Friday, March 25, 2016

Busyness and Blessings of Home


The Quest Continues

Being home feels good.  Getting last year’s paperwork ready for taxes, the reality hit that I had been gone from my home six months in 2015.  No wonder it feels good to be back.

I did have an unwanted surprise the morning of March 25.  As good as home is, I think I came home a bit early.  I did not want to experience another blizzard.  However, I am not planning to shovel.  Snow in March in Michigan is like snow in Virginia, wait a couple days and it will be gone.  

By the afternoon the sky had cleared.   I saw a robin.  The robin is the State of Michigan bird.  Seeing one is a sure sign of spring.  If you look close, you will see this one.  Happy Spring!

Back to the Gym

In 2012 when I was getting ready to go on my first mission assignment, I was getting my mind in shape on required reading.  I also had to be able to walk three miles.  At the age of 69, walking three miles a day was not part of my regimen.  I worked into the ability to do so, mission volunteering is good for your body.

Because I fell seven times while away on my journeys, my doctor ordered me to join a gym and work out for balance and core strength.
Now that I am home from VA, I am back at Centre Ice ( with my trainer, Joelle. 

Thanks to prayers and exercises I have not fallen for over a year!  Being in shape for future mission assignments is a great incentive!

Organic Wesley:

This winter reading the book, Organic Wesley a Christian Perspective on Food, Farming, and Faith, by William C Guerrant Jr changed some previous understandings.   This book talks about the current food movement.  The author identifies and suggests a specifically Wesleyan food ethic, relevant to our ongoing cultural conversations about food.  The author indicates Wesley was “convinced that God’s original plan for humanity included healthy bodies and that we need not await the resurrection to start bringing our bodily health in line with God’s plan.  Wesley believed that God intends both “inward and outward healing” and that a properly oriented Christian life should promote both.

Interrupting my eating habits according to Wesleyan food ethics is ongoing. 

Interfaith Peace Service March 20, 2016

The Episcopal Peace Fellowship of Grace Episcopal Church in Traverse City invited the community to an Interfaith Peace Service on March 20.  As humanity, we truly are journeying together.  The program included participation from many different faith traditions.  Below is a copy of a prayer that was part of the service.

Prayer for Peace in the Middle East

Lord of Hope and Compassion, friend of Abraham, who called our father in faith to journey to a new future.  We remember before you the countries of the Middle East, from which Abraham was summoned; ancient land of the Middle East, realm of the two rivers, birthplace of the great cities of civilizations.  May we, who name ourselves children of Abraham, remember all the people of the Middle East who honor him as father.  We bring to mind those who guard and celebrate the Torah; those for whom the Word has walked on earth and lived among us; those for who follow their prophet, who listened for the word in the desert and shaped a community after what they heard.  Lord of reconciliation, God of the painful sacrifice uniting humankind, we long for the day when you will provide for all nations of the earth your blessing of peace.  But now, when strife and war are at hand, help us to see in each other a family likeness, our inheritance from our one father Abraham.  Keep hatred from the threshold of our hearts, and preserve within us a generous spirit which recognizes in both foe and friend a common humanity.  This we ask from the one who has given us the gift of abundant life.

The Episcopal Peace Fellowship

This fellowship invites the community to ongoing meetings and activities.  They often do book studies.  Books studied in the past include, Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg, along with the Nonviolent Communication Companion Workbook by Lucy Leu; The Nonviolent Life by John Dear; and The Powers That Be by Walter Wink.   While in Traverse City, I hope to be a part of their ongoing studies.

Holy Week

Because my church is in transition, I worshiped with other congregations.
On Good Friday, several congregations meet together in the beautiful sanctuary of Central United Methodist Church.  Through Scripture, meditation, prayer and music our worship was guided as we considered the seven phrases of Jesus from the cross: 

I celebrated Easter with the family of God that meets at Grawn United Methodist Church. 

Their tradition is a Good Friday Cross Walk.  They meet away from their church and walk carrying cross.  A graphic witness to the community that they are people of the cross. 

Upon completion of the walk, they join their hearts in devotions and prayers.  The cross is covered in black symbolic of the realities around the death of Jesus.

Easter Sunday Worship takes on a different hue!  Through music and words, hearts were filled with hope as we worshiped together.  Pastor Colleen’s sermon, Eternal Life, challenged our understandings and actions.  We are post Easter people, living eternal life in Jesus. 

The words of the Sacred Writings of my faith tradition, quote Jesus as saying,
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.John 17:3. 

As post Easter People Let's realize each choice is an eternal choice.