From The Pastor

REVerberations —– March 2014

I loved my time at Andover Newton Theological School! I was there for three years working on my Master of Divinity degree. For two of those years I lived on campus which is quite near Boston where I had lived before and had many friends. My experience provided a chance to make new friends, to study hard, to reflect deeply on what I was doing in seminary in the first place, and to take my next official steps toward ordained ministry. The professors were so personally involved in students’ lives and I developed some very meaningful mentoring relationships with some of them. Continue reading REVerberations —– March 2014

REVerberations – February 2014

REVerberations – February 2014

And so we enter this New Year with hope and renewed commitment to make a difference in the world.  As you can read at other places in this edition of Highlights, our work on transitional housing continues to build momentum.  We now have groups actively engaged with three shelters in the Human Service Program system which serves all of Carroll County.  Our efforts at feeding people in need continue to grow stronger, more diverse, and more comprehensive; we are discovering more and more of the “more” in Meal and More.  By way of congregational representatives, we are actively advocating in various community forums for services and programs that move people from homelessness to housing.  The St. Paul’s Grant Foundation is being re-directed this year to programs which keep in place local people at risk of losing their homes.  And we are actively leading the way with a new idea to actually create jobs in a cottage industry kind of context for people who want to work but cannot find jobs.  With each new endeavor, there are new needs and opportunities that present themselves. Continue reading REVerberations – February 2014

REVerberations – December 2013

REVerberations – December 2013

 OK, so I have a real problem with Christmas. Not as a concept. But as a cultural feat we attempt to pull off in 24 hours in the dead of winter. So much of the world around us starts building just after mid-year toward what we are to believe is the peak of the season,
December 25. We are compelled to orient our lives toward buying just the right presents that we hide away until just the right time. We plan great acts of benevolence and generosity that we hold off until they fall in line with the spirit that we cram into one season. We anticipate that great gifts will be forwarded our way as the season draws to its climax. We host and attend meals and events that we hope will accentuate the specialness of the holiday, lifting our spirits well into the frozen months to come when we hope the memories are enough to warm us until the sun returns. I guess the trending craze is to replicate Roller Derby in the department store showroom, intent on wresting that cherished item from the hands of other determined shoppers before we even finish giving thanks for what we already have. In short, it is easy to use Christmas as an excuse to buy too much, eat too much, worry too much, expect too much. I wonder how any one day could ever bear the enormous weight of expectation with which we burden it. Continue reading REVerberations – December 2013