Faith For All
Posted December 15, 2017
When I was serving a small church in southern California, one of the kids, Yvette loved to make origami cranes. She gave me a tiny white one. I had it on my desk for many months. It made the trip from California to Ohio undamaged. I wasn’t entirely sure why I bothered to bring it all this way. Until one day I got a call that my cousin’s wife had attempted suicide. As I was writing a note to him, I remembered the crane, was able to find it, and included it in my card, asking him to give it to his wife as a symbol of faith, to remind her that no matter how bad things might seem, she was not alone.
You probably know this story – on August 6, 1945, the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. One mile from the epicenter lived a two-year-old girl named Sadako Sasaki. When she was 12 she developed leukemia from the radiation and was given a year to live. She decided to fold 1000 paper cranes, inspired by the Japanese legend that one who created a thousand origami cranes would be granted a wish. Her wish was simply to live. Her family says that she completed more than a thousand as she prayed for world peace. She did not get her wish and yet healing did happen for her and her family. She never lost faith in humanity. Her healing and hope live on. In the decades since her death, her cranes have been donated by her family to many places, including Pearl Harbor and the 9/11 Memorial in New York City. Against all odds, something as simple as a paper crane has become a powerful symbol of faith in our potential. Continued . . .
This Land is Your Land
Posted November 8, 2016
Our ability as individuals to make a difference by doing the right thing in small ways and to nurture what is good in all of us. And the land itself, the glorious, amazing land that is our land. I needed to be reminded for I have been wrestling with my dismay about what’s happening in our country.
Maybe you too are concerned about political polarization, hate-filled rhetoric and the breakdown of meaningful dialogue in the public square. Maybe you too are heartsick with mass shootings, violence and injustice for people of color and immigrants. And yet, maybe you too love this country, this magnificent land of ours. Maybe you too love being an American and believe in the grand ideals this country was founded on. Maybe you too are sometimes stuck in the middle of all this. Continued…
August 30, 2015
Did you see the full moon this weekend? Isn’t it fabulous, lighting the sky with its round lush fullness? I am spellbound by the full moon, I feel drawn upward from my solar plexus, I feel my heart softened in wonder at the white glow. This is what I imagine wholeness feels like. Our summer has been inspired by the Howard Thurman quote, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and do it. For what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Our worship has explored many ways to come alive and several tools or strategies to support us in that process. This morning we celebrate the possibilities of living a life this way – of being or becoming wholehearted. Continued…
Begin at the Beginning
Sept. 14, 2014
Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, “and what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversation?”
This is the opening line to Lewis Carroll’s book, Alice in Wonderland. I never considered this book to be a spiritual road map, but I heard this line “Begin at the beginning” at my son’s Convocation, the day he entered college, and I thought that’s a great sermon title. Then I did some research and found the line came from Alice in Wonderland and thought more about the whole story and realized there is some whimsical wisdom and some helpful caution there. So, this morning we’ll use Alice in Wonderland quotes and vignettes to help us highlight our journeys in life and as we begin our shared ministry. Continued…