From the Newsletter: “Letterman Signs Off”

Letterman

This evening, TV personality David Letterman will host his final episode on “The Late Show.” For many, it feels like the end of an era; for others, there is a sense of “Didn’t he just start a few years ago? What, retiring already? Won’t he be bored?”

Certainly, I grew up with Dave—I remember when he was still at NBC, and things were low-budget enough (and kooky enough) that he snuck into the studio of “Live at Five,” which was next to his studio, and stole the Stanley Cup
…which was sitting off-camera, unguarded. I was 10; that was fun.

But Johnny Carson is the one I miss, and though he has been gone for some time, there are times I still miss him. Curious, I dipped into a recent, thoughtful biography about him last year, and it was there I learned how private he actually was—how what was in his heart was something he could show onstage, but often only there. Something about one on one interactions was just too hard for him—maybe too personal. It drained him so easily, and he needed to reserve every bit of his energy and stamina for The Act. It was in The Act that everything came together—and when it came right down to it, Carson was willing to sacrifice just about everything in order to keep it going.

I suspect that Letterman may be a little that way, himself.

Was that selfless or selfish? Either way, did he end up thinking it worth it? Perhaps only Carson (and, with a little time and space to reflect, Letterman) can say, for sure.

That said, the Christian vision of the virtuous life tends to think that being all by ourselves is neither good for us, nor what nurtures the good in us. It teaches that communion and community are closely related concepts.

At Pentecost, which we will celebrate this Sunday, we are reminded that the message of Jesus was not intended as private consolation for one or two people—it was a message that his followers were told to share widely—and their coming together as a community was in order to live out and then go tell that message, which was never imagined as a solo endeavor.

Communion with God and human community are mutually constitutive—they are inextricably bound together. They may even make one another possible.

May our church always be a place where people learn to live into that mystery.
See you in church!

Sermon: “Over the Horizon” (Acts 1:1-11)

Have you ever had the experience of knowing you were losing someone?

Not the experience of loss, exactly.   That’s related to what I mean, but different.

What I mean is the slow, am I or aren’t I, “should I be doing something differently and if so, what?” experience of seeing someone precious to you slip away.

It’s what it feels like when the illness starts to get the upper hand; or when somehow amid the daily grind, your valentine starts seeming more like an irritable roommate than a true partner in your life.

It’s what it feels like when the friend you used to process everything with starts getting too busy to talk, or the boss who hired you grows evasive about the future, and then next year, and then next fall.

And you aren’t quite sure on any given day if something’s changed…and yet, of course, something has.

Something has to have changed because it didn’t used to feel the way it’s come to.

And whether you can gain them back or not still remains to be seen, but so does the fact that, at least for right now, you’re losing someone.

Nancy Reagan once poignantly described life with former President Reagan, who suffered with Alzheimer’s during his final years, as what she said was “just this very long goodbye.”

And that, of course, is just what it is to be losing someone.

Have you ever known you were losing someone? Then you know.

II.

I’m taking us to that twilight place this morning because I can’t help but wonder what it would have been like to be standing with the other disciples on the Mount of Olives, just outside Jerusalem, watching Jesus ascend slowly into heaven.

The medieval church saw it as a triumph and some churches were built with a hole in the roof just for Ascension Day, when a statue of Christ would ascend out of the building and up into the sky.

Other churches apparently rigged it so that the statue of Jesus would go up, and a statue of the devil would go down.

You see, for them, Ascension Day marked the arrival of Christ on his heavenly throne, the King of kings and Lord of lords, sitting on the right hand of God, the Father almighty.

“From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead,” is what it promises the Apostles’ Creed—and for the righteous, for those claimed by Christ, how could this be anything but good news?

The Ascension meant that God was claiming eminent domain over all Creation. That has to be good news.

But then I remember what it is to know that you’re losing someone, what it’s like to watch them go over the horizon…what it’s like when the clouds take them out of your sight, or the gate agent closes the jetway door, or you drop them off at their freshman dorm, or the nurse escorts you to the ER waiting room…I remember all that, and I think about the disciples, and I am not so sure that even promises like those feel much like good news to the disciples, just then.

The Mount of Olives, where they were all gathered, was understood by tradition to be the place where the Messiah would one day return. For what it’s worth, the two men in white robes, who appear at the end, suggest that this is still the plan.

