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Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

You'll find here occasional writings, a few rants, and hopefully some insights too, about Christian discipleship, the Episcopal Church, and on faith community's life at the Parish of the Epiphany in Winchester, Massachusetts. At the Epiphany we understand ourselves to be "a welcoming Episcopal community, united in God, called to seek and serve Christ in all persons, and to transform the world with love and generosity."


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  • July 02, 2020 3:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear friends at Epiphany,

    I have been reading Robin DiAngelo’s book White Fragility in preparation for our gathering tonight (July 6), the first of six holy conversations about this book. You’ll find more information about tonight’s gathering, and reflection questions for the first two chapters, elsewhere in 3 Crowns.

    As a white person, I am finding the book challenging, demanding, and illuminating. As a Christian, my reading brought to mind St. Paul’s appeal in his letter to the Romans: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God…” (Romans 12.2).

    DiAngelo’s book can help those of us who are white to see how profoundly we have been conformed to a world in which whiteness is seen as normative and confers privilege. It is not something we intend as individuals; rather, as DiAngelo notes, it is because “racism is deeply embedded in the fabric of our society” (p. 22). To begin to grasp this is to have our eyes opened to how racism pervades our society and how we might make different choices in light of this. Or in Paul’s words, to grapple with systemic racism is to have our minds renewed so that we can more clearly discern and do the will of God, in whose Name we promised at our baptism to “respect the dignity of every human being.”

    Reading White Fragility and reflecting on it is one way that God is transforming us, renewing our minds so that we can be conformed more and more to God’s will for us and for all people. That’s why these gatherings over the summer are holy conversations – they are about our life and witness as a church. This is slow, patient, hard work; transformation always is. Let’s see what God will do with these holy conversations.

    Yours in Christ,
    Sarah


  • June 26, 2020 10:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear friends at Epiphany,

    We have just said a heartfelt goodbye to Miriam Gelfer, our beloved priest and friend, as she begins her retirement. It has been hard to say goodbye to Miriam, made all the more difficult because the pandemic prevented us from being together in person for her farewell.

    Grief

    We are in the midst of grief right now. One of the things we know about grief is that present grief often brings to mind grief we have borne in the past. I imagine that saying farewell to Miriam also brings to remembrance the bittersweet farewell you offered to Thomas last spring. Both Thomas and Miriam belonged to you – they were yours, in a deep and lasting way. After many years of ministry with you, they knew your stories and were deeply woven into the fabric of Epiphany. It is hard to let them go.

    Gratitude

    And yet, mingled with our grief is gratitude. One of the graces of the interim time is that it opens a space for reflection on the ministry of the priest who has departed. There is time to acknowledge with gratitude – publicly, yet often silently, in one’s heart – the blessings of his or her ministry. There is time in which to begin to harvest the abundant fruit of Miriam’s and Thomas’s ministry among you. In its own way, this is a season of thanksgiving as well as loss.

    Growth

    There is something else at work here, too. The interim time also offers space to grow toward welcoming a new rector. Right now, your rector search committee is imagining a future with the candidates with whom they are in discernment. And I expect that each of you, in your own way, is imagining what the future holds. You are growing toward a new beginning, even as you grieve the departure of such treasured companions as Miriam and Thomas.

    As you dwell in this time of grief, gratitude, and growth, Rilke’s poem Autumn comes to mind. The poem acknowledges the inevitable losses we bear – the “falling” that marks our existence – and yet ends with the assurance that

    there is One who holds all this falling
    With infinite gentleness in his hands
    .

    I pray that in this interim time, you will find rest in the One who is infinitely gentle and always with us.

    Yours in Christ,
    Sarah

  • June 18, 2020 11:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Beloved Community,

    This is my final pastoral article in the 3 Crowns and it is filled with gratitude. For those of you who were members of Epiphany during “First Miriam” in the 90s, I am so grateful for the way you helped to form me as a parish priest. Those four years really grounded me in my vocation as a priest, pastor, and preacher.

    Few priests have the opportunity as I have had to return to the first parish in which they served. From the first moment I returned in 2015 to the present, I am certain that God has had a hand in it all. New relationships, new ministries, and an even deeper sense of God working in and through all of you has been evident from my first day back.

