New Life Episcopal Church

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Deacon’s Dismissal

Tire change

They’d traveled not but four miles when the boy heard the tire whacking against the fender. He pulled the old Ford to the berm. His aunt, lips pursed, sat the back seat. The boy’d not before changed a tire on his own but set about it, unhitching the fender-mount spare, bracing the jack, loosening the…

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Wise Men

Voices from my past… words of three men at different times and places when I was young… words that come back from time to time to help get me through whatever it is I need to get through. Phil Parker: “I can see you’re looking for something, but I don’t think you know what it…

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Vending Machine

Halfway home on a long drive, I stopped to buy a comestible from a vending machine. I put in two crisp dollar bills, pushed the button for chips… nothing. I pushed pretzels… nothing. Peanuts… nothing! I hit “refund,” heard two, tinny clinks and knew I’d been hoodwinked. Two bucks invested, two coins in change and…

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Messiah

Before Christmas, I heard the Cleveland Orchestra perform George Frideric Handel’s Messiah. The choir, numbering over a hundred, sang words from Isaiah: “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace!” Beautiful! It was surely Christmas! Yet Handel’s masterwork continues. At the oratorio’s end, from the Book…

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Orange

At the St. Luke’s food pantry, I give oranges to children who wait in line with their parents out in the cold. Sometime I give an orange to a mother or a father or some guy who’s alone … I don’t keep track. One girl had her hands tucked up under an old sweatshirt. I…

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Return

My grandmother kept the brittle, yellowed obituary of Return Jonathan Meigs in her Bible. He achieved distinction as an officer in the Revolutionary Army and later as a pioneer in Ohio. The obituary concluded: “His father, when a young man, became enamored of a young Quaker woman. Though repeatedly rejected, he persisted in his suit….

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A Letter

A letter to a prisoner, dated December 3rd, 2008: “Dear Michael, Never a day goes by that I do not think of you. As a churchman, I have come to believe that thought alone may be a form of prayer. I offer now my prayer for your wellbeing, your good health and your peace of…

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Words

Did you ever know anyone famous? Not just be in the same room but have them speak to you? I have. Frederick Buechner, American writer, novelist, poet, autobiographer, essayist, preacher, theologian and ordained Presbyterian minister, was a teacher at a boarding school where I spent some time. Buechner once sought me out to tell me,…

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Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time to give God thanks for our blessings.Yet, if we have met with disappointment, let us find our way to gratitude without having everything we want or even need. Disappointment need not preclude gratitude, nor need gratitude crowd out the very real possibility of disappointment. We do not have to choose one…

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So…

The difference between the two is the first letter. I notice it in these contentious times … so many opinions, so very little agreement. Someone will say, “So, you believe…” and they will lay out their understanding of what they think I believe. With that, I’m on the defensive. Change the first letter and it’s…

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Loving, Learning, Serving, and Sharing our Faith