Saturday, November 21, 2009

Another year ends

Leaf Labyrinth at the Harmonist Cemetery

Ben Nicholson created a labyrinth out of leaves at the Harmonist Cemetery. Of course its gone now but while it was there it was both lovely and fun to walk. I would call it a "high maintenance" labyrinth because the wind wanted to redesign the path! Ben persevered and a number of folks came to walk. It was one of those lovely fall days which we have had in abundance this year. Today it is in the 60's and sunny in that hazy fall way. Katie and I just got back from our afternoon walk and I decided to break my long absence from this blog to write again. Yes, it has been busy and once again our little parish seems to be plagued with pastoral problems; but I have missed the outlet of writing here.

Tomorrow is Christ the King Sunday and it marks the last Sunday of the Church year. Next Sunday is Advent I and we turn our hearts hopefully toward Jesus coming among us in the Incarnation. I relished in cleaning the house yesterday, getting down the cobwebs of summer and rearranging the furniture so I can sit in the late afternoon sun as I write and do my "projects." It means so much to bask in those last rays on these short days. As I scrubbed and vacuumed I focused on making my home ready for Jesus. I am always hopeful that all that I do in these weeks of Advent will be preparation for Jesus' coming. Every Christmas light and decoration will be placed to honor his arrival; every present bought and wrapped to celebrate his birth; all of my "devotions" will prepare my heart as a place for him to live. Those are my best intentions which are not always realized and yet my heart is open.

I saw a car in Evansville last week that had a sticker on it reading "Psalm 109.8." Being the curious sort I looked it up and found that it read, "Let his days be few; and let another take his office." I looked online and found that this verse has become a slogan for those who dislike President Obama. I felt my own fear level rise several notches as I read the next verse of the Psalm: "Let his children be fatherless and his wife a widow." It has surprised me the number of people who have made racially derogatory remarks to me about Obama. I don't say much at all in the way of political affairs to anyone but close friends. As a minister in a very small town I try to stay away from those political "pitfalls" although it probably wouldn't be hard for folks to guess where I stand. I know that President Obama has made some controversial decisions but I can't remember a President of the US that hasn't made controversial decisions. Some of those previously made decisions were quite distasteful to me and yet I can't remember ever thinking, "I wish he were dead." I find it quite hard to listen to people who demonize someone because they are African - American, Muslim, Native American, Hindu, Jewish, or any one who is different. The color of some one's skin, or the way someone worships does not render them dirty, or ignorant, or terrorist. Any of us can be those things and we forget that. I pray that President Obama and his family are kept in the palm of God's hand, safe from harm.
Mickey Grimm - the longest drum roll!

Mickey Grimm is a percussionist who lives here in New Harmony. He and his wife Molly are musicians from Nashville who moved here several years ago. Recently Mickey undertook the project of accomplishing the longest drum roll for the Guinness Book of Records. He performed this feat at the Coffee Shop on a Saturday afternoon. He did it to raise money for the repair of our town clock. It was successful on many fronts - financial and accomplished time. I can't tell you exactly how long he performed the drum roll but by saying "several hours" you will get the picture of the kind of perseverance it took! You just never know what you will run into in this little town! Way to go Mickey!!