    I cannot say enough about the Staff at Epiphany. Thomas called us the “Dream Team” and he was right! I have never felt such collegiality as I have serving with Sarah T., Craig, Bryn, Brian, Fred, Suzy, Carolyn, and most recently, Sarah Conner. We struggled together, created together, laughed and cried together. Our focus has always been, “serving God and God’s people here and beyond our walls.”

    The Lay Leadership at Epiphany is strong, confident, and dedicated. The Wardens, past and present, have given sacrificially of their time and talent, often at the expense of their own self-care. So many of you in the Parish are involved in lending your talents to serving on Sundays either behind the scenes or during the service; others are dedicated to the formation of our children, youth, and adults. There are so many vital ministries in this parish, and I have watched the way in which you engage everything you do with your hearts, minds, and souls!

    At the heart of everything we do at Epiphany is prayer and worship. I have treasured every single Sunday morning with you in our beautiful sanctuary with Craig and our choir offering music to lift our souls and express the inexpressible. I have treasured the ebb and flow of the seasons of the church year and the seasons of our lives – baptisms and watching children and their families grow in faith; people new to the faith or new to Epiphany finding a spiritual home; our elders giving us much wisdom on how to live a life of commitment and grace; and all the ages in between, finding your voice and contributing to the life of this Parish. I have loved working with all of you in every age and stage of your faith journey. Your commitment to prayer, social justice, worship, and music has enriched my own faith and life and for that I will always be grateful.

    As we know from the gospel stories, not one of us does this work alone. God sends us companions along the way to accompany us in our life’s work and our journey of faith. I could not have served you these last five years without the support, love, and encouragement of my spouse, Lisa. Being a clergy spouse is not always easy, to say the least, and Lisa has always been there for me, and has embraced the people I have served with over the years. Her generous heart and her love of offering hospitality has enhanced my ministry among you and been such a gift.

    You all have changed my life in ways I cannot fully articulate. I will never forget your dear faces, the moments we have shared, the laughter, the tears, and the hugs. Although we may not see each other, our lives are forever linked and the connections of heart-to-heart will remain forever.

    With deep gratitude and affection,
    Miriam



  • June 11, 2020 12:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    My dear friends at Epiphany,

    My heart has been so full of all of you for the last nine months! I’m back “home” with you, whom I love, for the next few months, and am eager to “see” you online, dear friends. For those of you who don’t know, I am your Seminarian in the ordination process. I have been immersed in and serving at All Saints Episcopal Church of the North Shore (ASNS) in Danvers as part of my field education.

    It has been an exciting year of learning, experimenting, reflecting, and experimenting more, all in the generosity and grace of God. As you can guess, I’ve been staying informed about you by Dave (every day!) and keeping you all in my daily prayers.

    Who could have guessed that I would return to you in this new reality? Like you, I have had every facet of my life impacted by the coronavirus and the events of the last few weeks as the U.S. has faced its original sin of racism. Those of you who know me, however, may not be surprised that, amid all of this, I see hopeful and even exciting possibilities for the future. We have been granted a unique opportunity to reimagine what it means to be “church!”

    What message is it that we, as Christians, have to offer our troubled world? Simply: God is here, and God loves you. You are God’s beloved children; each of you is created in God’s image. As we heard last Sunday, Jesus promised his fearful disciples, “I am with you always.” Let us not forget, “For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you’” (Is. 41:13).

    For the past ten years, God has used my brain tumor to teach me the fragility of life, and I am grateful to God for the blessings of abundant life every day. As the entire world is learning right now due to Covid-19, we can give ourselves over in freedom to receive the grace of God by facing the reality of our mortality as creatures. From this grace comes the power to work towards the flourishing of all, the fulfillment of God’s promises, right now. As Episcopalians, we offer the answer to the world’s deepest desires: the presence and love of the Creator.

    During this time of the global pandemic, I have seen the church step into its role as a conduit of God’s grace, healing, and justice. What is the church at its most essential? Using technology to focus on this, I have seen Zoom worship and Bible study allow for face-to-face, heart-to-heart, mind-to-mind contact that deepens personal and communal faith. As individuals encounter the Holy Spirit within each other, their synergy transforms not only their lives but the entire world in which they live. What I found over at All Saints was that the vitality of the congregation exponentially increased online—so much so that we’ll be keeping certain services online even after we are permitted to return to physically gathering. Our meetings have prompted social action, as we identify ways to meet the needs of the “least of these” (Mt. 25:40) in our midst.

