We made it to Albany. Here are Maris, who just turned two and Seth who was born on May 4.
Our thanks to Jerry and Betty Smith for this lunch recommendation in Apalachin, NY.
At the mercy of schedules beyond my control, the week-long visit to the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC was pushed to February. The class task was to build an Arts & Crafts-style bookcase. I’ll post a picture of that once I figure out how to do it. Marie completed a workshop on “rep weaving,” a versatile type of weaving developed in Sweden that uses closely-spaced warp threads.
Carpentry is a joy for me, and part of my summer sabbatical will give me time to practice skills learned at the Campbell Folk School. I will be using lumber harvested from my property on the northeast side of Bloomington to build the cabinetry for a kitchenette in my basement. Tulip poplar, wild cherry, elm, cedar, and maple will (hopefully) offer inspiration in grain and texture for this holy work of getting to know more fully the characteristics of native woods.
On the way to Brasstown, Marie and I stopped in New Castle, Kentucky, to see the Wendell Berry Center and bookstore. Berry’s writings and a lecture at I.U. a few years ago have been inspirations for the work of creation care that is so close to my heart.
On the way home, we visited with St. Thomas mission partners at The Lutheran Church of the Living Waters in Cherokee, NC. It was a precious time, especially since Pastor Jack was just getting back to regular duties following a serious and long-term illness. What a blessing to get to know some of the folks and to share worship with them.
And what blessings these three initial parts of the sabbatical were.
Below is the text of a sermon from Easter 2/St. Thomas Sunday/Earth Day (4/23/17) which, in part, introduces the sabbatical theme.
Alleluia! Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Today, we are attempting quite a feat. We are trying to blend the Second Sunday of Easter with St. Thomas Sunday and Earth Sunday, with a Reformation 500 component. As you likely know by now, St. Thomas started officially on April 3rd, 1960 in the Indiana Memorial Union with 64 charter members and their 27 children. We observe that event each year on the Second Sunday of Easter because of the gospel reading for today, depicting St. Thomas as needing to see in order to believe. The reading invites us to be inspired to devotion apart from the sense of sight: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” (Jn. 20:29)
It is also Earth Sunday, with Earth Day having been celebrated yesterday with various events, including the Earth Day Festival in Indianapolis and the March for Science at many locations, including Bloomington.
In consultation with the Council, the Worship Committee, and the Reformation 500 Task Force, we decided it would be helpful to blend these into a single celebration today, to include a blessing of the St. Thomas Community Garden, which immediately follows worship today. Those who are able will gather in the Community Garden. Those who are less mobile may participate from the narthex patio.
The Reformation 500 group is looking towards our Mayfest Celebration on Sunday, May 21st. That is my final Sunday here prior to a time of renewal (a.k.a. sabbatical in some spheres). The renewal theme relates to creation care (raise your hand if you’re surprised!). With that theme and the timing, we thought this would be a great opportunity to help you all understand something of the plans for this summer. And there are some related invitations that you will see in the narthex.
So, let me bring you up to speed on this clergy and congregational renewal project.