New Life Episcopal Church

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

Sam

In 1977, Sam was a Mennonite, I was unchurched. Friends, we went our separate ways. Sam wrote to me 44 years later. He is a biomechanical engineer, no longer a Mennonite, still a man of faith. Sam sent me the words of Isaiah 61:1, saying they struck him so deeply they became his life’s calling:…

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Intercession

A priest and I spoke about a possible parish ministry that might address gun violence. I mentioned reading an article in the New Yorker about people in the city who intervene when gun violence might erupt. She replied, “Our congregation? In the streets? With armed, angry people all around? That’s not where I would send…

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Watercolor

My father painted small watercolors. Though never formally trained, he was good at it. He used good paper and his paints came in tiny tubes. Payne’s Gray was his favorite, a dark gray that found its way into every watercolor … sky, ocean, the hull of a derelict boat on a deserted beach. I once…

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Honorific

There is a man in prison I’ve been writing to for some years. I write on plain paper, address an ordinary envelope, affix a stamp and a return address label. I get labels free in the mail with solicitations. My friend asked if I would order him return address labels like mine. I did so…

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How’re You Today?

I’ve written before about Loretta at the drug store, how on most days over the past years she’s been there to hand me my newspaper and count the nickels and dimes I slide across the counter. While all this high finance is going on, there’s always some small thing to converse about, maybe no more…

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Better

I was with her once a week for an entire afternoon. She was fussy and annoying and it left me exhausted. In a waiting room, she levered herself from her chair, toddled over to the magazine rack and straightened the magazines. In an elevator, with an old hanky, she wiped down the rail and button…

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Sandwich

I felt a little hunger coming on so I made for the door and kept a brisk pace to the sandwich shop. I ordered and loitered. With my sandwich in a paper bag, I headed back. I saw her walking toward me. She stopped. “You mind sharing that sandwich?” I was a bit vexed, my…

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Small Blessings

Dear Granddaughter, When I write to prisoners, I begin each letter with the words: “Peace to you, and to all there with you!” My letters are read first by a prison employee, then by the prisoner, probably many times. If it’s a good letter, it may be passed along to other prisoners. Each will read…

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Expiration

Visiting a prisoner, I’m in the vending machine line. A lady is on her knees before the machine. She stands, inserts dollar bills, and the machine gives food. My turn. I feed dollar bills. She’s still there, looking skeptical. My bills are rejected. She says, “Them’s old bills. I got new ones.” I trade for…

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Connections

At Mobile Pantry, where fresh produce is given to all comers, there is a line of people on the sidewalk. It’s often a half hour’s wait. By the time people are in the entryway and I greet them, I sometimes sense that people who did not know each other have made a connection. People of…

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Loving, Learning, Serving, and Sharing our Faith