    Our greatest challenge is to remind our church of the fundamental trait of the gift of God’s salvation: the grace to remember that we are beloved children of the Creator of all (1 Jn. 3:1). One effect of the pandemic has been to expose systemic failures to care for the marginalized in our society. This crisis has exposed the broken systems in our world that privilege some on the backs of others. It has also revealed our apathy. Yet when we remember our status as God’s children, our reaction is one of profound gratitude. The key to the transformational work of the church today is to stay rooted in the spiritual discipline of gratitude.

    The Parish of the Epiphany and the entire Episcopal Church, are in a unique position to serve God’s creation, meeting the needs of a world yearning for hope, because our primary message is a life of gratitude for unfiltered Love. We do not require an admission price; we firmly believe that it is given freely from God’s account, not our own. We will bring this message to the world, not require the world to come to us. As Bishop Steven Charleston recently wrote, “Now is the moment for which a lifetime of faith has prepared you.” Trust God, who has been preparing us for this moment. Now is the time. The Holy Spirit continues to transform us by renewing our minds (Rom. 12:2) in the service of all of God’s creation.

    I am so delighted to be back among you, dear friends!

    Brett Johnson



  • June 05, 2020 5:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear friends at Epiphany,

    In Harry Emerson Fosdick’s well-known hymn “God of grace and God of glory” (#594 in The Hymnal 1982) we ask God to “grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the facing of this hour.” And there is much to face in this hour. Thousands of Americans continue to gather across our country to protest the brutal murder of George Floyd on May 25, and to call for justice in the face of the systemic racism that besets our society. And on May 27, we learned that Covid-19 has claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people in this country – a terrible milestone that was reached with alarming speed. This milestone and the protests against racial injustice are not unrelated events, as we know that Covid-19 has taken a disproportionate toll on people of color.

    To help us find wisdom and courage to face this hour, we are beginning a series of holy conversations at Epiphany. Tonight (June 8) at 7:00 p.m., everyone is invited to gather online for “A Holy Conversation: Engaging Prayerfully with Race and Privilege.” It will be a time to reflect on the destructive consequences of racism in our society and to consider how white privilege benefits some of us and creates barriers for others. The Rev. Thea Keith-Lucas, a parishioner and Episcopal chaplain to MIT, will facilitate our conversation (you’ll find the Zoom link here).

    Through it all, prayer is an unfailing source of wisdom and courage. The collect “For Social Justice” on page 260 of our Book of Common Prayer was included in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. Though this prayer was written almost one hundred years ago, it speaks to us today as we face this hour:

    Almighty God, who created us in your own image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

    Yours in Christ,
    Sarah


  • May 31, 2020 12:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On the Monday of Memorial Day weekend I went out walking and found myself headed to Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Arlington. One could walk for hours on the paved and dirt paths that wind through the cemetery. The cemetery also contains a newly constructed columbarium where my father’s cremains are held. I was thinking about how my mother and her sisters would visit the cemetery to decorate the graves of their parents. I could never quite understand the ritual but somehow I found myself doing the same thing.

    It is not really possible to “decorate” a columbarium because it is a wall with drawers where the cremains are placed and the front stone has the deceased's name and dates. Since my dad served in WWII his stone has a special tag identifying him as a veteran. We were one of the first families to purchase drawers in the columbarium so we are on the “top floor”, and it was really nice to see a couple of gerbera daisies placed on top of my dad’s marker. I later learned one of my sisters had been there and left the flowers. My thoughts were with my father as I continued walking towards St. Agnes Church. I wanted to read the Beatitudes that have been on the outside wall of the church that overlooks the large municipal parking lot where the Arlington Farmer’s Market is held, you may know it. The wall has a sculptural relief of Jesus preaching the Sermon on the Mount and then the Beatitudes written in scroll in the same style. I felt drawn towards the Beatitudes because, as a young child, I remember having numerous discussions with my father about the Beatitudes; what are they?, who wrote them? what do they mean? I am the oldest of five girls and we use to fight and fight often, over clothes, chores, the one TV, the one phone, friends. And I can recall my dad saying “Blessed are the peacemakers…….”. Over the years whenever I would walk through that parking lot I would stop and look at the wall and reflect on the writings. It brought me comfort, so on this day when I got to the parking lot and looked to the wall, the Beatitudes were gone. I was confused, when were the taken down, how did I miss that, and then worst of all, were they ever there? On closer inspection, I could see newer bricks from an obvious repair or replacement. I was relieved to know that I did not imagine those chats from many years ago. Right now, I wish I could wave a magic wand and have the Beatitudes back up on the wall but I would add one more, “Blessed are those who wait, for they will learn to be patient”.

