Pastor’s Weekly Message: 07.01.14

Grace Waves


Paradoxes:  A drink that bubbles in empty glasses.  An amplifier that magnifies silence.  A path that grows over after every step. A book that can only be read in the dark.


Deep in the forest there’s an unexpected clearing which can be reached only by someone who has lost their way.
—Tomas Transtromer, Nobel Laureate for Literature

What a fitting celebration we shared with Brock for the conclusion of his Internship Year among us and the inmates of the FCI in Dublin.  No one will forget Pr. Margareta’s “Encouragement from a Wise Chaplain”, children’s time, ‘Eternity’s Hammering Blows’, the poetry of Tomas Transtromer, the clip-clopping of horse’s hoofs, the neighing of clergy and “Happy Trails to You”.  Thanks to Brock for a good year, to his Committee and the Members of Peace for gifting Brock with a solid year of pastoral formation.

Inverse Ratio or The Case for the Necessity of Poetry, Paradox and Metaphor:

Intellectual debate, once a characteristic of our country’s political discourse, has withered.  We have been seduced by the demand for popular appeal, believing we must fit ideas into the sloganeering machine of mass communications – communicating only in the childlike vocabulary and simplistic sound bites of the commercial media.  We have forgotten as Dwight Macdonald wrote, that “as in arts and letters, communicability to a large audience is in inverse ratio to the excellence of a thoughtful approach.” This is not a good thing:  as in art, spirituality and theology, mass appeal is a deforming and crippling factor.  Nor is popular appeal an eternal rule:  in the past, the ideas of a tiny minority – sometimes reduced to the vanishing point of one individual, have gradually come to transform the ideas, views and priorities of their fellow human beings.  Banishing complexity – pushing difficult or unfamiliar ideas to the margins – in order to promote the cultural embrace of simplification, reduces public discourse to speaking in predigested clichés, opinions and slogans.  Neither intellect nor spirit is utilized.  This assault on original thought paves the way for disaster.

Letter from Laurel Galan, Nicaragua:  There was a lovely celebration of the women in Laurel Galan for Mother’s Day. They were so appreciative of the letter and cards and notes from Peace Lutheran. Luis read from Proverbs 31, The Portrait of a Godly Woman, to celebrate the women of Laurel Galan. Dona Amanda prepared a chicken lunch (each community member contributed a certain amount of money, and they also used some community funds). Between Cultures brought a cake to celebrate as well, and Isaura organized games for the women to play. Some of the children recited poems that they had memorized for their moms.   We will be going to Laurel Galan tomorrow. Since they liked sharing the lunch together so much, we suggested that tomorrow each woman bring her own lunch (we requested no one bring meat, so that they don’t go out of their way), and we will bring a drink, and share lunch together before the meeting. During the meeting we will evaluate the Mother’s Day celebration, as well as work on a community letter from Laurel Galan to Peace Lutheran, and see if anyone has letters to send to their prayer partners.  Hope you are well, enjoying these summer months!  Amanda

Keep in your prayers:  Lisa, Gen, Nina, Jasmine, David, Ari, those seeking employment,  the members of our youth group, and those who pray for us.

Members of Peace are travelling around the planet this summer – Europe, Asia, South America, the islands, the mountains and the northern heights of Fresno.  Keep them in your prayers.

Lamento (by Transtromer)

He put the pen down.

It lies there without moving.

It lies there without moving in empty space.

He put the pen down.

So much that can neither be written nor kept inside!

Go seek your own poets, artists, dancers and storytellers to nourish your soul this summer so that you may become enchanted with life once again!

Happy Trails to you.  Pr. Steve