Welcome to our blog! This is a place to share ideas, thoughts, concerns and joys of our faith journey. I'll be posting sporadically, but hope you will feel free to comment and join in the discussions.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What a Good Idea!

I got an email from our Family Ministries person. She is enthusiastic and excited about so many things and it's great to see her develop new programs and tweak the ones in place. One of the new ideas she had was to bring together single moms over dinner and babysitting. She knows a few single moms from working with the Nursery School and there seems to be a need. Someone will facilitate the discussions, someone will make sure everyone is fed, someone will make sure the kids are attended to so the moms can be. A wonderful idea.

I remember quite a long time ago, we had a "Mother's Group" for women who had young children and didn't get out much. They met in the mornings, in the used and abused furniture of the downstairs parlor to talk about what it was like being home all day with a toddler. How sometimes you were sure your brain was turning to marshmallow and it was nice when "daddy" came home to have either another adult to speak to, or someone to hand off the minute to minute care and feeding of a child. We talked of other things, too. We talked of the world situation (way before 9/11), we talked of the latest trends in technology (really? a computer in your house?), and we talked of family, life and God. As our children grew many of us got jobs and we no longer could keep attending the group. Others took it over and it went on for a while, but eventually it, too stop meeting.

I bring up this second group for a reason. Many years later, when there was a meeting about something or other at church, a woman remarked that the Mother's Group was a godsend to her. She was so busy with her children, she never saw another adult for days at a time. This group brought her out of herself and her home. She was grateful for its existence. You never know how you serve the Lord, what ways are beneficial to another person, unless you step out and make the effort. The Mother's Group all those years ago wasn't for a selected few, it may not have been highbrow discussion, it didn't really fit into a category of "committee". But we did the work of the Lord's nonetheless. We came together and listened, laughed, cried and talked for just a few months. But for this particular mom, it was a blessing.

I wish such a feeling for this new group. A blessing and a hope that we never stop gathering and coming together under St. Mark's roof.

Monday, September 17, 2012

What Can You Do?

Now there's a question if ever you've heard one! There is someone in trouble..."What can I do?" You know the family of someone who passed away..."What can I do?" A bunch of people are having a pot luck dinner and you've been invited, but your cooking is atrocious..."What can I do?"

Is there ever a good response to this? Especially in the church? Depending on the church of course, the answer can always be, "something". Everyone can do something. Those spiritual gifts thing the bible talks about? They aren't a definitive list, you know. Everyone can do something. I know a woman who is tongue-tied whenever she tries to speak in public, but if you ask her to pray for you...WOW! She is a communicator like no other. I know someone else who cannot string two words (let alone thoughts) together in a written sentence, but she can crochet like a conductor of the Philharmonic, bringing together the strands of yarn in a pattern that would take your breath away. She gives these masterpieces away as gifts. I've met people who will look me in the eye and say they have no talent, but when they listen to me with their whole being, let me know I am a child of God and they love me no matter what, well, I hate to call them a liar to their face, but what talent they have in affirming me cannot be bought.

Everyone can do something. You may not be able to cook, but you can thank God you didn't have to if someone else does it. You may not be able to pray out loud in church on Sunday, but you can thank the person who does it for us so eloquently. You may not be able to come out on Wednesday evenings to join in the class and discussions, but you can ask about what was discussed via e-mail or even the next time you see someone you know attends to keep the discussion lively. You can smile and share it. You can listen without interruption. You can simply not judge the next time someone does something that you are quite sure you would never in a million years do, because you are not in their shoes.

So what can you do? Whatever you'd like, but remember do something!!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Lasting Summer Moments

The sun has gone down on Labor Day 2012. Tomorrow the teachers will report to school and the students will join them the following day. The cycle goes 'round and 'round. Does your faith go in cycles? Mine does, I think. There are times when I am uplifted and astounded at my daily devotions I read. When I am re-awakened with a sermon on Sunday. When I am positively bowled over by examples of the love of God's people for one another. And then there are those other times...I forget who told us that we cannot live on the mountaintop all the time. Or even the vague poem that I hear the refrain from, "it's in the valleys I grow." We know this to be true. The mountains beckon us to come up and breathe the fresh new air, feel the bracing wind, hear the meadow birds. But the cycle of life is down here. Where the backpacks are. Where the pencils are sharpened and the notebooks are written in and the click-click of computer keys for those endless book reports. So let's join in the cycle down here for just a moment to savor what God has brought about. The electricity for the lamps, the electronics, the gadgets we use every day. The sun that lights our path. The moon and stars that grace the earlier evenings. The crickets still chirping outside the window because it's not cold enough yet to chase them underground. The family coming together at the end of the day under one roof that hopefully doesn't leak. Let us rejoice in the cycles of life and faith as we enter another Autumn.