I grew up in a family of 11 who always shared supper together, even on the nights when my dad came home late from work. My siblings and I tell many stories about that table, where my parents showed their love for us by providing a meal to feed our bodies, and time together to nourish our bonds as a family. Today, I have in my home the bench that five of us sat on, next to the Amish-made table that looks much smaller today than it did long ago.
This Easter, I looked up 'church' on Google and found over 239 million results. Because computers and smartphones are more sophisticated now than ever, the results from a Google search are both location- and device-specific. From my home office desktop, the first page of my search resulted in a list of nearby churches (or at least those churches that know how to optimize their websites.
It's been quite the winter here in Cleveland and throughout much of our nation, but 'now the green blade rises,' even through Holy Week's snow shower! As the snow melts, I find myself looking around my yard and thinking about the vegetable garden.
On the University of Colorado campus in Boulder, there is an inscription on the face of the library that reads, “Who knows only his own generation remains always a child.” As an undergraduate student, I must have passed by that inscription hundreds of times and pondered its meaning.
I attended college in northeastern Massachusetts close to beaches and Boston – a place with vibrant falls and verdant springs. There are many beautiful, natural places on and around this campus, but my favorite place was a small jewel of a chapel located in one of the administrative buildings.
I listened, smiling; taking my own pictures. The pathway also boasted an orchard of plums we would all eat for dessert in every form imaginable over the course of the next week, from cobblers to bread, sauces and jam until we were plum finished with plums.
I met my best friend in utero. Our moms were in the same Lamaze class. Over thousands of miles, including stints living in different countries, we have remained best friends.
There will be thousands of people crowding the street outside our church this weekend, so we will be canceling worship.
In the lobby of our UCC national offices, carefully placed signs read, "Lent begins with ashes: Worship with us Ash Wednesday (and every Wednesday) at 12:15 p.m. The Amistad Chapel."
My recent visit to Hawaii taught me something about radical hospitality.