Sacred Silence

“Hello darkness, my old friend, I’ve come to talk to you again…” (The Sound of Silence lyrics
copyright Paul Simon Music) Years ago, part of an English literature class was to interpret song lyrics. For one of those assignments, I selected The Sound of Silence. I know the lyrics were not intended to mean what I am about to say, but back in 1966 when I first heard it, I was 11 years old. What was important to me in 1966 was God, and I was connecting everything in my life to God. When I heard the opening lyrics, I interpreted the words as though someone was befriending the darkness to pray – that is where God could be found. Moreover, one obviously met God there frequently, because of the word ‘again’. The darkness was a safe place where one could talk freely to God with no worries. Of course, these were only the journaled thoughts of an 11-year-old child.

Sometimes, we need to seek silence, day or night, to meet God there. In the sacred silence, God is with us, creating our faith.

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem worship audio 101021 –

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1frfDMlryx3BQuQRERlg3ekE75s6TpJFe/view?usp=sharing

Refreshing

So sad to see summer go, but the weather today is awesome! The crispness in the air this morning was welcome, and so is the breeze blowing now! A good balance of warm sunshine and cool air! Just right for an autumn day!

A shout out to members of confirmation class and friends who helped make and distribute bagged lunches today at Christ UCC, Bethlehem! Way to go to help our neighbors in need!

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem worship audio 9/26 –

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CDkSwIq2j6hO5vJR0Gt1QiIErS1y5ejS/view?usp=sharing

Miss her

I miss my grandmother. Immensely. Every day. September is a tender month, not just because of Grandparent’s Day, but her birthday was celebrated in this month, too. I keep her memory alive in my heart and even now, treasure the times we shared. To all grandparents everywhere today, sending hug and blessings to you.

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem worship audio Sept. 12th –

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MM5EOFmM66FIQFgXLr7TQhK0Cq8ol8r5/view?usp=sharing

Not ready yet

The past few days I have been cleaning up outdoors from the remnants of Hurricane Ida passing through our area. Fallen branches scattered throughout the property, trash cans of broken twigs mostly. I had to say goodbye to my at least 10-foot sunflower – she lay broken across the backyard, cut down by the storm. This morning, as I was sitting on the back patio, surveying the results of my clean-up – a clean lawn – I noticed what appeared from where I was sitting, to be a pile of ‘something unknown’. I stepped off the patio and walked toward the mystery – a small gathering of leaves! Already falling to the ground, a sure sign of a new season around the corner. I sipped my tea and walked back to the patio. In a few weeks, another season will start. I am not quite ready for that; I still want to linger in these summer days. No rush to clean up the leaves that are naturally falling, either. There will be plenty more!

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem worship audio Sept. 5th

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QQRIeo3Z80P9KOSY54UME56u2_2vZSeA/view?usp=sharing

Storms

Hurricane Ida and its development into a Cat 4 hurricane has been in the forecast for New Orleans and surrounding communities the past few days. I cannot imagine the impact of such a catastrophic storm happening here in my zip code. I was thinking of how not all storms are in the forecast. They pop up unexpectedly. For each of these times, when our lives are turned upside down because of storms of any sort, we can be thankful for a God who will help us navigate them.

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem worship audio August 29th

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1U85tvNIpudEQwx8oXHBlLIrwwiLrWIzL/view?usp=sharing

The color gray

For someone like myself who has been diagnosed with non-anterior ischemic optic neuropathy, these gray-colored days are really better than the brighter, sunnier ones. I am not complimenting nor complaining. But for others who experience the same vision loss, perhaps it is the same for you. Each experience of such vision loss is a little different. For me, it seems a little easier to journey through the day.

St. Thomas UCC worship audio 8/22 –

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rEiRZ_lU4XgQ_FxoO8DAA-idsqY3dqRl/view?usp=sharing

Worry

In the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 6, Jesus tells us “not to worry”. I know – easier said than done. But we can have concerns. Concerns spark action. Our concerns for others  this hour for Haiti and loss of life (more than 700 people) because of an earthquake (and now a tropical storm bearing down on them); and for the Afghan women, children, men and the Americans in Kabul who are in harm’s way. Our concerns for them should lead us to prayer.

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem
Worship audio for August 15 –

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mDvh19Ucl9D-DYqYYqU3w3zg6n4GcxQn/view?usp=sharing