But if they’d learned anything since Good Friday, surely it had to be that with Jesus, plans had a way of changing.

Life has a way of changing our plans, too.

I once worked with a woman who had made a cross-country move with her partner to take the particular job where I knew her. The transition was not easy—her partner said goodbye to a job she’d loved and to nearby family, and New Haven is wonderful, but it is not a place to move to in February…and for a while, their new life became difficult for them both.

And at some point in those weeks, my colleague said, “Sherri seems to think that I’ve disrupted our lives so I can strengthen my retirement plan. I can’t find a way to tell her that she is my retirement plan.”

Maybe that’s some of what is going on for the disciples—that Jesus is their retirement plan. But unfortunately, the emphasis is on the “retirement” part, the “can’t it just be like this forever?” part, and not on Jesus.

Because in the twilight of our losses, we forget that the thing about Jesus is that he abides.

III.

The thing about Jesus is that even when he’s up beyond the clouds, his love abides.

And that’s why this story, which it would be so easy to tell as a story of tremendous loss, is told to us a story of God’s ultimate triumph.

Because even if the disciples can’t quite see it yet, and even if we can’t quite see it at every moment of our own lives, that love remains.

It’s at the heart of everything—through triumph and sadness, celebration and mourning, exaltation and devastation—the love of God, and the burning compassion of Jesus are there.

And the funny thing about it is that if he had changed his mind – if Jesus had chosen at the last minute to stay instead, to walk back down the Mount of Olives and resume his work in the customary way – then I’m not sure the disciples would ever have encountered the love he was trying to tell them about.

Because wonderful as it is to sit at the feet of the Master, the point is to find him again and again.

The point is to find him, not in the places we expect, but in the places we wouldn’t.

The point about God’s love is that it is overflowing, constantly moving, bursting over its banks and running free into the lowest, darkest valleys of the life we know.

Now that Jesus has a bird’s eye view, he is poised to deploy his forces and to bring his love to bear in every valley, which shall be exalted, and in his love, every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked straight, and the rough places plain.

His love abides.

And by “forces,” he means us.

IV.

Now we all know that loving is hard work.

Simply striving for fairness is already a hard work,

and honesty can be exhausting, all by itself,

particularly because honesty is never without consequences.

Consequences are especially exhausting.

But love is never without consequences, either.

Jesus’ life and ministry are surely proof of that.

That’s just what love is like. It’s a sense of connection that runs so deep that we not only understand that our lives will be changed by it—we actually invite those changes.

Jesus did.

And as he ascended into the clouds, he invited those who would follow him to invite those changes into our lives, too.

He invited us to love.

He invited us to find commitments so deep that we were willing to embrace the work of loving, with all its challenges, in the name of connection, with all its grace.

And to that part of us that wants to know how long we will have to put up with all the challenges love presents to us, Jesus says: “It is not for you know the times or periods the Father has set by his own authority” (v.7).

He challenges us to love, and to find the strength to keep on loving—to abide in love as he abides in love.

That’s not to say that connection, any connection, is somehow all that matters.

It’s true enough that life sometimes reveals that we have tried to love the wrong things, or that we’ve tried to love them in the wrong way.

What a universe of difference there is between Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now….

Indeed, if love does not make us wiser, if it does not enlarge our vision and our spirit, then we are not understanding what it seeks to teach us.

But when we do, when we see that sense of connection grow deeper and stronger, and more sure of itself, then something vital comes into blossom.

We know what it is to be part of the force that Jesus seeks to set loose upon the world.

We know what it is to find him again and again, still present in the world he loved so very deeply. Still alive as only love can be alive.

V.

Ascension Day is a day when we may well consider what it is to know you’re losing someone, with all the worry, despair and confusion that the disciples must have felt as they knew they were losing Jesus.

But at an even deeper level, it is God’s invitation to understand the joyful work of finding and being found, of being part of God’s work, and of being an agent of his abiding love.

The historic church understood Ascension Day to be the day when Jesus was, at last in heaven.

May we understand it as the day when he invited us to the work of loving as he loved, and may our love always point the way to his.

Amen.

Newsletter Intro: “The Buddy Bench”

buddybench

“No longer do I call you servants….but I have called you friends”
(John 15: 15)

Dear Friends of Second Church,

At Julian Curtiss Elementary School, where Grace is in the first grade, they have “the buddy bench” at the edge of the playground.

It’s where you go if you don’t have anyone to play with at recess, if you’re not sure how to get in a game of tag, kickball or pretending to be Dora the Explorer. It’s where you go when you’re tired of being “it” and are ready for something else but don’t know how to break into a new thing.

Thanks to some ongoing reminding by their teachers, the students keep an eye on the buddy bench to see if someone is waiting for an invitation to play—and so, recess by recess, they learn to make their circles bigger, and to play games that have room for one more, and, quietly, to be the kind of community where people can ask to belong and find welcome.

It also challenges those looking for a game to play not to be so picky that they end up wasting recess just sitting on the bench. Sometimes, you need to be open to the game that finds you.

If it were up to me, I’d like to see “buddy benches” in every school lunchroom, retirement community, country club and house of worship in the land. Because the places where we interact with one another offer constant possibilities for encounter, and yet don’t necessarily play host for experiences that change us—that offer us a sense of being part of something shared over time, which is what lies at the heart of community.

We don’t typically think of community as something to be learned or taught, and tend to think of it as something that “just happens” (or doesn’t).

Yet so much of the teaching of the Church about its own purpose for existing is an extended lesson in understanding ourselves as a community — a community formed by and for God. We are taught to understand ourselves as part of something over time — a time that extends well beyond our own physical life span, and includes the voices of the living and the dead, and the claims and needs of those present and before us as well as those absent and remote from us.

We need to learn ways of being together that make room for our own loneliness, our own confusion, and our own desire to break into new things. But we also need to develop the eyes to see those who await our invitation, in whatever form it may come.

Jesus didn’t call us servants, but friends. And as we find our way into being the community in his name, we are called to make friends of all kinds, in all places, to our great joy and his.

See you in church,

Sermon: “Love One Another” …A Mother’s Day Sermon (John 15: 12-19)

In England, they have apparently discovered a way, using two electrical paddles, to simulate the physical experience of contractions—and for a fee, those who want to share in the experience of childbirth can now do so.

When I was born, fathers waited nervously in a smoke filled waiting room and were introduced to their newborns behind glass, which was a little like visiting a zoo.  No longer. Now we dads want to be there. You know…sharing the experience.

So with these paddles, now dads can take it to the next level.

But just in case you wonder whose side they’re on, the picture on their promotional materials makes it clear—it’s a picture of a man on an exam table, screaming at the top of his lungs, while his wife sits next to him….weeping with delighted laughter.

….So if you’re still in the market for a Mother’s Day gift, look no further….

Of course, on a day when we are reminded to remember our mothers, and to consider some of our many cultural expectations around motherhood, thinking about their experience should be central in our thoughts.

And yet, I think we need to move quite cautiously if we are inclined to think that we can ever precisely share that experience.

Because if we can share it at all, the ways in which we can are not simple.

II.

That’s an insight that goes deep into the DNA of the Christian movement, too.

Jesus was unusual for his time in even noticing women, and in having women at the heart of his movement before, during and after the resurrection.

At the heart of his teaching was the recognition that no human life is simple, that we all have dreams and regrets, loves and losses, moments of courage and moments of fear, and life wisdom that comes, but only at a very high price.

And if Jesus saw that this was as true for women as it was for men, well, that was unusual. Also, surely commendable.

But if that’s as far as we get, it’s not far enough, and Jesus would be the first to say so.

Because in his openness to the friendship of women, and the insights of women, and the reality of the sins of women as well as their graces, Jesus wasn’t simply putting women on a pedestal and leaving them there.

He was recognizing that they were partners in the work, and part of God’s plan for the redemption of the world, imperfect but utterly committed to sharing the love of God with all the world.

Jesus wasn’t trying to claim he could share in their experience. His point was that women were an expression of God’s experience.

That God’s love is embodied—made visible—in the witness of all God’s people, and that what matters is not what you look like or what your background is, or your biology.

What matters is having a heart that has been touched by God.

He was saying that underneath all our differences, there is an underlying unity tin God hat binds us all.

But at the same time, within the unity that binds us all, God’s love takes a million different forms. It is made real through the lives of people of all descriptions.

