New Life Episcopal Church

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

Katabasis

Lent begins with ashes. Robert Bly’s book “Iron John” speaks of an ancient civilization where the young take their place in the community by sitting in ashes from the fire, listening to the stories of the elders. Bly borrows a Greek word to describe this process: katabasis. This is a descent, a remove downward, away…

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A clear flame

We lived then without electricity. We had kerosene lamps for light but no refrigerator. One day, a small refrigerator came in a wooden crate. Made for the tropics, it would burn kerosene to keep food cool. The less-than-helpful instructions said: “Steadfastly hold a candle beneath until within the burner a clear flame flourishes.” I vividly…

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Check engine

I ordered one of those “check engine” lights for myself. I have one for the car and it flashes from time to time, sometimes for a great emergency, sometimes as a gentle reminder that the old buggy needs oil and a new air freshener. This new “check engine” light is not for my car. This…

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Hungry

There were five kids in the family and they were very poor. I visited them from time to time and brought from the church a shopping bag with enough food for a meal. Once I brought also a few good chocolates, surely a treat in a home where there was so little. Each child took…

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Amaryllis

These cold days I rise early, fetch the amaryllis from its warm night-place, set it in the east window and wait for the morning sun to break the horizon-line. The amaryllis has one stem of wilted petals but another stem has come into bloom. Whichever way I set the pot, the flowers turn to face…

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Traveling

Our Gospel lesson for last Sunday (Mt 4:12-23) has Jesus traveling about: “Jesus withdrew to Galilee … left Nazareth … walked by the Sea of Galilee … went from there … went throughout Galilee.” Our Lord, always on the move! Deacons follow Jesus’ example of moving about. In the year ahead, some Sundays will find…

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Fellowship

Once a week I go to the men’s homeless shelter in Cleveland. The address is 2100 Lakeside. It is run by the Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry and is known simply as “2100.” Over 300 hundred homeless men stay there every night and you may be sure that today it was one cold wait, lined up at…

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Bible study

Every Tuesday morning I went to group Bible study in the rector’s office. Each time, we would study one chapter, read it aloud, discuss and sometimes argue, always learning and enjoying. But I was baffled that each chapter was typed out and photocopied. I raised my hand. “Why is this typed? Wouldn’t it be easier,…

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Dignity

For about a year I went weekly to the Phyllis Zumkehr Clothing Center in Ravenna. I was a volunteer and new to the scene. The Clothing Center is set up like a store with used clothes on racks – pants and shirts, dresses and sweats, suits and baby onesies. Folks come from miles around, pick…

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Go forth

Let us go forth into the world rejoicing in the power of the Spirit! Josh

Loving, Learning, Serving, and Sharing our Faith