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May 1, 2019, 12:00 AM

My Two Cents


“My daughter is on the brink of everything.”

This is how Courtney Martin described her sixteen month old daughter in her essay “Reuniting with Awe”. Everything her little girl experiences ushers in a whole new world- a daisy, an M&M, being swung by her hands- “do it again, mommy!”

This is also the title for Parker Palmer’s newest book- “On the Brink of Everything”. Palmer is about to turn 80 and has been writing for most of those years. This book is his reflection on “Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old”. After acknowledging that his body is showing plenty of the effects of having lived eighty years, he boldly claims that he likes being old, especially when he is able to live in the moment and savor the little things each new day brings- a good night’s sleep, the way the sun lights up the frost on his bedroom window at sunrise, and the first sip of his morning coffee.

Each day to which he awakens is another day to be on the brink of everything. Which is also how I like to think of the life of this 115 year old congregation. Sure, we are old! But, we are also on the brink of everything!

Consider our recent life:

We are on the brink of living into our call to welcome all of God’s people- not only to give everyone a place at the table but to ask everyone to help us design the menu! What a delight it is as your pastor to look around and find members of the LGBTQ+ being warmly and enthusiastically drawn into the bonds of this community. And how cool is it that we have a growing number of people in our faith community for whom English isn’t their first language. All means all!

We are on the brink of becoming a neighborhood congregation with a metropolitan draw. Most of our newest members have come to us from right around the neighborhood while dozens of people we never see in Sunday morning worship (but are here during the week for school or maybe a little support) think of this as their church! Meanwhile our history, our denominational identity and our vibrant music and worship lures people of faith to worship here from far and wide.

We are on the brink of a new generation of children growing up in our midst while taking seriously our ministry to individuals and families without kids. Maybe you’ve noticed the growing number of kids here on Sunday morning learning the stories of Jesus and developing a love of worship AND community service. Meanwhile things like study groups, women’s retreats and Theology on Tap give the adults around here a precious opportunity to open up with one another.

And, dare I say it, we are on the brink of a new kind of Christianity, a kind of Christianity that seeks to take the life-affirming practices of the secular world like Yoga, gardening, book clubs, meditation, play groups and volunteering; and center them in the life of Jesus Christ.

This is an exciting time to be part of the church. This is an exciting time to be a member of the faith community we call Christian Temple. At such a time as this, we call upon all the members of this congregation to consider making a financial pledge that will help us take the thrilling steps that will carry us from “on the brink” into “a brand new world”!

Shalom,

Rick

 


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