The love of mothers was only one. But it was an important one. Appreciating women’s lives in their complexity is in Christianity’s DNA.

III.

That said, Mother’s Day can also be a day that doesn’t exactly lend itself to complexity.

For so many people, it seems to be making an argument not only about what motherhood is, but about what all women’s lives are about.

It’s a day when it can seem strangely hard to acknowledge that not every woman feels called to be a mom, and that not every mom turns out to be a saint, just as surely as not every woman has an inner Martha Stewart whom she seeks to channel.

Cynthia Bowser, from Greenwich Social Services, who is on the front lines of need in our community, once told me ruefully, “Some people just should not be parents.”

On a day like today, there are people in this room who know that this was true of their own mothers, and that’s a complicated place to be in, amid all the flowers, and the cards, and the people going to brunch.

For some, there is the dreaded phone call that lies ahead, with all its painful pretending.

Likewise, for mothers who have lost children, or who do not have the bond they hoped for with a child, there is heartache – a heartache at remembering the phone that will not ring, the card that isn’t on the kitchen counter, or the empty chair at that brunch.

Love is not always a sweet emotion.

Considering how best to honor our mothers isn’t something we should do lightly or unadvisedly.

Complexity should be part of this day.

IV.

But the fundamental challenge of Mother’s Day comes down to this: how do we say thank you for being loved?

The poet Billy Collins asks that question in a poem that some of you may know, titled, “The Lanyard.”

Here’s the poem (reader’s note: the poem can be found at (It’s worth it):

http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php?date=2008/01/26

How do we say thank you for being loved? For the providence that sustains us as we grow into the fullness of adult stature? How do we acknowledge that we are here thanks to a grace that we will never be able to make even, and are not expected to?

Jesus says, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12).

This morning, I hear in that a call to love the world as an expression of our gratitude.

We cannot all share the experience of motherhood. But we can share the love we have received and offer some of it as the love we have to give.

And the Christian understanding of what it is to share our love is to do things that give life – that nurse the sick, that teach others to walk and swim, that feed the hungry and clothe the naked, and offer insight and knowledge, and offer someone “two clear eyes to see the world,” as Collins says.

How can you and I give life? That’s the question.
Because that’s what it is to have a heart that has been touched by God.

To love the world as Jesus does, and to love the world as so many mothers do, is to enter into all the complexity of human need, and human becoming, and to lend ourselves to that work, in all its diaper-changing, tantrum-receiving, snack- providing glory.

Today is a day when we say thank you to some of those who offer us that kind of love.

And it’s a day to ponder how it is that, even in some small way, we might offer our love back to them, and to the wider world—how it is we might know and guide and serve people in all their need and in all their ragged and slow becoming.

Jesus says, “Love one another as I have loved you.” It is the only way to share the experience.

The experience of motherhood.
The experience of faith.
The experience as life as Jesus invites us to live it. The experience of anything worth sharing.

God bless the mothers who show us how. Happy Mother’s Day, one and all.
Amen.

Newsletter: The Soaring Heart

kitty hawk

Dear Friends of Second Church,

I’ve just started historian David McCullough’s new book on the Wright brothers—and it’s already fascinating.

For example: I’ve learned that even in grade school, Wilbur Wright was making models of things that flew, believing wholeheartedly that some day, he would fly.

I’ve learned that even though they were three years apart, Wilbur and Orville were so close that they not only worked together six days a week, lived together in their father’s house, and shared a bank account—sometimes one would be humming a tune in their workshop, and the other would come in from running an errand…humming the same tune.

Wilbur was a promising student from early on—until mysteriously, a fight with a notorious local bully in his senior year sent him into a personal tailspin. For three years, he rarely left the family home, and instead was the primary caregiver for his sickly mother, and an incredibly prodigious reader. This reading became the backbone of his education for adult life.

The way McCullough tells the story, it seems as if there was more than a little — what? — magic, perhaps…or better yet, destiny that hovered over these brothers.

The challenge of flight had fired the imagination of some of the world’s greatest thinkers for thousands of years, including people like Leonardo da Vinci. Yet it would be these two brothers, self-taught mechanics, working out of a Dayton, Ohio machine shop who were the first to fly.

