New Life Episcopal Church

Wherever you are on your journey of faith, you are welcome here!
Deacon’s Dismissal

Questions

The words are carved on a seven hundred year old wooden door in the lower galleries of the Cleveland Museum of Art. “Mal Vit Qui Ne Mande.” Linguists speculate what these early French words mean. Best guess: “One lives badly who does not ask.” As for me … I did not ask her to the…

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Basket

Workers in an office, bent over their desks, waiting for five o’clock. Kay the custodian came by every afternoon, stood in the doorway and asked cheerily, “How’s your basket?” By this Kay meant, ‘Is your wastebasket full? Should I empty it?’ No one ever answered her. Kay came in and picked up the wadded paper, bottle…

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Atonement

During the service of Yom Kippur, I heard a story of the Second Jewish Temple. Destroyed in 70 Common Era, the Jewish community needed a substitute for the offering of sacrifices at the Temple. Two rabbis walked past the ruins of the Temple. Said one, “What will we do now without the place that atoned…

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Greeting

Every morning he bought the paper at the newsstand and ambled up the street. Every morning, a few doors along, the old man stood, leaning on his broom or snow shovel. They greeted one another and asked of each other’s family, “Your boys doing well?” “Oh, sure, thanks. Your girl? Feeling better?” Then they parted….

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Lullabies

There are newborn babies in the hospital nursery who cry out but there is no mother there to hear them, no mother to take them up and hold them. Abandoned or born addicted or simply forgotten, these babies are alone. The nurses do what they can but it is the volunteers who come to hold…

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Good Christian

She said, “I don’t feel like a good Christian. I don’t have time to pray. Sometimes I whisper words when things aren’t going well. All I can say is, ’Help me, Lord!’ And feeding homeless folks like the church does on Saturdays? Lord, I can barely get the baloney between the bread for my own…

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Bicycle

Some days there is a one-armed man with a bicycle in the drugstore parking lot. When he sees me, he walks over, pushing his bike. I’ve never seen him ride it. We talk for few minutes about sports, the weather and whatnot. One day I gave him a dollar and a man in a van…

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Mama Cat

We have a raggedy old cat who comes around to eat and, come winter, to sleep inside. Her name is Mama. The county spayed her and clipped off a fair sized piece of her ear so when the cat police stop by they will know she’s been fixed. Mama’s nigh on feral. She will sometimes…

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Penny

The woman at the register says to the man, “That’ll be $5.58.” The man offers her a rumpled five dollar bill. Then he fishes through his pockets for two quarters, a nickel and three pennies. He drops the coins from a few inches above the cashier’s outstretched hand. A penny rolls away. He says, “Sorry!”…

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Spaghetti

Joshua and I went to an Italian restaurant to celebrate his graduation from the sixth grade. From a poor family, Joshua struggled academically. All year we worked together, learning how to learn, practicing multiplication tables, filling in blanks on homework papers. At the restaurant, I helped Joshua choose a spaghetti dinner from the menu. As…

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