Anne Peterson reflects on Jane Hirshfield’s poem “In Space” — describing a Canadian astronaut wringing water out of a towel.
by Jenny Tisi
Recently, I was asked to do an assignment that is taking a lot of thought. I am to think of myself in 1995 and then think of myself in 2015. I was to think about labels for myself for both years. It called to mind a lot of quotes, but this one from Marianne Williamson fit it best: “You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.”
by Bob Hunter
The Helpless God
The love of God is a rich and wonderful reality to be able to take in as much as humanly possible. The good news, of course, is that God’s love is limitless so we are able to drink from that well of living water for our entire lives. This love/water is for all of us and it really does not matter who we are, what we’ve done or haven’t done, what our family tree looks like, what friends we keep, who we hang with, what we’re struggling with, the amount of money we control or don’t control, etc.
by Susan Russell
The outward and visible signs of the shift into the Lenten season that began with the ashes on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday continue with the hymns we sing and the prayers we pray through the forty days until Easter. One of my favorites is from the Eucharistic Prayer we use during Lent — with its challenge to claim “wilderness time” as both redemptive and liberating.
by Bob Hunter
Have you chosen your Lenten practice yet? The usual thought that comes to mind for many of us when someone says “Lent” is giving up something. You know the list: chocolate, cigarettes, over eating, cursing, speeding, movies, etc., etc., etc. “The Lenten list” can be as numerous as there are people. And I’m not making light of the value of this kind of list. Especially if cigarettes are on the list. OK, I’ll quit meddling.
by Jenny Tisi
“What are you giving up for Lent?” Just like last year, one of my choristers asked me this question. She said she has never given up anything for Lent. I grew up with the traditional give ups – junk food, swearing, lying, etc. As an adult, I really never gave up anything for Lent. Instead, I have focused on taking something up, which in turn, makes it so that I am giving something up.
by Jim Loduha
One of my spiritual gurus over the years has been Henri Nouwen, and on this, the 6th day of Lent, Nouwen draws our attention to the concept of courage. Courage takes many forms: standing up for marginalized people, offering love to one’s enemies, helping lift families out of poverty, to name just a few examples.
by Laura Thornton
Some children love to color Jesus green and others love to color Jesus purple. There are lots of creative minds in the pews on Sunday morning and when they grab the coloring page for that day and a box of crayons, I want to make sure their creative energy is happy. So, for the kids who want to color Jesus and other people with actual people colors we have the amazing world of multicultural crayons.
by Jon Dephouse
This coming weekend marks three years since I finished cancer treatment, which is a moment for me of remembering my own mortality. The other night I shared my spiritual journey to the new member class and after talking about my story one person asked me what that the struggle of cancer treatment did to my faith.
by Anne Peterson
Ashes—made from burned palm fronds from … a reminder of the finite reality of our lives. Kneeling at the altar to receive the cross of ashes on my forehead is a moving moment for me—more-so now that I have entered yet another decade of life. The ceremony is a wake-up call, not unlike New Year’s, without the football. Where am I now? What do I want to do in the world at this point in time?