New Life Episcopal Church

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

Everyone has his reasons

A year ago, in Sojourners magazine, I read an article by Danny Duncan Collum on the late civil rights activist and author Will Campbell. I saved that article and went looking for it as the conflicts in the Middle East and Ferguson unfolded. Collum, a Southerner like Campbell, wrote this: “Will Campbell gave me a…

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Being a deacon

A young man, perhaps ten or eleven, came to me after a service and said, “I’d like to be a deacon.” I replied with encouragement and asked him why. “Because if I am a deacon I can wear a cross and read the Bible to everybody in church and then go around and help people.”…

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Speak peace

Last Sunday found me in a Lutheran church in Loudonville, Ohio. There, as at New Life, we read from the 85th Psalm, that God will “speak peace” to his “faithful people.” I have heard words of this psalm elsewhere, in the film of Isak Dinesen’s story, “Babette’s Feast.” The people of that tiny Danish congregation,…

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Friendship with the world

In my Bible, in the Letter of James, I keep a scrap of newspaper titled “The Daily Scripture.” In big type, it bears this quote from James 4:4a: “Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God?” My sister, Lorinda, thrust that clipping at me years ago. She asked, “What is that…

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Never war

“Never war, never war. Please stop. I ask you with all my heart, it’s time to stop. Stop, please!” These are the words of Pope Francis, spoken this week, about the terrible, ongoing conflict in the Middle East. We do not often hear ‘words from the heart’ but these words are precisely that, a plaint,…

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Four loves

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, a Cistercian monk, lived one thousand years ago. Among other writings, Bernard wrote of the Four Loves. Therein, an understanding of our passage to the fourth stage of love, the love of self that God intends for us all: Loving yourself for your own sake. Loving God for your own sake….

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Influence

My father told me stories. I do not know where they came from, whether tales he heard, his own inventions, or stories from his own life. I wish I could ask him…. A schoolboy was summoned by the principal to come to the school with his mother. The principal said to the mother, “Your son…

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Lottery tickets

There is an old joke about a man who prays daily, “God! Please, please, let me win the lottery! Please!” This goes on for years until, one night, kneeling by his bed, praying to win the lottery, the thunderous voice of God cries out, “At least buy a ticket!” And so we go into the…

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Coffee hour

Every week at coffee hour, years ago in another church, a man would pour himself a cup, take a few cookies and sit at an empty table. I figured him a curmudgeon and thought it a kindness to sit with him. We had a delightful conversation and then, at last, I asked him why he…

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Telephone

As a boy, I spent time with my grandmother. In her hallway, a small wooden stand with a rotary dial telephone. When it rang, the first and second ring elicited no response from Grandma. On the third or fourth ring, she set aside her reading or knitting … Fifth …. Sixth ring, she levered herself…

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Loving, Learning, Serving, and Sharing our Faith