New Life Episcopal Church

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

When we listen, God hears

I stood in the side aisle at the intermission of a classical concert. A young man, early twenties, came and stood by me. There was nothing remarkable in his appearance. I said something cordial and he replied with a non sequitur about his assignment to a secret military base. He will soon be sent on…

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Faith made strong

St. Christopher, it is said, once operated a ferryboat. He was strong and able yet his faith was weak. One day a storm came and the ferryboat capsized. Christopher dove into the roiling waters and pulled a child to the safety of the shore. Looking upon the child as it gasped for breath, Christopher saw…

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Typing

I was in my apartment, clickety-clack typing on my 1946 Royal typewriter when there came a knock at my door. A neighbor, passing in the hall, heard me typing. “Is that a typewriter?” she asked. She looked at it. “That can’t be a typewriter! Why would anyone use a typewriter?” She did not wait for…

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Desert

Cormac McCarthy’s “No Country For Old Men” is a novel (and an Ethan and Joel Coen movie) set in the desert along the Mexican border. It is a tale of an old sheriff pitted against an unremitting evil that cannot be overtaken or brought to heel. At the novel’s end, a friend says to the…

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Katabasis

Lent begins with ashes. Robert Bly’s book “Iron John” speaks of an ancient civilization where the young take their place in the community by sitting in ashes from the fire, listening to the stories of the elders. Bly borrows a Greek word to describe this process: katabasis. This is a descent, a remove downward, away…

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A clear flame

We lived then without electricity. We had kerosene lamps for light but no refrigerator. One day, a small refrigerator came in a wooden crate. Made for the tropics, it would burn kerosene to keep food cool. The less-than-helpful instructions said: “Steadfastly hold a candle beneath until within the burner a clear flame flourishes.” I vividly…

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Check engine

I ordered one of those “check engine” lights for myself. I have one for the car and it flashes from time to time, sometimes for a great emergency, sometimes as a gentle reminder that the old buggy needs oil and a new air freshener. This new “check engine” light is not for my car. This…

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Hungry

There were five kids in the family and they were very poor. I visited them from time to time and brought from the church a shopping bag with enough food for a meal. Once I brought also a few good chocolates, surely a treat in a home where there was so little. Each child took…

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Amaryllis

These cold days I rise early, fetch the amaryllis from its warm night-place, set it in the east window and wait for the morning sun to break the horizon-line. The amaryllis has one stem of wilted petals but another stem has come into bloom. Whichever way I set the pot, the flowers turn to face…

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Traveling

Our Gospel lesson for last Sunday (Mt 4:12-23) has Jesus traveling about: “Jesus withdrew to Galilee … left Nazareth … walked by the Sea of Galilee … went from there … went throughout Galilee.” Our Lord, always on the move! Deacons follow Jesus’ example of moving about. In the year ahead, some Sundays will find…

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