From Hal’s Desk, where Ron has been sitting until today……
As you know, I am literally on my way out the door. We are in town through Thanksgiving to be with the family, but the next few days will involve several things.
I have resolved to finish our Christmas letter. It is crazy and perhaps we will fail, but we decided to do it anyway because we know that our Advent season will be very short when we return home. It seems daunting, but I intend to make the time. It is so important to let loved ones and friends know that you are thinking of them and to share a memory and express a hope that there are things worth living for and dreams worth having. It is a sort of benediction (good words) on the past year and a blessing on the year to come, that we are planning to send out into the world by snail mail. I know it’s only a letter, but I believe that any chance to make the Word flesh is worth taking!
I also plan to complete one last weaving project. It has been a great Ft. Collins visit on that score—I have managed to weave 25 yards of fabric which includes 14 place mats, six table runners, and 7 hand towels. These were completed with the support of the staff at Lambspun, my favorite yarn store in Fort Collins, aided by the fact that I have only worked with this amazing congregation and its staff part-time. One real plus of my weaving time was the presence of a few Plymouth folk, who knit and weave there too.
Next Sunday, I will be sharing in the Baptism of my two Fort Collins grandchildren during the second service. Let’s be clear, I will be doing the traditional motions and asking the questions, but you, dear congregation, will be doing the Baptism. In our tradition, the Sacrament of Baptism belongs to the gathered congregation representing the Spirit of the Loving God. As I explained to the grandchildren, there is nothing magical about Baptism or their "Opa,” other than a biological family and a church family agreeing that they need one another and that they affirm one another as care givers for children in the presence of a loving God. The tradition can wax all theological about it, but Baptism is the church welcoming God’s children in a visible way!
Then the following week, just before we leave, we will share Thanksgiving with our family here. This is a holiday with more than a little freight. We could discuss that at another time, but it does have potential. It might raise a justice question or two in our minds concerning food, or the genocide of indigenous people, or the American fixation on the violent sport of football and the sacrifice of young lives destined to suffer the consequences of traumatic brain injury. Thanksgiving can be much more than well-stuffed relatives sharing a meal. I do love that part of it, of course!
Once again, thank you for the joy of sitting at Hal’s desk!