Monday, June 30, 2008


I have a parishioner who reminds me from time to time that God really is present and speaking to us moment-to-moment. Sometimes, we are in the mood to hear, sometimes we are too distracted by our cares and worries to notice...but God is always speaking. Some UCC friends of mine gave me a lapel pin from a social justice campaign in that denomination that corroborates that is a red comma, a reminder that God is still speaking. If not, it would simply be a period...

So, in light of that idea, I have had a couple of weeks of noting how God has been speaking to me and to those around the parish and community:

  • This past few weeks, Laura and I have been watching a pair of robins build a nest in the wisteria that grows on the edge of our backyard deck. Three eggs are being incubated, and we are doing our best to allow the robins to have their time and space as they usher new life into the world. Even Sophie seems to be treading lightly as she heads out for her business.
  • There have been a preponderance of wildlife sightings. Hawks and foxes abound, and seem to be joyful in their work and play. From here to Philadelphia and back again, the hawks, particularly, have been present and close at hand. As my friend would say, "Is that you, God?"
  • I have also seen God speaking through the membership of this parish. Our youth and adult leaders and volunteers just finished a week at Mission Philadelphia. I was gifted with the time and space to go down and work alongside them for a few days. We have seen such growth and change in the neighborhoods around the green spaces we have helped to reclaim over the years. Both the work, and our presence there year after year, seems to have softened the hearts and minds of the neighbors who now are preparing and working their own gardens, even as they tend to and oversee the ones we leave behind.
  • On a fun note, our youth took an evening off from work to enjoy time together...bowling! One commented, "this is BONDING." Playing is as important as working...and laughter makes labor lighter as a burden to bear.
  • Finally, the mayor of Philadelphia came to dedicate a new garden that our youth installed in just two days, taking on a vacant lot full of rubble and trash and in two days transforming it into a green corridor...the only garden visible on the street. He, in his dedicatory words, spoke of partnership, friendship and a common call to community that transcends neighborhood or borough borders.

It has been a remarkable week. I have seen such great witness to the power of God working in this parish. God willing, we will continue to see those fruits bloom as the summer continues...

God is still speaking!

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