New Life Episcopal Church

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

Sophia

I’ve visited for years at the men’s homeless shelter in Cleveland but today, for the first time, I visited at the women’s shelter. Sophia was born in Armenia. Her grandparents survived the genocide and began the long, circuitous journey to the United States. Sophia cared for her parents until they died. She lived in their…

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Stamps

The man looked lost in the post office lobby. I asked him what he wanted. Stamps? Mail a letter? He looked about and said softly, “I best go now.” He turned toward the steps. I walked beside him. A van, a woman in the driver’s seat, waited. I helped him with his seatbelt. She asked…

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Mustard

He sat on a chair in her kitchen and railed against the world, against the bad luck, betrayals, abandonment by friends and family, against miseries and ruin heaped upon him. She nodded, sliced bread, cut meat, stirred soup and rinsed a ripe tomato in the sink. The man sat in the quiet for a long…

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It can

Pete told me, “If you intend to do something that hasn’t been done before, be ready for the people around you to say it cannot be done.” Thomas Edison: “I think I’ll invent a telephone ….” Jonas Salk: “Maybe a vaccine will work ….” Herman Melville: “I will write a book about a white whale ….”…

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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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