    We are all waiting and it is hard. We are waiting for the pandemic numbers to go down, we are waiting for in-person worship, we are waiting to decide about summer plans, we are waiting to learn about school and college restarts, some are waiting to get out of quarantine, we are waiting to continue our rector search process, we are waiting on God, and we are waiting on each other. We have all heard that “patience is a virtue”, and we can all give examples of what patience or lack of patience looks like, but what does patience really mean? The definition that speaks to me right now is that patience is waiting without complaint and we can look to Jesus Christ as an example of patience. Jesus waited without complaint when his disciples were slow to believe, were a bit slothful, were at times self-centered, and a bit dopey. Jesus never rebuked or insulted them, but he did prod them in the right direction so that they eventually were walking together as one. As difficult as it is to wait, we all need to be patient with each other when it comes to if, when, and how we will gather together for in-person worship. The current restrictions are very challenging especially when it comes to those over 65 and young children. I am praying that no one runs ahead while others are left behind, but rather we will grab each other’s hands and pull some along as well as pull some back so that we walk together as a pack as we contemplate what an in-person worship will look like.

    “Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer.”
    Romans 12:12

    Yours in peace,
    Suzanne Owayda, Warden


  • May 21, 2020 10:42 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    My friends,

    Truly, how are you? Are you shaking your head and remembering how you yelled at your children? Put them in front of screens way, way too much? Forgot a work call? Served toast for dinner? Let the children overhear that right now you fear for their grandparents’ lives? Because I am.

    In the middle of all this, I pray we will all show ourselves love and self-compassion. We often think of the command to love our neighbors as ourselves as a reproof against narcissism and selfishness. It is a command to love and care for everyone--including ourselves.

    I have to admit, I’ve really been benefiting from my immersion in the first and fourth grades; I’m learning a ton! Along with simple machines and the natural resources of the Southeast, the Social Emotional curriculum at our elementary school is speaking to me. It’s called The Incredible Flexible You and it’s perfect, for me, in this pandemic. I love firm plans; I love making plans, following plans, knowing others have plans. But now--flexibility is key, isn't it?

    As silly as this is, as I work on my flexible self the word running through my mind each day lately is a quote from the old TV show Friends. There’s a well-loved episode involving Ross and Chandler moving a couch into a NYC apartment building, and while stuck in a stairwell Ross repeatedly yells “Pivot!” Every day as I need to continually change plans, directions, and tactics--with homeschooling, church, groceries--I silently call “Pivot!” It helps me laugh in the middle of a struggle.

    Perhaps a more Biblical view of “Pivot!” or the “Incredible Flexible You” is grace. The word grace, in English, is complex; it can mean many things including thanksgiving, blessing, favor, deferment, consideration, and even poise. As we continually pivot during this season, may we do so with grace and in peace, with our eyes on the Lord and with a heart open to blessing those in our circles.

    This Memorial Day weekend is a great opportunity to show our family how flexible we can be and find new ways to have special times. Here are some ideas:

    • ice cream delivery (our family discovered that several local places will bring us fancy ice cream sandwiches)
    • a picnic
    • a hike
    • yard games (make your own bean bag toss or target game, or find a Frisbee in your garage)
    • decorate your house or create a side walk mural commemorating the holiday
    • write letters to active duty service members
    • bake a traditional Memorial Day dessert -- or even better, make something for a neighbor, friend, or someone who lives alone
    • watch the Memorial Day Concert on PBS

    Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 2 Peter 1:2

    Peace be with you,
    Bryn



  • May 13, 2020 2:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Beloved Community,

    Over these last two months, many prayers and parts of prayers have entered into my mind each day as I am sure they have yours. One is, “the changes and chances of our lives,” which is from a collect found in our Compline service in the Book of Common Prayer. Here it is in full:

    Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the hours
    of this night, so that we who are wearied by the changes and
    chances of this life may rest in your eternal changelessness;
    through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
    (BCP p. 133)

    In these last two months, our lives have changed drastically. Many of us have experienced not knowing what day of the week it is – that being in isolation from the rest of the world has us confused. We experience a range of emotions: sadness, depression, hopelessness, boredom, and a sense of fatigue. Yes, there is no doubt that we all from time to time have been wearied by the changes and chances of our lives. We wonder when this time of social distancing and isolation will end. And we are beginning to realize that life as we have previously known it, has changed forever.

    And yet – and yet, there are times of joy when we can “see” the faces of co-workers, family members, friends, and fellow parishioners on our computer screens, phones, or tablets. There is joy and sometimes laughter when we have a telephone conversation. There is joy when we send or receive a card or someone chalks our front sidewalk or we chalk theirs!

    These challenging times bid us to reach out to those who live alone, especially those in nursing homes or assisted living. Some of our parishioners are healthcare workers on the frontlines of this pandemic every day. Let’s remember them in our daily prayers. The most vulnerable in our country need our prayers and our advocacy. We all can make a difference, even from our homes. Check out the Episcopal Public Policy Network for ways you can help. Our own diocese has a special COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. Additionally,  Episcopal Relief and Development has ways we can help others during the pandemic.

    Often, when evening comes and the world is hushed, we are left with our own thoughts and fears. For me, that is when I lean on the prayers that bring me hope and solace and comfort. The simple prayer service we call Compline is filled with such prayers. Thanks to the suggestion of parishioner Mary Street, we can all join together and say this beautiful Office on Zoom every Thursday evening at 9:00pm. It is a wonderful way to end the day, to ask for God’s protection during the night, and to join with others in prayer and to feel more connected. 

    Remember that all of us who are wearied by the changes and chances of this life may rest in God’s eternal changelessness. No matter what happens now or in the future, God is always with us, even when we may not sense God’s presence – God is here.

    Know of my prayers for all of you.

    Love and Blessings,
    Miriam

    Some Personal News to Share: Lisa and I have moved to the Cape. While we may be separated by a few more miles, we are still very much a part of Epiphany and look forward to our continued engagement with all of you!
     

  • May 01, 2020 1:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Lord, in this time of transition, help us all to be patient and open, having faith that you are guiding us into new life.  Be with our search committee, our vestry, our ordained leaders, and our entire congregation.  In every stage of our journey, may we rest in your abiding love.  In Christ’s name we pray.  Amen.

    Dear friends at Epiphany,

    You’ll recognize this as the prayer for our parish that we pray each Sunday at the conclusion of the Prayers of the People.  It was written by our rector search committee several months ago, and we’ve been praying it at our Sunday worship ever since.  It was meant as a prayer for us as we make our way through this time of transition to the calling of a new rector.

    Of course, several months ago we could not have foreseen the circumstances we now live in!  The coronavirus has turned our world – and our own worlds – upside down.  We are all coping with anxiety, fear, stress, and uncertainty.  And yet this prayer, composed for a different reason in a different season, speaks beautifully to where we find ourselves right now.  In particular, the first sentence seems to express our present need and hope.

    Lord, in this time of transition – Straightaway the prayer names the situation in which we find ourselves – a time of profound change and upheaval.  In this prayer, we begin by being honest with God about our situation; it is why we are praying it in the first place.

    help us all to be patient and open – Our instinctive response to change is to be reactive, to respond in haste to the new demands placed upon us.  We go into crisis mode, as we all did in the early weeks of the pandemic.  That is often the only thing we can do early on, and we do it the best we can.  Yet we’ve now experienced a transition within the transition; we know that this crisis will not end swiftly – it will be with us for quite some time.

