Archive for the ‘Eastertide’ Category

Paradox – it often shows up
just when I think I have something figured out
Paradox shows up to say
“it may not really be that way”
Paradox reminds me, again,
that faith usually believes in order to see
Paradox, an invitation to embrace dissonance,
to hold in tension two seemingly unlike events or ideas
Paradox, a teacher of doxology in pairs

Less is more
Gain one’s life by first losing it
Mustard seeds are more than enough
Thirst is quenched, but with more than water
Hunger is satisfied, but not with bread alone
Costly oil is to be used on feet
Boundary lines bring freedom
Salt, more than sugar, sustains life
A seed is buried in order to grow
Wholeness can exist in brokenness
Joy and pain both find a place in the same heart

And, empty is full:
Full of new life, hope, healing, love
as Mary and Joanna and Peter discovered at the tomb.

Such is the good news of Easter
as we discover it anew, day by day…


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Breaking chains of  ‘shoulds’,

oppression, abuse, demands ~

Our souls are set free!

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“For the Beauty of the Earth”

For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies,

For the gift of another day, for the gifts which this day offers,

For the love which from our birth, over and around us lies,

For Your love that sustains us each day and for Your invitation to share Your love with others,

Lord of all, to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

For the wonder of each hour, of the day and of the night,

For Your gifts of light and darkness, for joy in sharing the Light, for Faith to embrace the darkness,

Hill and vale, and tree and flower, Sun and moon, and stars of light,

For awe in the tiniest buds and the vast universe, for Your love that spans the cosmos,

Lord of all, to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of ear and eye, for the heart and mind’s delight,

For this season of Spring and Eastertide, for all the new life that is blooming within and around us,

For the mystic harmony, linking sense to sound and sight,

For the inner knowing and outer expressions of Your grace and mystery,

Lord of all, to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love, brother, sister, parent, child,

For companions on this journey of life, for grace and forgiveness needed to live with one another,

Friends on earth, and friends above, for all gentle thoughts and mild,

For the blessings of community near and far,

for the ongoing work of creating community where divisions run deep,

Lord of all, to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

For Thy church that evermore, lifteth holy hands above,

For Your call to each of us to serve Your church and all of Your people within and beyond the church

Offering up on every shore, her pure sacrifice of love,

For Your presence in all places, calling all faiths to walk the way of Love,

Lord of all, to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

Hymn by Folliott Sandford Pierpoint, 1864

Prayer response by Cathy Johnson, 2010

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Make way for new life

Emptiness begets fullness

Love is the last word

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Vine and branches. 

Abiding and bearing fruit. 

Staying connected and showing compassion. 

Prayer and action.

Once again balance was offered as a way of living in God’s world.  And on this Mother’s Day we were reminded of the intimate relationship between caring for ourselves and others and caring for the earth.    As a tangible expression of this dimension of our faith, we shared in the “Greening of the Cross”: flowers of all kinds were brought forth and placed on the cross as an expression of gratitude or honor or prayer for someone special in our lives.  This resulted in a lush tangle of green, a weaving together of lives lived fully in the past and present, all symbolizing our life together and our abiding in the presence of the Holy One.  It was simply beautiful.


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 On a beautiful Sunday afternoon in May

we walk a distance of our choosing,

 5 miles or 1 mile or around the park block,

sporting comfortable shoes with perhaps a water bottle in tow.

Chatting with friends, we anticipate the snack we’ll enjoy afterwards.


Every day, of every month, year after year,

they walk a distance already determined by need,

5 miles, or 8 kilometers, or more,

with or without shoes,

no water bottle in tow because they’re walking

to bring back the water, or food, or fire fuel needed for that day,

so they can return again tomorrow for more.

Chatting with family and friends,

they anticipate the work that has to be done before a simple meal is eaten.


          Bread & Cup by you.      

Earlier on that Sunday morning,

we gathering around the Table,

remembering hunger is more than physical

tho it begins there.

In his words, “this is my body, broken for you,

do this in remembrance of me,”

we hear the call to take steps

to fill the hunger of others.

We choose to walk because they have to walk.



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“Let us remember within us…” 

                                                               (John O’Donahue: Praise of the Earth”)


Apr 19 WAT

In her essay “Poetry Is Not A Luxury” Audrey Lorde speaks of the necessity of poetry, of its healing and redemptive qualities.  I thought of how true that is in my own life, not only of poetry but of the creative process in general.  This is often how I process life, how and where I discover meaning throughout the seasons and challenges of life.  As I pondered and chose the words to use in my journal for “outside”, “nature”, “creation”, I landed on  created world.   I like this phrase because it reflects, as least for me, an intimate connection with the Creator. 

Then I wondered if the need and deep longing to create, was and is and will be, a vital part of our Creator’s being.  If that’s why we exist, why spring bursts with color and new life, why we are brought to tears at the cry of a new born or an intimate expression of love, why music can move us deeper than words, why hope exists where logic says it doesn’t have a chance… creative expressions of the ongoing process of life and of the Holy One’s presence within.




Perhaps this is one of the reasons, unconscious though it may be, that we are responding to farmer’s markets and connections with the people who grow our food: deep within is a yearning to be in touch with this creative process, and connecting with our food at a local level meets more than one basic need.


Perhaps this is one of the reasons the knitting class that I planned for the Seniors for 4 weeks ~ to give the women a chance to learn, or relearn, how to knit ~ has become an ongoing group: deep within is a yearning to create, to, in some small way, be a part of the larger creative process.  And creating in community with a group of women whose company we enjoy only adds to the value.

I realize that this is not a new insight.  However I am grateful that I worship with a congregation where this is the focus the Sunday after Easter.  That our relationship with Creation is an intimate part of our relationship with the Creator.  That this relationship is an expression of our Easter faith. 

Earthy blessings of Eastertide to you and yours!


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