Thoughts & Shoes

Most days when I come home, one of the first things I do is take off my shoes and place them neatly side-by side in a designated spot on the porch. However, there are days when I come home and just kick off my shoes and sit back for a minute or two before moving on to the next thing. Today was one of those days.

 I looked over at my shoes –  awkwardly lying there.

Reminded me of the times (like today!) when my mind is full and the thoughts are scattered – seems they cannot even be threaded together to form one single complete thought!

Lent is a perfect opportunity to re-fresh and re-new one’s mind and spirit. Take intentional time to breathe, to pray, and to read scripture. I am reading 40 Psalms during the 40 days of Lent. Today I read Psalm 121, with a focus on verses 1-2 and 7-8. The Lord will keep you from all harm…

Happy Spring????

Without looking at the calendar, one would think this was an early spring day! Mild temps and lots of sunshine! Guess we should soak it all in, because the reality check is, we are still in the season of winter – even though the hyacinths, daffodils, and crocuses are blooming! What a joy with Lent just a few days away.

Keep the shovels on hand, though. Don’t put away the ice melt just yet! We have already experienced snow in March!

We should do what we always do – be ready – be prepared. Not just for weather events, but life events in general – Kids moving away from home, unexpected illness, a tax audit, a change in employment status, moving into your first home, loss of a loved one. These life events sandwich our hearts between joy and concern. Staying strong in our faith is a good way to prepare ourselves for however life unfolds. Trust God. Be steadfast. Be courageous. All seasons.

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem worship audio 2/19 –

Keep Praying

Nearly a week since the most devastaating earthquake inb history, rescue workers in Turkey and Syria still search for signs of life in freezing temperatures. The death toll has risen even ince this morning to more than 33,000. We continue to pray.

UCC Associate Minister Karen Georgia Thompson shared this prayer:
God of grace and mercy, there are many who are suffering loss today. Around the world and in our communities we are mourning. Today we come holding in our prayers our siblings in Turkey and Syria who are still searching and rescuing survivors and victims of this earthquake. Be present with these families and communities during this time of crisis and need. Be a source of strength and comfort through these days ahead. Help us to be present on behalf of those in need. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

St. Thomas UCC, BEthlehem worship service audio 2/12:

Be Kind

St. Thomas UCC is promoting a 175 Acts of Kindness campaign in February, as part of our 175th church anniversary celebration. The board is filling up with red, white & pink hearts!! We should not need to be reminded about being kind to others, but it doesn’t hurt! If you say you did not do one kind act last week, think again! I am sure there was something! For example:

  1. Maybe you donated items to BES or our Blessing Bag effort.
  2. Maybe you took soup/meal to a neighbor.
  3. Maybe you sent a card or called someone you had not spoken to in a while.
  4. Maybe you did something for yourself for self-care (we need to be kind to ourselves, too!
  5. Maybe you told a joke and made someone laugh.
  6. Maybe you shared a dessert or treat.
  7. Maybe you watched a friend’s dog while they were on vacation.
  8. Maybe you helped with a chore.

See? There are MANY ways to offer an act of kindness! It will do your heart good!

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem worship audio 2/5 –

A Place

I was sitting on my porch step in the pre-dawn hour this morning, wrapped in a blanket, just emjoying the peace and quiet of the world. I often start the mornings this way.

This morning, in the deepest part of the silence, I felt my heart deeply yearning to be at my grandparent’s house on Fillmore Street in Phillipsburg. Not yearning…aching. I loved my grandparents and I loved their home. Warm memories flooded my heart. Today was no special date – just a cold morning in January, yet my heart and mind journeyed back in time for a few fleeting moments, a time and place that was wonderful.

Where is the place your heart might journey to today? I hope it brings you the warmth of a good memory.

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem worship audio 1/22 –


Huddle up!

Now, more than ever, our community needs your help. The number of families struggling to put good food on their tables continues to grow.

The Souper Bowl of Caring is a national movement across the nation working together to fight hunger and poverty in their communities around the time of the Super Bowl, which this year, is Febirary 12th.

At St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem, we are raising funds to help families at New Bethany Ministries, Bethlehem. We are selling quarts of chili for $9 per quart. To order, call the church at 610-868-9167 or email

Deadline to order is February 5th. Pick up your chili on Saturday, February 11 from 9-noon at the church, 902 East Macada Road.

In this moment

I have really been remiss in not writing in this new year. Admittedly, it has been difficult for me to get into a good rhythm. I find myself working longer days and not enough time for much else. For lots of reasons and unexpected circumstances and situations, I suppose. Both work-related and personal. Isn’t that how life sometimes unfolds? Just reflecting, in this moment.

I am closing in on 6 years since my vision diagnosis of non-anterior ischemic optic neuropathy. That moment definitely led me down an uncharted and unexpected path: lots of fear and uncertainty, lots of adjusting to new ways “to see” and “to learn” and “to live” and “to be”. But at the close of day, I knew I was still one of God’s Beloved. Knowing that, makes the worse moments of this vision loss more palpable, even more of a blessing. Just reflecting, in this moment.

St. Thomas is very excited about kicking off her 175th Anniversary year with a celebratory worship service at 2pm on Sunday, January 15th. Join us in lifting up this milestone!

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem worship Jan. 8th: