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Rector's Message

Rev. Beth FrankThe Rev. Beth Frank is a recent graduate of Bexley Hall Seminary in Columbus, Ohio.  She was ordained a (transitional) deacon in June, 2013, and was ordained to the sacred order of priests on December 6, 2013 - St. Nicholas Day.  She has been appointed by the bishop to serve New Life as Priest-in-Charge.

Tuffy the Turtle

The upcoming Blessing of the Animals provides a wonderful opportunity to do research. Mine started on www.petfinder.com looking in the dog category. Before I knew it, the faces of Abby, Buckley and Annie and others were popping up in my recently browsed window. Then I got brave and ventured into new worlds: rabbit, pig, barnyard and "scales, fins and others." Finally, I discovered the true reason for parental controls on website access: blocking children of all ages from access to the "small and furry" pictures and bios. Who knew that ferrets could be so cute? And then Archie appeared! He is a de-scented, wormed rescue skunk waiting in North Ridgeville for a loving forever home. (He does come with some conditions: "You must have a vet to care for skunks. We do not ship, he must be picked up.") Time to take away the car keys.

Phase two of my research took me offline and to my bookshelves. Before I knew it, I was back in "scales, fins and others" and Claire Rudolf Murphy's story of Tuffy the box turtle. Tuffy was the "last chance" pet for a family which had a long rap sheet when it came to keeping pets. Since he only required some lettuce and water every night, the family thought they could make it work. But alas, after a backyard bath, Tuffy wandered away leaving a tearful family fearful that he would die during the coming Alaskan winter. To their amazement, Tuffy returned leading Tuffy's foster mother to pray:

Dear Creator, thank you, for bringing Tuffy back home to us and joy back to our family. Just as we had given up hope, our pet turtle appeared giving us another chance. So too you love us, no matter how much we neglect you. Like Tuffy, you may sometimes seem far away because we can't see or hear you. But all summer you were both nearby.

Oh, God of Second Chances, help us learn to take better care of Tuffy, so that he can live a long life. May our dear turtle remind us every day of your love and the chance to start anew. Amen.
-Blessing the Animals, edited by Lynn L. Caruso, pp. 49-50.

Moving to the last phases of today's research, who are the Tuffys in our lives: loved ones who have given us the chance to love them anew in spite of our missing the mark in the past? And if we consider the bumps, bruises and heartbreaks of our lives, who might we risk reaching out to and give another chance to be part of our lives, to receive and respond to our love? Of course, there's always Archie and his soft and furry friends for a fresh start.