New Life Episcopal Church

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

Style

When I was sixteen, I had a tedious summer job sorting out bits and pieces of hardware … this bolt in this bin … that screw in that bin. Boring, but I did my best and I appreciated the pay. Once, a man came and watched me work. He didn’t say who he was so…

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Companionship

A church community meal … good food, china tableware, table cloths, meals served to seated guests … they ate, laughed and talked. Second helpings were offered and a little to take home. This necessarily ceased with the shelter-in-place order. Instead, the church offered grocery bags of food but there were few takers. Was no one…

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Decisions

Life is complicated. So many decisions. Most are insignificant: Single-serving or economy? Cash, check or credit? But some decisions are consequential and must be weighed and prayed: Give the man a dollar or look the other way? Be an activist, or step back and let others? This decision-making will, now and then, stop me in…

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Scripture

The Daily Office of the Episcopal Church offers us everyday readings of scripture on a two year cycle. On the day I write this,* the scripture readings start out this way: Exodus: “The people gathered around Aaron and said, ‘Make gods for us, who shall go before us…’” Colossians: “Wives, be subject to your husbands…”…

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Querencia

In the pall of the pandemic we shelter at home, though our home is now not the welcoming place of bygone days. It is now a refuge; haven; bastion; redoubt; retreat; sanctuary; asylum … home is an oasis in this troubling time. There is an apt Spanish word, querencia, the place where we feel secure and out…

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Diversions

Almost everyone has one talent that can divert or amuse people for a few minutes … or a few hours. I could use a little diversion now … we all could! … all this sitting at home. My mother knew a card game that could be played with any ten cards and the change in…

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Mobile Pantry

At St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on Cleveland’s West Side, there is a biweekly Mobile Pantry that gives fresh produce from the Greater Cleveland Food Bank to anyone in need. Two weeks ago, as the coronavirus dug in, Mobile Pantry was cancelled. This week, we reconfigured. People drove up in cars. With face masks and plenty…

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Ice Cream

I visited my cousin in the hospital. Cancer, and it didn’t look promising. There were a lot of tubes and blinking machines but it was quiet. We talked some but mostly she slept. A tray of food showed up. I put potatoes on a spoon but she turned away. She tried to say something but…

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Raise

During the Depression, he worked as a payroll clerk in the basement of City Hall. His pay was paltry but he was young and a willing worker. After a few lean years, he received a 25 cents-a-day raise. On what luxury might he fritter this windfall? He committed to buy the city’s newspaper and an…

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Antigua

I was idling at my computer, wasting time. I typed my name, Joseph G. Butler, into Ancestry, hit the “go” button and sorted through. One remarkable document stood out: A 1962 immigration form, written in my father’s unmistakable hand … Pan American flight 220 from Antigua, West Indies to New York City. I was then…

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