Tomorrow morning members of our church and community will gather for a memorial service, what our Book of Common Worship calls “A Service of Witness to the Resurrection.” During our time together we will remember the life of Annette Compton, surround her family with prayers for comfort and peace, and declare our “sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life.”
In our tradition memorial services and funerals are always worship services. We gather at heaven’s gate and before the throne of God above. We sing hymns and spiritual songs. We laugh and we weep. We hear the Word and give thanks. Continue reading
This past Monday Becky and I returned from a long weekend in Sturgis, Michigan, where our oldest daughter and her family live. It is a 637 mile car trip, and a relatively easy, or should I say E-Z, trip. 627 of the 637 miles are on turnpikes or a toll road. We leave Langhorne and drive five miles to get on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. We stay on the PA Turnpike for 351 miles until it becomes the Ohio Turnpike. After 240 miles, the Ohio Turnpike becomes the Indiana Toll Road. 36 miles later you take the Sturgis, Michigan, exit, cross the state line, and five miles later you are at Katharine’s and Ryan’s house.
Ohio has the best service plazas; the gas is cheaper and half of them have a Panera Bread restaurant.
Like most people who live near the Turnpike, we have an E-ZPass transponder affixed to the windshield of our car. It makes getting on and off the turnpike or toll road a lot easier, though Ohio and Indiana insist on keeping those automatic gates that go up and down even in the E-ZPass lanes. Continue reading
Becky and I are in Sturgis, Michigan, this weekend for an art show. We think the artist is pretty amazing. Katharine Taylor is our oldest daughter, and, in fact, she is pretty amazing. Her art is really good, too. You can see some of her work here: katharinetaylor.com.
The particular series of paintings displayed at this weekend’s show is called “Handiworks,” and each of the oil paintings depicts the hands of a craft person at work – a potter, a blacksmith, a woodworker, a seamstress, and more. You may view the series at the website. See, I told you it is really good.
Psalm 19 declares all creation to be God’s handiwork:
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
As we wander the gallery this weekend, we will admire the works of art and, yes, play the role of proud parents. I may eavesdrop on the conversations of some of the gallery goers in hopes of hearing some words of praise for the artist. Well, maybe not, but they are sure to come.
No apologies for being proud parents this weekend. But the thanks goes to God who has given Katharine, a part of his handiwork, this gift to reflect his love of creation and the good work he has given his human creatures to do.
As you enter the Sanctuary for worship on Sunday, you will notice a new banner hanging above the chancel. I like the new banner very much.
This past March, right before Lent, a couple of Trustees repositioned a bank of spotlights to better illuminate the “banner wall.” As a new banner was added each Sunday in Lent, and then the Easter and finally the Pentecost banners appeared each in its own turn, that dark paneled wall came to life, symbols painted in cloth and thread reminding us of the stories of our faith Continue reading