Monthly Archives: June 2017

June 30 – Beware Dancing Elephants

Our Brazil Mission Team leaves for Belo Horizonte late afternoon, Monday, July 17, arriving some twenty hours later around noon on Tuesday.  But the work of our team does not begin that Tuesday morning when ten bleary-eyed Americanos emerge from the baggage claim area at Aeroporto Confins.

For the past two months, the ten of us – Fred, Beau, Mark, Sue, Jake, Eva, Brian, Cathy, Becky, and I – have been about the work of the team. We have been learning language and singing songs.  We’ve been challenged to think that the work of our team is not so much working as it is being; being a listener, a learner, and an encourager, being a friend and a follower. We have used some amazing materials that may help us avoid the pitfall of hurting as we try to help.

We’ve been warned about being a dancing elephant. Continue reading

June 23 – What’s the Story?

They began work on the new house just around the corner from our house months ago. It’s up on Maple Avenue near the Friends Meeting House. The basement was dug, a foundation laid, framing completed, the roof shingled; the windows went in and the backerboards and vapor barrier were added. Then everything stopped. The garage and front door openings were boarded up and weeds grew high on the construction site.

It’s been at least two months since any work appears to have been done on the house. Of course, when I went to take photo of the place this morning there were a couple of vans in the driveway and a ladder reaching to the eaves. By the time I snapped the final photo, what looked like a building inspector drove up in his government car, the red Crown Victoria in the photo.

What’s the story? Continue reading

June 16 – Good and Faithful Fathers

The commercial holidays are always problematic in the church, especially those that appeal to sentiment and know there’s nothing like a little guilt and sense of obligation to motivate the reluctant gift giver. Valentine’s, Mother’s, and Father’s Days come to mind.

Besides our unwitting collaboration in hawking unneeded stuff, the commercial holidays often demand that we view our complicated and hard world with a sweet simplicity that does us no good.

So maybe I woke up in a bad mood

We are going to take note of Father’s Day in our worship this Sunday. At the 9:15 service, as many men as are able will join our “Men’s Instant Chorus.” I love that tradition. We are going to sing “Faith of Our Fathers” in all its exclusionary glory, noting not just the faithful women and men who have lived their faith into our lives, but particularly those good and faithful dads who may have been a part of our lives. Continue reading

June 9 – LPC: Poo Poo Heads Welcome

I found it under a pew.  We had a funeral at the church this week, so before the service I went into the sanctuary just to neaten up a bit.  There were some Sunday bulletins in the pew racks and an upside down hymnal or two.  And an offering envelope on the floor.

Of course we know that pew envelopes are used mostly as notepaper or scratch pads.  We buy them by the hundreds and aren’t too concerned that few of them ever make it into the offering plate.  And, yes, I realize not all the notes taken during worship are to record an especially well made or insightful point from the sermon.

Written on the back of the pew envelope and then dropped on the sanctuary floor after this past Sunday’s service, I assume, was this note, “You are a poo poo head.”  I have some idea of who usually sits in that part of the room, but far be it from me to try to guess the author or the recipient of the note.  Was it sibling to sibling?  Maybe spouse to spouse depending on how the morning had gone.  Was it declarative or accusative? Continue reading

June 2 – On Lighting Candles and Cursing the Darkness

We hear a lot of darkness cursing in this particular time through which we are passing. There’s a not so small industry made up of bloggers and wannabe pundits who have mastered the art of finding just the right curse for that darkest darkness which has descended on this identity group or that band of aggrieved victims.  Liberal cursers and conservative cursers, progressive cursers and evangelical cursers, single-payer cursers and “build the wall” cursers; we love to curse the darkness.

As for me, I just want to curse the cursers. Continue reading