New Life Episcopal Church

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

Billy

Billy was a prisoner for 40 years. I visited him. We drank acrid coffee and gabbed for hours. Guards and prisoners generally liked Billy. He was affable but would bristle if he felt “disrespected.” One day, a man unrelated to Billy, but with Billy’s unusual surname, committed an unspeakable crime. Overnight, to guard and prisoner…

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Hammer

Driving along a treelined street, a boy, maybe twelve, stood by a tree with a hammer. I watched as he struck the tree again and again. I rolled down my window and asked, “What are you doing?” He shrugged and stood still. The tree had a large wound on the trunk, the bark gone. “Why…

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Thanks

I wrote to ask, “How are you?” I received this reply: “We are well, though the worries of the world weigh upon us. Troubles and grief, it would seem, remain the order of the day. Still, we believe that this too shall pass. … We are grateful always for the kind words and generous spirit…

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Chocolate

Supermarket checkout line, trouble ahead, lady’s card declined, she fishes through her purse for another. I wheel my cart around and make a break for a faster line. Another guy is headed for the same line. I pretend not to see him. That was wrong and I say something lame, “Go ahead.” He says, “No,…

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Painting

Years ago, Joe Salvatore* came to my workplace to show me his latest painting. I marveled at the strange, vivid biblical image rendered in impasto crayon. Joe needed a studio so I built him an immense work table in the basement of his apartment building. Joe gave me a few of his paintings in return….

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Sandwich

Early on, setting off to visit a prisoner, she told me to stop by, she wanted to give me something. I thought maybe a talisman or trinket for the prisoner. When I pulled up in front of her house, she was on the sidewalk with a rumpled paper bag in her hand. She gave it…

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Servant

Every year, as we enter the new Church Year, I turn back to the beginning pages of the book “Holy Women, Holy Men.”* This December 1st, I read yet again of Charles de Foucauld, French, born 1858, of the Cistercian Order of Strict Observance. In the Sahara, Charles ministered to people, “… furthest removed ……

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Reading

Don was a tree trimmer. Twenty years ago, he fell from a tree. Unable to work, Don spent years in homeless shelters. Now he has an apartment and he keeps it spotless. Recently, Don had cataracts removed and he can read again. History is his favorite. He’s read through several shelves at the library and…

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Lunch

Erica’s mom drove her to school. In Erica’s lunch sack, a peanut butter sandwich with no jelly. Erica pouted. It was hot and the car windows were down. At a red light, an old man wearing a heavy coat walked up. “Ma’am, spare a dollar so’s I can get something to eat?” Erica’s mother reached…

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Driving

I’ve driven automobiles for nearly sixty years. I’m getting good at shifting gears, using my turn signals, and planning my route. Sometimes though, plans change. I’d driven my mother-in-law to the doctor’s. For the trip home, I proposed a shortcut but mom had other ideas. She said, “Go right at the light.” I used my…

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Loving, Learning, Serving, and Sharing our Faith