In the Church Bulletin

Church in Cumberland

AT THE BOTTOM of the bulletin,
where it lists names –
pastors, secretary, heads of various boards, etc –
the words,
at the very, very bottom,
the last words:

Ministers: the entire congregation

Now that seems right.

* * *

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SABBATH THOUGHT from Psalms: “He will not let your foot slip…”

THE GREETERS. “All before 8:30 on a Sunday morning.”


The Greeters

COFFEE WAS ALL THE TALK in the foyer yesterday morning, 8:20.

“Had my first taste of coffee when I was just a young child.”

I can’t for the life of me recall how it came up, but there I was, well-greeted by the two gentlemen who man the door.

They always look so happy to see me, possible backslider, sporadic attender. (They don’t know I’m at 9:45 the other 3 Sundays of the month.)

They shook my hand and gave me a bulletin.

“Yep, I was just a boy. My mother would pour some over a piece of toast, then sprinkle sugar on top.”

“I take mine straight up. Nothing added,” said the other, dapper in his green sport jacket.

“That was our breakfast sometimes. French toast, so to speak.┬áThat’s how poor we were. Didn’t have no syrup, so she poured on coffee and sugared it.”

WHY IS IT these little conversations seem more important to me than almost anything else I hear? Nonsensical perhaps, inconsequential, with no claims for world peace or rescue for the economy or cures for cancer. But by them I am rendered rich and made to feel the luckiest girl in the world. All before 8:30 on a Sunday morning. The real stuff of life.

* * *

The candidates descend on Ohio now and I’m fairly certain nothing I hear will inspire me as much as this minute or two with the church greeters.

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Sabbath Planting

Are you planted somewhere?
We are, I fear, becoming increasingly
a culture of lone rangers.

A single pansy, so pretty.
But grouped together,
packed tight –
yet with room to grow,
none eclipsing the other –
withstanding the strong breezes of March….
unrehearsed they dance!
* * *

May you be firmly planted somewhere on Sunday!

Six days you shall labor,
but on the seventh day you shall rest..
– Exodus 34:21 (NIV)

“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another...” – Hebrews 10:25

Reposted from the archives.