Each one of you has received a special grace. So, like good stewards responsible for all these varied graces of God, put it at the service of others. (1 Peter 4: 10)
Your Prayers for Kylie and Jesse who are married on Friday at 4 pm are desired. Thank you. Bev and I invite you to attend if you can! (Rain will determine the outdoor/indoor location!)
Mudzunga Farisani (Jesse’s godmother) and daughter Ndamu will be present for the wedding and I hope our Sunday worship too! Come greet these good friends from South Africa.
Here is a Mother’s Day gift in honor of Annie Haines.
New Year 2016, New Opportunities, by Annie’s daughter Amy
Opening a new calendar to January 1 always fills me with fluttery anticipation. Seeing all of those blank squares, each spot holding a space for adventures that await, challenges to be faced, joys to be experienced. Every day offers opportunity for a memory yet to be made.
In a similar way, I feel a twinge of nostalgia (and sometimes sadness) when turning the calendar to January and the metaphorical closing of a chapter on things already gone by.
In February 2015, my mom passed away after being diagnosed with cancer the previous autumn. In the weeks before her death, time ceased to have meaning for me. Minutes sometimes passed like hours, but a week felt like it was just a day or two. Everything else in my life receded to the background and my only focus became being with my mom: sitting near her, singing to her, massaging scented lotion into her skin. In all of this I felt both untethered and very present, a sensation I’d never experienced before.
One chilly morning I sat in my car and prepared to go see my mom. The sun streamed through the windshield and flooded the inside of the car, warming me with early golden light. In that moment, I was overcome with awe at how blessed we are by each moment. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath before writing down these words:
Take the trip. Light the candles. Wear the dress. Drink the champagne. Make the call. Watch the sunset. Hold the hand. Share the story. Eat the dessert. Hear the symphony. Walk the path. Feel the heart. Open the arms. Breathe the air. Spread the love. Do it today.
I needed to write those words down as much as I needed to read them. And reread them.
Markers of time – events like birthdays, school years, and holidays – always take me by surprise. These are the moments when I pause, take a look around, and often wonder where I’ve been.
My mother’s death made me acutely aware of the delicate nature of time; no longer do I dismiss it as a bottomless resource. This awareness makes me responsible to consciously embrace each day, to take it all in, and not get so caught up in the doing that I miss the living.
These days, I’m more tuned in to how I want to fill the squares on my calendar. I hope that when it comes time to turn the page at the end of 2016, your spaces are marked with the things that bring you joy, peace, and fulfillment.
Blessings, Pr. Steve