothes, with no assigned seating for anyone. Kelsey’s radical baptismal theology motivated him to make his episcopacy a “collaborative” one, with many lay people assisting him in his role as bishop. While a member of the hierarchy, Kelsey endeavored to make the Diocese of Northern Michigan less hierarchical and more parish based.

Bonnie, the rector at All Saints’, made the argument that the story of the raising of the widow’s son at Nain is the kind of Gospel story that makes a person like Jim Kelsey go out and work. Jesus went to the margins to help those who needed it, and so that’s where Christians ought to go. Jim Kelsey was an advocate for gay and lesbian Christians, Native Americans in his diocese, and full inclusion in the Church.

Emphasizing that even when life is cut tragically short, there is a completion to it nonetheless, and that this is the transformative, redemptive power of the Gospel. Jim Kelsey lived the ministry of the baptized; even though we can’t see how his life is complete, it is, even if it was shorter than we expected or would have liked.

All of this is simply prelude. Clearly, the Gospel is a call to service, and not power. To gentleness, and not violence. To love, and not hate. How some Christians will pledge allegiance and fight for the Caesar of our day, instead of serving the least. I’m prompted to this by this post by someone who lately commented on this ‘blog. Who would Christ serve, honor, and pray for—better yet, who would Christ have us serve, honor, and pray for— the troops or the poor Mexicans?

My answer? Both.

It is unchristian to not love and help “poor Mexicans” who are trying to do the best they can to provide for themselves and their families in an unjust world just because they are “illegal.” After all, the people who volunteer for our armed forces are doing the same thing.

No, it’s not some sort of UFC David and Goliath recasting.

You know the Bible 100%!



Wow! You are awesome! You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader! The books, the characters, the events, the verses – you know it all! You are fantastic!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
Create MySpace Quizzes

An easy-ish quiz.  Some of the questions are pretty jokey, but some are hard (e.g., where was Paul when he wrote Phillipians, or who was David’s great-grandmother).

Pretty good, I say, for a kid who went to Catholic school. Granted, it was 17 years of Catholic school, but still.

I feel very non-bloggy these days.  I’ve shoveled a lot in the last few days, three or four times since Monday, and I’m a little behind in my class prep.

And yet, Lent is just around the corner.  It’s creeping up on me!

I have a few disciplines that I do every year: abstaining from meat from Ash Wednesday until Easter, fasting on Wednesday and Friday, and praying with my old Breviary.

I would also like to take something on, something new specifically for this Lent.  I think I’m going to try to practice lectio divina.  Lectio is an aspect of monastic spirituality that I don’t quite understand, probably because I’ve never done it.  Prior Peter is writing about it these days, and has some information.

I’ll probably have to go out and shovel and salt a little more this morning.

Stay warm and dry!