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One of the last things my husband and I did before the realities of social distancing set in was to have dinner with his sister and her family.  The topic of conversation turned to the coronavirus, and at some point someone said, “It all feels so apocalyptic.”  Without missing a beat, my 7-year-old niece chimed in with curiosity in her voice, “What does apocalyptic mean?”

All of the adults looked at one another with just a little bit of panic in our eyes.  Earlier we had been navigating what music we could put on in the background that would have language and themes appropriate for...

This past weekend Abbie and I put up a garden fence.  It’s pretty big: 50 x 50 feet, 7 ½ feet tall.  The goal is to keep the deer and other critters out.  Inside the fence we’re hoping to grow what we can: some perennials – rhubarb, asparagus, berries and herbs; along with the standard assortment of sugar snap peas, green beans, tomatoes, bell peppers, potatoes, and squash.  The structure inside the fence is an old well-loved playhouse we’ll be converting into a chicken coop.  The chickens will have their own smaller rotation of areas within the larger fence, eating food and garden scraps...

Although the world has change drastically in the last three weeks, it’s still Lent.  The season began on Ash Wednesday when we gathered in the sanctuary – in-person! – and shared in the imposition of ashes on one another’s foreheads. 

We recited the ancient words: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you will return.” 

It’s an annual reminder of our mortality, our smallness in the grand story in which we participate.  A reassurance that the cosmic unfolding preceded our arrival and continues after we are gone.  These words do what our baptism invites us to do: to die...

These past few days have been characterized by a couple different phrases potentially, but not necessarily, at odds with each other.   

On Saturday the CMC Leadership Team met for our annual visioning retreat (once you do it a second year it becomes annual, right?).  After some reflection on the past year and pondering future possibilities, we found ourselves wordsmithing a vision for ministry for the coming year that turned out like this:

“We will cultivate beloved community by deepening relationships within and beyond our congregation.”

Much of the impetus for this...

Lent is a season for slowing down and focusing on what matters most.  For many people this entails “giving up” something.  This act of fasting can be a way to practice discipline, to free up space in our lives, or simply to stop doing something that we know is not good for us.  The practice of giving up something for Lent might get the most attention, but for many people, Lent can also be a time for “taking up” something such as a new spiritual practice. 

We’re already a week into Lent, but in case anyone out there was still looking for something to take up (It’s never too late!), I...

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