New Life Episcopal Church

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

India Ink

When I was a boy, we traversed the Caribbean on a freighter, docking at islands to offload freight, then loading fruit and sugar for the mainland. The Captain said to my mother, “You are an artist. Draw for me in my book.” That evening, the Captain’s book open before her, India ink spilled across the…

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Five Dollars

Sunday morning, black shirt and collar, standing in line to buy coffee, the man ahead took his change, turned to me and said, “Do something good with this.” He pressed a five dollar bill into my hand. That five has had me thinking. Should I buy a burger and fries for a hungry person? A…

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Fellowship

Three dozen men and women, united by their strange and arcane work, were drawn together from the four corners to consider the benefits of meeting regularly. Around the table, each in turn, they spoke of why such gatherings might be valuable: “Promote our profession … Establish licensing … Set standard to discourage the unqualified ……

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Listening

The man told me what happened and at one point said, “I told her not to give that man the keys to her car, him being on a bender and all.” I listened right along. It was quite a story and I wanted to say this and wanted to say that but I am learning…

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Recluse

A recluse died some years ago and the local newspaper delighted in reporting the worthless stock certificates found in his home, boxes full of risky investments that came to naught. What a fool this man had been! Yet who among us has not bet on the wrong horse, put a nickel in the wrong slot,…

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Faith

It happens. Walking along, minding my own business … Poof! My faith is gone! Just like that. Then I recall the words of Fred Craddock*: “Do not panic. In the interim between the lapse of faith and the return of faith, I suggest you do two things. First, let the church believe for you until…

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Postcards

My Aunt Janie loved gadgets, clever contraptions and ingenious devices to lighten the load. She had a rubber stamp with her own address, a work-saver then seen mostly in offices and courthouses. When I was old enough to travel into the world, Aunt Janie presented me with a stack of stamped postcards, each addressed to…

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Discounts

My father frequently quoted the village butcher who, long ago, bamboozled my grandmother. She bought seven items at 7 cents apiece and presented them at the register. The butcher said, “7 times 7 is 77 but you, madame, may have them for 66!” I did not immediately understand but this was my father’s warning that…

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Volcano 2

In 1883, the volcano Krakatoa darkened the skies across all the earth. 96 years later I was 30, sailing on a dark night through the Sunda Strait of Indonesia. Krakatoa was still erupting, magma pressing out a fissure, red hot lava turning the sea below into steam. At the helm of the sailboat, standing on…

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Help

At the kitchen table, baby in her highchair, children pulled close, the family offered a prayer. That day the roof leaked and a bill collector called. Dinner was last night’s leftovers. The children were tired. By the refrigerator, a framed wedding certificate: “Marriage of Edward and Marybeth.” Their vows were written out. Then the words,…

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