in this time

There are six more weeks of Ordinary Time before Lent begins, and still I find myself anticipating. As I was looking ahead, Gale Walden sent me her poem, Ash Wednesday. May we savor a little sunshine on this winter day, and may her words and memories touch you in this holy, strange, and far-from-ordinary time. -Renée Ash

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pay it forward

Who composed the songs we love to sing on Sunday mornings? Sometimes, there’s an easy answer. Churches pay a fee to Christian Copyright License International (CCLI); we log which songs we use so that the artists get credit for their work. Like any system, it benefits those who know how to work it, copyright their songs,

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Dear friends,

My youngest nephew wrote me a letter. Such a fun surprise- his careful penciled printing on lined notebook paper, ending with “See you on Christmas!” and “P.S. it would be great if you would write back.” I did send him a letter, and expected to see him, but we ended up canceling our flights. Again.

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not alone

As we navigate the unexpected, together and apart, may we sustain and encourage each other. A poem for our time, by Jim Croegaert, to ponder. -Renée Lake Michigan, our nearbywilderness, sometimes turbulent, sometimesgentle, always alive, always clothed in colors carefully chosen and varied according to the day and the     season – most generous host and neighbor.

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The Word and the Flesh

Hearing from Oliver Ferguson is a Christmas treat. Enjoy!-Renée I am really into rap music. I got into it growing up in Jamaica in the 1980s-the 90s when there wasn’t much of it being played on the radio there. When I was in high school, there was one FM station that played hip-hop music on

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correction

“I never was keen on learning.” My favorite, too-funny quote from a young woman who grew up as a missionary kid, explaining why teaching was not her calling. She had been pressed into service when the school was short-staffed, and we were all relieved when a teacher was found to take her place.  Conversely, I

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in the darkness

I deeply appreciate Lee Ann Kelly as she prayerfully and thoughtfully follows Jesus in word and deed to serve our community. May her reflections touch you as well.-Renée Walt and I like walking at night.  The neighborhood transforms from hustle/bustle to quiet, and a canopy of deep blue covers me. My body relaxes as I

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the call

I am (re)discovering solitary travel. Thirteen hours driving alone. Random hotels, airports, and country roads. My laptop provides a longer tether to a now-empty nest. Reading Rooted for our Advent theme of growth in the fruitful darkness (which inspired the choice of root-motif wooden disks from Ten Thousand Villages as tangible take-home reminders), I was particularly drawn

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dreams in the dark

The hours of daylight are fewer now, with sunset scheduled for 4:30. Time to lean in for the season, the darkness in which life germinates. Can we embrace the night? Knowing that we need the dark as well as the light, our interior world to inform our public life, fertile dreams to guide our waking

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Reparations Honorariums

Sometimes we get bogged down in the talking, so we never seem to get to the walking. Convinced of the need for Reparations, though not sure what that would look like, some of us earmarked money for that purpose. And waited for direction. 2021 is drawing to a close. What progress have we made? Perhaps we have

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