Maybe one lesson to learn is that, when you’re the right person for the task, nothing can stand in your way.

But the Wrights didn’t seem to see it that way—they were well aware of the challenges they had to overcome, and all the reasons that their success was far from inevitable at every milestone of their journey.

Although they were religious men (their father was a bishop in the United Brethren), they saw their own story as a testimony to the power of perseverance. No matter what they found the strength to keep going—to keep trying—to stay focused.

Our faith would probably agree.

The Apostle Paul writes in Philippians: “I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want. I can do all things in him who strengthens me” (4:13).

Rather than dream of a faith that will make all doors fly open, and every obstacle evaporate, Paul urges us to seek a faith that gives us the power to keep going. He tells us to trust not simply in what God will do, but in what God will do in us to accomplish his purposes. This is what will teach us to soar.

May each of us seek God’s vision for how we might contribute to the greater good, in ways large and small, and may he grant us the strength to pursue it faithfully.

Sermon: “Because” (based on “God is Love,” from 1 John 4:2-21)

jamaican

I can’t remember if it was my sophomore or junior year in college, but at one point at the very beginning of December, I decided it was time to do some laundry.

Actually, if I’m honest, that time had come probably about two weeks before, because I was on my last of everything.

You know that point when you’re down to wearing knitted wool ski socks to the gym, and if that’s not bad enough, you look down and realize that one of the socks is argyle and the other one isn’t?

Well, that’s where I was.

So off I went to do my laundry—two E&R laundry bags and my father’s duffel bag from being in Vietnam, full of pretty much every stitch of clothing I possessed.

The laundry room was empty when I got there, so after getting things started, it didn’t take long before I got bored, and I wandered back to my room. And I must have fallen into something there because I remember that it wasn’t until several hours later that I returned to make a horrible discovery: every last article of clothing was gone.

Now, I had been gone long enough that for all I know, someone came in, put everything in the dryer, folded it all item by item, put it in a little basket, and then walked it out, load by load, into some sort of waiting panel truck and from there, into oblivion.

I never saw any of those clothes again.

Now, there are worse things. Christmas wasn’t long off. But it wasn’t Christmas yet…and so for three weeks, I became the great borrower of the Class of 1992.

It’s the only time in my life I’ve worn designer jeans. Which I am still not over.

But what was even stranger was wearing other people’s t-shirts.

T-shirts celebrating bands I wasn’t into, and concerts I had not been to. Eddie Money. The Fine Young Cannibals. Thomas Dolby’s “Flat Earth” tour, Radio City Music Hall, 1983.

There were others, bearing logos for teams I didn’t follow. And vacation spots I’d never visited…or even heard of.

What was “Bonaire?” I remember wondering.

People I’d never noticed before would pass me in the library and start nodding, like, “Yeah, man, allright…” and I’d look down and realize I was wearing a t-shirt that said something like “Jamaican Me Crazy.”

It was horrible and yet, also fascinating.

It was fascinating to see how our loves, our loyalties, our affiliations can define our public persona—and make us newly visible or invisible to the people around us.

It was amazing to see how the most slender connection could be something that gave someone the courage to reach out to a stranger. You know, “Go Cards!”

Those three weeks gave me a window into just how much we wish to be known, and how strange it is to be known inaccurately, even in the briefest and most superficial kind of interaction with someone you’re unlikely to see ever again.

Unsettling as it was, I was able to see just how much we seek to come together around the things we love.

II.

The First Letter of John is also trying to speak to that dream, although the letter is trying to take it much further.

Written to a community of Christians that seems as if it was starting to fray, the letter is trying to describe – to remind them – what it is to be brought together and sustained, not by superficial commonalities, but by love in its deepest form.

It says, famously, “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love” (v. 7-8).

It’s meant to be reassuring, of course.

It’s saying that whichever way the winds of doctrine may blow, whatever tests people devise to say who’s in and who’s out, no matter how a community’s outward fortunes may appear, the thing to keep our eyes on is the depth and how loving we learn to become.

Because God is to be found not in the doctrine, or in the pedigree of the members, or the outward trappings of a community, but in its love and care.

That’s reassuring.

But it’s also a warning.

Because loving is something that many of us do so quite badly, and it’s only with God’s help that we can learn to do it better.