    And so, as the days and weeks now more slowly unfold, we ask God for what we most need, and that includes patience and openness.  The patience and openness we need will depend on our individual circumstances.  I am seeking the patience and openness that would allow me to greet each day in the spirit of Theodore Parker Ferris’ beloved prayer that begins, “This is another day, O Lord.  I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be.” (from The Book of Common Prayer, p. 461).      

    having faith that you are guiding us into new life – We are in the midst of Eastertide, when our hymns and readings and prayers celebrate Christ’s resurrection and victory over death.  But what does new life in Christ mean in the midst of this pandemic?  In his book Transitions, William Bridges writes,  “To feel as though everything is up in the air, as one so often does during times of personal transition, is endurable if it means something – if it is part of a movement toward a desired end.  But if it is not related to some larger and beneficial pattern, it simply becomes distressing.”  (from Part I: The Need for Change

    Our prayer, written for the rector search, now points us to another and deeper search: our search for meaning in this time of upheaval and suffering.  What does this all mean?  What is the new life that God is revealing in and through this time?  We may only have glimpses of this new life; clarity is often elusive in the midst of transition.  But I imagine that we are all, each in our own way, seeking meaning and new life in this time.

    +     +     +

    As we continue to pray the prayer for our parish – and to pray many other prayers both with each other and within the silence of our hearts – know that you are in my prayers, and that I am grateful to be with you.

    Faithfully in Christ,
    Sarah


  • April 17, 2020 12:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Each month at our vestry meeting, one of us serves as chaplain and leads us in prayer and reflection. In October 2018, my reflection topic was Experiencing God's love in the midst of challenging times. I'm asking you to go there with me today, as I'm willing to bet you've experienced God's love during a challenging time, even if you didn't explicitly name it.

    Recall for a moment a particularly painful time or experience you've had in your life. The death of a loved one. The end of a relationship. A sudden loss of employment. A dire medical diagnosis. I know that I don't like to revisit these painful times, maybe that's true for you too. The days we face right now are indeed painful, challenging, and confusing. I've come to believe there's something important here to examine – something new, unexpected, and beautiful that often emerges from these experiences- resurrection stories.

    In October 2017, my father died after a long and difficult illness. My relationship with my father was complicated at times. Bearing witness to my father's homophobia as I was growing up made it difficult for me to come out. The realization that my father favored his friendships and profession over family was particularly painful, manifested at first in my parents' divorce, next magnified to me and my siblings during visiting hours at the funeral home after his death. A lingering doubt that I was fully loved by my father left me in a dark place.

    So, where is the resurrection in this painful story – where does Jesus’ hope and love come in? It's in the little things, the bigger things, and the huge things.

    Little things: It's in the kindness of a stranger: Ginny Schlemmer from Dave's Towing in Smithfield, RI. Dad's car, a leased Toyota, had been sitting idle in his apartment complex parking lot for over a year while he steadily declined. The funeral home and Ginny arranged to return Dad's leased car to the Toyota dealership and refused payment from the family.

    Bigger Things: It's in the love of this parish: Sarah Twiss's insistence on creating Dad's funeral service bulletin, an offer that came in just as I was realizing how overwhelmed I was in the details of creating his funeral. Miriam's calendar being open (or arranged to be made open) so that she could make the long drive to RI (with Sarah) and preside at Dad's funeral service when I learned that the local Episcopal priest was unavailable.

    Huge Things: In the time since my father's death the doubt about his love for me has been replaced with blessed assurance that he loved me fully. It came in a very unexpected conversation with him. Do any of you have conversations with those no longer with us? It's a relatively new concept for me. Here's the situation: I was upset about something at work, a personal “injustice” that had me reconsidering my commitment to my employer. In relating some of the details of the situation during a telephone conversation with a colleague, his response was along the lines of “be thankful for what you have, don't rock the boat”. Needless to say, it was not a particularly satisfying interaction. Later that week, I was in the shower and subconsciously relating the experience to my Dad. In a loud clear voice, I could hear him saying “Screw them, you deserve better than this”. The light shined, and God was laughing with Dad. So many things came into focus, and all of the doubts were replaced with a sense of peace. How I could have ever expected to see new life in my relationship with my father after his death– well, that's a resurrection story that I'll cling to forever.

    Lord, let us strive to see new life in everything that surrounds us: in the little things, the bigger things, and the huge things.

    Amen



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