Monday Musings, February 8, 2021

Siblings in Christ–

Grace and peace to you this Monday morning.  I begin this week asking for prayers for my dad who had hip replacement surgery last week.  It was an unexpected operation resulting from a fall.  The surgeon is pleased with the outcome.  Now for physical therapy; I’m sure he’s going to be enjoying that!  I also ask for prayers for my mom who is carrying the weight of waiting.  If not for a global pandemic, my sister and I would be there waiting with her.  We too would be able to visit daddy in the hospital.  For now, we have to be satisfied with texts and phone calls.  I know many of you know what this feels like.  As I type this, I am listening to Jon Fancher at Rocky River–a powerful reminder of weary and waiting and God’s presence in the midst of it.  It is a good word for me to hear this morning.  

STAFF NEWS ALERT!! Last week, I  mentioned February milestones for Presbytery staff.  I left off a very important day–Judy Mitchell’s birthday is February 12.  Make a note of that day as you remember the other important dates.  If you need a reminder of what those are, click on the link at the top of this message for the archives of the Musings.

Here’s the list for the week:

  1. Matthew 25 Bible Study
  2. A Hymn for Ash Wednesday
  3. Robert S Duncanson
  4. When Restaurants Close, What Happens to the Communities that Rely on Them?
  5. Funeral Directors Survive Surreal Year with Creativity and Faith
  6. Naming My African Ancestors to Keep Them Alive
  7. Becoming A Nation of Better Neighbors Starts with Equality
  8. The Echoes of January 6
  9. Technology and the Disappearance of the Person
  10. Hello to the New Tiger Cubs!
  11. Great Sledding Places in NE Ohio
  12. And Who Doesn’t Enjoy Watching Pandas frolic in the snow?
  1. Matthew 25 Bible Study:  As Jeff Nichols shared at our recent Presbytery meeting, the Matthew 25 Task Force is leading a Bible study series beginning on February 14.  You can find all the information here, including how to register.   
  1. A Hymn for Ash Wednesday:  Our colleague Henry Pearce, pastor at Medina Presbyterian, is a hymn writer.  Here is one appropriate for Ash Wednesday.  
  1. Robert S Duncanson:  This painting by Robert S Duncanson was presented to President Biden on the day of his inauguration.  Duncanson, an African American painter living during the time of the Civil War spent much of his career in Cincinnati.     
  1. When Restaurants Close, What Happens to the Communities that Rely on Them?:  One aspect of this global pandemic is that we are losing our third spaces–those places that are neither home nor office.  This article examines what happens to communities when those places close–even temporarily.  
  1. Funeral Directors Survive Surreal Year with Creativity and Faith:  One relationship very important to me as a parish pastor was the one I had with the local funeral director.  Anna was kind and gracious; she was a balm for families as they worked on arrangements when a loved one died.  I thought about her as I read this article on what Funeral Directors have experienced this past year.   
  1. Naming My African Ancestors to Keep Them Alive:  Thank you to my friend Jan Edmiston for making me aware of Dr. Yolanda Pierce.  Dr. Pierce in this article writes about the need for respect and the necessity of memory.
  1. Becoming A Nation of Better Neighbors Starts with Equality:  Using the parable of the good samaritan, Mycal X. Brickhouse writes about what makes for a good neighbor in this age of division.  
  1. The Echoes of January 6:  Dan Rather offers his reflections on what happened on January 6.  
  1. Technology and the Disappearance of the Person:  No one can doubt the ways in which technology have been instrumental in our maintaining connection with one another during this pandemic.  Advances in technology have also led to medical discoveries, gene sequencing, not to mention mobile phones and Google Maps.  In this article Jens Zimmermann reflects theologically on technological advancement and the reality of incarnation.  You may not agree with any or all of it and it is a compelling read.  
  1. Hello to the New Tiger Cubs!:  The Cleveland Zoo welcomes these two cuties!  
  1. Great Sledding Places in NE Ohio:  Did your favorite hill make the cut?  
  1. And Who Doesn’t Enjoy Watching Pandas frolic in the snow?:  Do I really need to say anything else about this?  

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