Friday, July 22, 2011


This morning at an apparently very early hour, I decided to walk to the local coffee shop for breakfast there being virtually nothing at my apartment to eat. Here are my observations:

First: though the restaurant was open for business at 6AM, few customers were there by 7AM. One of the things I went for was conversation - even wore a United Church of Christ shirt that might provoke some comments. Each of those who were eating (all four of them) dutifully kept nose in newspaper, computer or magazine. Me, too, after I found no one to talk with. Doesn’t everyone jump out of bed ready to talk?

Second, I was the first customer at the local market while all the fruit was still being sorted - apparently carnage from overnight fairies who run havoc over the place.

Third, when looking up, one sees that others are up early as well - the balloonists are out in full force this early time while it is not too hot and the city is not likely to have storms until the later afternoon. Actually, we have had rain two days in a row - that after months of nothing. A congregation member asked me to bring rain - perhaps I did.

As I mused and walked, it dawned (pun intended) on me that I am still on PA time. At night I want to sleep at 9PM and get up six hours later at 3AM. Not so good. Trying to change my body’s clock is not as difficult as changing the internal clocks of two cats who like to eat the moment I get up. They have learned they can hurry my rising by patting my face.

As I finish this blog it is 8:30. For many, the day is beginning. For me, the time has been productive though I am on vacation: wrote a letter of recommendation for a potential seminary student, did some on-line banking, purchased a card to send off a legal document, fed the kitties, read a bit from If the Church Were Christian by Philip Gulley (2010), looked at my five email addresses and remembered again that I need to consolidate them to save my sanity, and prayed a bit (praying was first not last). I hope I get to be on Albuquerque time pretty soon!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Walking and chewing gum

Each person chooses a path to follow through life. We know that some choose fame, others fortune. I chose a world that did not pay much in money, but gave me satisfaction. I often thought that if I made a difference in one person’s life, that I had been successful. While in the nonprofit arena, that success was thought to be found in the populations I served: youth, homeless families, teen parents, the hungry. I know that I did make a difference for at least some. And that is gratifying.

Since donning this clergy hat, I wanted to make a difference to one seeker - or to many - but one never knows if or how that difference manifests itself. As I leave Soul Link Faith Community and Tioga County, PA, I am told that I did make a difference. So many people have said that the presence of this accepting church has been positive in the community. The ways it has made an impact are not blatant. People who don’t fit the standard Christian mold found a place to worship where they were accepted and welcomed. Those who seek God, but are not sure -- who ever is -- found they could ask questions in an open forum without concern of ridicule or derision. Some who were jaded by previous religious experience joined and found a niche. One man told me I had saved Christianity for him. I am humbled.

Since I am not motivated by money I thank God that the non-tangible things that motivate me have an effect. I will miss this Pennsylvania mountain area where I am always considered a "flatlander." Going home to the West has its drawbacks.