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Showing posts from May, 2020

The Church has left the building

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Daily Devotion - May 31 I will send a brief message each day (except Mondays)  while we are pausing gathering in person. - Kara Acts 2:1-21, 38-47 We made it through the night. God is here with us now. In the darkest moments of night this week, when the voices of rage and sorrow have been drown out by the violence of evil and destruction, God was here.  In the brightest moments of the day, where collective mourning took the shape of people showing up to help each other, to protest together, to clean up neighborhoods and deliver food, to weep and serve and love and raise voices and repair what is broken, God is with us.  In all things, God is with us. We are not alone. When something awful happens, or awful things that have been happening for a long time come to light, once again, in all their ugliness, and claim our attention, the whole world momentarily takes on a micro focus on that crisis.   We care and we rally, and then we're whiplash shifted onto th

What's rising up

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Daily Devotion - May 30 I will send a brief message each day (except  Mondays ) while we are pausing gathering in person. - Kara Last night was filled with destruction and devastation. The impact is staggering.  Beyond protesters, and even rioters, are those who are taking advantage of our city's pain to sew more division and hate.  The emergency responders are overwhelmed; the nights are feeling long and dangerous. But the mornings are different. Neighbors are coming into the street and cleaning together.  Business owners whose restaurants or stores were damaged are being surrounded with love.  Organizers are organizing. People are responding.   Belonging runs deeper than division, and we are here for each other. Here is an example: Yesterday,  Kate Kunkel Bailey  posted this on Facebook:   But this is why I love Minneapolis. If you drove down Lake Street today, you would have seen literally hundreds, maybe thousands, of people cleaning up. You can start to imagine in

Stay here

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Daily Devotion - May 29 I will send a brief message each day (except  Mondays ) while we are pausing gathering in person. - Kara Deep breaths, beloved ones. Here's a psalm for you today, from the paraphrase,  Psalms for Praying , by Nan C. Merrill.  Psalm 90 Eternal and Immortal One, You have been our refuge in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, before You had formed the earth and the world,  from everlasting to everlasting, You are the Alpha and the Omega. When our days on Earth are ended, You welcome us home to your Heart, to the City of Light, where times is eternal and days are not numbered. You gather those who love you as friends returning from a long journey, giving rest to their souls. You anoint them with the balm of understanding, healing wounds of the past. For our days on Earth are a mystery, a searching for You, a yearning for the great Mystery to make itself known. The years

Part of the Story

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Daily Devotion - May 28 I will send a brief message each day (except Mondays) while we are pausing gathering in person. - Kara (photo of 12 inch chunk of ash from the Lake Street fires  on parishioner's grass, several blocks away). Today the riots in Minneapolis have spread around the Twin Cities. Things are unfolding quickly.  The Cities are is in anguish.   Some of us feel paralyzed by sorrow.   Yesterday I found a way forward in in "lament" and "repent."  Today added "pray." This morning a congregant texted me. (I share this with her permission).  "I woke up to the smell of smoke from my open windows. At first I didn’t know if someone had a bonfire or if it was coming from Lake Street. The more I read, the more likely it seems to be from Lake Street."   I couldn't respond. I was just then taking in the news from last night - the widespread destruction, the death, the unquenchable anger and sorrow, holding up

Breath

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Daily Devotion - May 27 I will send a brief message each day (except Mondays)  while we are pausing gathering in person.  - Kara Our city is grieving, angry, weary.  I have written and erased so many words. I am grieving, angry and weary, and I don't have any words today.  But my friend, Pastor Jodi Houge , shared this with her congregation today, and it spoke to me. I am grateful for her words. Breath The amount of time that we have all spent thinking about breath lately seems staggering. I'm not interested in virtue signaling or an echo chamber because it doesn't lead us anywhere we haven't already been. And I'm tired of the loop.  It's Pentecost this Sunday--and the Spirit blows so hard on those gathered that it feels like everything is coming apart. Perhaps it's time for this to come apart? We already have a virus that steals breath. And now, we are surrounded by images of a kneeling police officer squeezing the very

What I'm loving...

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Daily Devotion - May 26 I will send a brief message each day (except Mondays)  while we are pausing gathering in person. - Kara I asked  Rev. Jenny Warner , from Valley Presbyterian, in Portola Valley, California, if I could share this poem she wrote on Sunday.  She said yes, and then said she'd just shared something I wrote too.  One thing I am loving about this time is those moments the Church feels bigger, feels more like it really is.  I'm seeing people supporting each other beyond our own lives and communities, finding connection and inspiration all over, and bringing it to each other. What I love about Jenny's poem is that it feels brave and daring to use "love" in this way. I don't love this time. It's easy to feel like  I don't love anything  about this time. I am enduring this time, finding moments of contentment, and even glimpses of joy, in this time. But  loving ?? No. But when I ask myself, "What do I love about this time?

What ended up happening instead

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Daily Devotion - May 23 I will send a brief message each day (except Mondays) while we are pausing gathering in person. - Kara Acts 16:6-15, 40 When a story unfolds, it’s impossible to say it could have happened any other way. Think of your own stories of childhood, or college, or career, the places you’ve lived and the friends you made and the choices that have shaped your path.  Taken together, they are your story.  Would you be the same person if things had happened differently?  If you had said yes to the other job offer, or come a few minutes earlier and met different people in the school registration line? If you’d gone to the camp the week before or after and missed the speaker whose words lit up your soul?   I can play this game with my life very easily.  What if I hadn’t stopped spontaneously for that DQ blizzard which I ate in hours-long, standstill traffic with the rest of session, and instead had been ten miles further up the freeway where the ter

5-4-3-2-1

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Daily Devotion - May 23 I will send a brief message each day  (except Monday) while we are pausing gathering in person. - Kara The world smells magical in Minnesota right now. Lilacs and Lily of the Valley and lots of other flowers and plants I don't know the name of permeate the air with boldness. To walk around my neighborhood is to pass through one scentscape after another.  And the colors, everywhere you look, are vivid: vibrant greens below and above, and flashy flowers left and right.  The earth feels alive and joyful. The world sounds magical too. The birds are loud and busy.  We've opened our windows, so right now, in addition to the raucous birds, I am hearing the neighbor playing scales on the clarinet, a lawn being mowed, a dog barking in the distance, and Andy chatting to the neighbor over the fence. Some moments are hard. For me, most of this morning was hard.  But some moments feel easy. And this one right now, that smells like joy and sounds