Maybe you’ve heard Samuel Johnson’s quip about second marriages, that they are the “triumph of hope over experience.”

It’s true. It’s also not just limited to marriages.

So much of our pain in this world comes from discovering we have loved the wrong things—that we’ve loved someone for all the wrong reasons….or loved ourselves in ways that did not end up serving us well.

Left to our own devices, it’s tempting to hear that God is love, and to conclude that if God is love, well, then love must be God. That all that matters is love…but love on our terms, and not on God’s terms.

And what John’s letter wants to do more than anything is to invite us into love on God’s terms.

As we’ve noted, Scripture says, “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God.”

An alternative translation, the Moffatt translation, phrases it a bit more loosely, saying: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love belongs to God….”

And theologically, that’s very much the direction that John’s letter wants to point us in.

Because if love isn’t simply from God, or of God – if love actually still belongs to God – then it’s only ours to borrow.

If love belongs to God, then it’s something that God has chosen to lend us, a piece of the divine essence…and it’s something we need to take care of as we use it, because it isn’t ours to do with however we like.

It is precious.

If the First Letter of John is to be believed, then how we come together around the things we love isn’t just about our desire to be known—it’s about what happens when we try to bring something deeper, something truer, something more honest and beautiful into our attempts at connection.

“We love,” it says, “because he first loved us” (v. 19).

And to live in the way that this morning’s passage describes, is to live with that “because” very much on our hearts.

Because too many people “love” only as long as it feels nice.

Because too many people “love” simply in order to get their needs met.

Because too many people “love” out of a desire to control.

This morning’s Scripture would go so far as to say that, left to its own devices, human love is profoundly misshapen, like an old, bent nail.

Because we are called to love in a way that begins and ends in something bigger than just us, and bigger than right now.

Because we are called to see that love as ours only in trust.

Because really, love belongs to God.

So, however it is that we may dream of connection with others, our Scripture this morning is trying to take that dream much further, and to invite us into God’s dream—a dream that would connect us with all Creation.

III.

Jesus says: “Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. “

“I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5)

Today’s Scripture reminds us that as we learn his way of loving, we are transformed, and we learn what it is to branches that abide in the vine.

Apart from him, we can do nothing—nothing that is destined to endure. But with him, there is nothing we can’t do.

And knowing that is everything. Everything we could ever want and more.

Amen.

Newsletter: Mr. Softee

mrsoftee

In the Brooklyn of my childhood, it wasn’t really Spring until the Mr. Softee trucks came out.

It didn’t matter what you were doing…whenever you heard the tingling bells of the Mr. Softee truck, you dropped what you were doing and ran for the street as fast as you could.

I mean this.

One day, my friend, Benji Dorfman was in the middle of washing the family dog, and in true Pavlovian fashion, heard the bells and ran for the street without another thought, leaving the dog to roll the soap suds off on the living room carpet. The white living room carpet.

Douggie Armer used to run for the truck without remembering to get money first—until as a form of tough love, we refused to spot him, and started making him go back and ask his mom.

Oh…the many near misses with speeding cars! Oh…the horror of getting to the street, only to see the truck already turning the corner at the end of the block, which made it officially out of bounds.

But that was Spring.

In fact, I remember my surprise at seeing the Mr. Softee guy riding the Lexington Avenue subway one Saturday during the winter—it was like someone handing you an Easter egg on Halloween.

What are the rites of Spring for you?

Maybe it’s getting the grill or the lawnmower back in working order. Maybe it’s putting your golf clubs back in the trunk, or getting your beds planted. For some of our teachers, it’s navigating how you’ll teach your classes in May with all the disruption of AP exams. And for our snowbirds, maybe it’s packing up the cars and heading back to Greenwich.

Now that I’m older, these are the precious weeks when it’s warm enough to sit outside on the porch, but there aren’t any bugs.

However it is you know for yourself that Spring has sprung, I hope you’re able to find a way to appreciate this gentle season, and to find in it sources of rest, joy, and connection with all living things. In some ways, our lives return endlessly to larger rhythms and cycles, and things are forever coming around again. At the same time, when Mr. Softee rounds the corner, an opportunity slips away.

May you and I make space for the larger rhythms of Creation, and the soft, tinkling music of God’s love in these days.

See you in church,