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  • May 15, 2022Grace and a flat tire
     Mike Willock writes: You might very well ask, “What connection does grace possibly have to do with a flat tire?” Let me explain.Recently, I drove this car to St. Louis Area Foodbank in Maryland Heights to pick up 350 lb of food and bring it to the church. That’s a trip of about 50 miles, including long stretches of I-70 eastbound at 60+ mph in heavy traffic to Kingshighway, Page and Tay …
  • May 15, 2022In the bud there is a flower
    Photo contributed by Mike Willock
  • May 7, 2022To those displayed our wobbly papier-mache pencil holders on their desks
     Katy Gordon writes: Here are two poems in honor of Mother’s Day. The first poem offers a humorous look at the insight we gain as adults at the sacrifices our mothers made to bring us into the world and nurture us. Who has not done as the speaker of the poem here does – present our mothers with badly crafted gifts a camp counselor or teacher coaxed us into creating? (The popsicle-stick p …
  • April 25, 2022Poetry: "A Doorway into Thanks"
     Tim Woodcock writes: With National Poetry Month coming to an end, it’s time to share a poem by Mary Oliver that I had put aside and earmarked a few weeks back. Coincidentally, with Earth Day Sunday in mind, Mike Willock, had also sent me a reflection by Oliver about her relationship to nature, which I will incorporate into the second half of this blog post. I came across Mary Oliver …
  • April 17, 2022Happy Easter
    This poem called "Easter, Pandemic" was read in church as part of a recent service by church member Katy Gordon. The context: During Easter 2020 – early in the pandemic when things were in full lockdown and six-foot social distancing guidelines were in place – Katy decided to make muffins and to deliver them to various friends over Easter weekend. At JoAnn Ford's house, th …
  • April 12, 2022At the Cemetery
    During National Poetry Month, as a church community we are beginning to a collect and highlight a series of poems that are especially meaningful to us. Mike Willock would like to shine the spotlight on this poem by Lucille Clifton.Mike Willock writes: I learned about this poem from a Stephen Colbert interview with Elizabeth Alexander on April 7. Elizabeth composed “Praise Song for the Da …
  • March 21, 2022Always there … but hidden from view
    Mike Willock writes: Every now and then a passage of Scripture springs opens in a new way – revealing something that was always there but was somehow hidden from view. That happened to me as I read the March 18 devotion from Luther Seminary, which was the text that Travis preached on this Sunday. The passage was Luke 13:6-9 – the story of the man, the gardener, and the fig tree.Then Jesu …
  • March 16, 2022The Ides of March or Journey to the Cross?
    Ellie Stock has a piece that has just appeared in the Presbytery of Giddings Lovejoy e-newsletter and blog.She compares two deaths – that of Julius Caesar "dying as he tried on hold to power as Dictator for Life of the Roman Empire … his death leading to continuing intrigue, chaos, and power grabs" and that of "Jesus, dying also betrayed and abandoned by his closest foll …
  • March 16, 2022Trying to Get Ready for Spring
    As winter is slowly edged out by spring, here are two timely photos taken by Mike Willock in the church grounds recently, along his amusing captions.Thanks for the contribution, Mike."Even the downspouts are saying what they think about winter""I’m trying to get ready for spring."
  • March 1, 2022"Walking matches amidst so much gasoline"
    Tim Woodcock writes: To return to the theme of the previous blog post about “Poems of hope and resilience,” I was struck by the power of Francisco X. Alarcon’s “L.A. Story.” The context that gives rise to that poem is the Rodney King protests, referred not by name but simply by the date – April 1992 – that is attached to the poem. But the poem reads almost as well in the context of Ukrai …
  • February 3, 2022Is this the place for which our fathers sighed?
    Tim Woodcock writes: Last week Nancy Quigley offered a poem called “What is Hope?” That prompted me to dig around in the Poetry Foundation’s themed collections of poems, anticipating there would be a section of other poems about hope. There was indeed, although it’s actually labeled “Poems of Hope and Resilience.” It’s well worth a look. Some of the poems are very well known. For instanc …
  • January 25, 2022What is hope?
    Nancy Quigley writes: I was talking to a friend last week about hope and the balance and necessity of maintaining a portion of hope in the midst of reality. Finding this balance in a way that is honest might be very difficult when helping a friend face a terminal illness. And it can be challenging in times such as these, when we have lost patience with facing yet another Covid surge and …
  • December 22, 2021Hark!
    Tim Woodcock writes: The carol “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” stirs up very specific memories in me and, perhaps more than any other piece of music, it has the ability to transport me elsewhere. No matter where I am when I hear it, I imagine myself to be in a Methodist chapel in Ketton, a village in England, where my mom’s family is from and where we would typically spend Christmas when …
  • December 20, 2021Marking the Season Latinamente
     A recommendation from Ellen Schroeder: There's an excellent blog post discussing the Latin American tradition of Las Posadas on the website of Bread for the World. The tradition of Las Posadas – which translated means the inns – re-enacts the journey of Mary and Joseph over a series of nights during Advent.  “Traditionally repeated over nine nights, from December 16 to December 24, …
  • December 20, 2021In The Fullness of Earth's Time
    In response to a request for Christmas songs, Ellie Stock shared a song of her own, which was written in the 1970s during the Advent season. While not obviously a Christmas song at first glance, the lyrics explore themes highly relevant to Advent: unfolding mysteries, “chosen-ness,” and the fullness of time. Ellie is currently revisiting many of her previous songs, tweaking them and conv …
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