New Life Episcopal Church

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Deacon’s Dismissal

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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Kitten

Kids gather around a big grate in the street. I stop, “What’s up?” They say, “Kitten fell in.” I can see the little fella, way down there, sitting on a pile of debris. They’ve taped a fishing net to a rake handle but the grate is so heavy. A pickup truck stops, “What’s up?” The…

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Will

Not long ago, I heard a man make his will, an oral will, what the lawyers would call a nuncupative will, spoken and not written. The man, who had been unwell for some time, sat at a table in the cafeteria of the homeless shelter with a few other men. He owned precious little but did…

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Brother Lawrence

A small book came to hand, a gift from friends. First published in 1692, written by Brother Lawrence,* a lay monk in a French Carmelite monastery, it is but sixty pages. I spent an hour rereading this fine little book and I struck yet another line under these words: “That in order to form a…

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Lazy

He said offhandedly, “I’m tired of my taxes feeding lazy people who won’t work.” I let it slide. I don’t know him well and the conversation would go nowhere. Still, I could have said what’s true: I have never met anyone too lazy to work. I do know people too tired, sick, depressed or disfigured…

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Coins

My sister, Lorinda, was seven years old. I was eight. We were in a park, crossing a grassy field, my sister between mom and dad, holding their hands. I was off on my own, looking for treasure but lost in thought. Lorinda found the treasure, a scattering of coins in the grass. Lorinda and my…

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Diaconate

I pulled into my favorite parking spot and sat in my car, lost in thought. A woman stood behind my car. I could tell she was reading the little sticker on my back window. I exited and said a cheery, “Good morning!” She asked me what “Diaconate” meant and I was happy to oblige. In…

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Loving, Learning, Serving, and Sharing our Faith