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More or Less Church

Joanna Depue "DJ/Deacon J" writes original songs and liturgies, does daily Farm office work and records Barbara's eMos on The Geranium Farm. A singer and dog trainer she utilizes healing touch in her private massage practice. PLEASE share YOUR original ideas for worship, special liturgies, prayers, songs, sermons and noteworthy blogs right here.
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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Healers Among Us

Today is the Feast of St. Luke.

Although one of the four Evangelists, Luke never met Jesus face to face. Instead, he was an early missionary for Christianity like Paul. Legend has it that Luke was in Rome when Paul was martyred. Prolific in his accounts of the birth through death and resurrection of Jesus, his Acts of the Apostles chronicles the days, principal characters and trials of the early church and spread of the Gospel.

Luke was not a Jew, but a gentile who wrote in Greek. He was a physician with an amazing gift to write in such a way that salvation has a face, hands, and a human touch. Writing today he would easily be employed by People magazine because of his attention to the human interest story. His Gospel is the good news that tells of the angelic encounter of Mary in the Annunciation, of more miracles and parables than the other evangelists.

I have always been fond of Luke and the message that the Holy Spirit enabled him to reveal. His words as well as his presence must have been particularly welcomed by those who were on the margins of society. When I read his words something rings tender and true. In a different way Luke - like Jesus - would touch and heal.... sometimes the body and just as often the spirit.

Today on the Feast of St. Luke (or the Sunday before or after) many churches make a particular effort to acknowledge the work of their parishioners who are engaged in the healing professions.

Dear Farmers out there who are healers, listeners, comforters..... thank you. You follow in the footsteps of a wonderful witness for Christ!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Elastic Cement

The Deacon's conference was very interesting.... no, I don't mean the type of comment one might make when asked their opinion of the mouthful of chicken fried ants they are trying to swallow.

The topic was immigration issues, the ways and rights of migrant workers/illegal immigrants..... and the rights of small business to get by in the would of megamarkets (who enlist illegal workers with few benefits if any).

We live in a world of contractions and viewpoints diametrically opposed..... and everyone, more or less, is asked their opinion or viewpoint. Even the most neutral among us is disposed one way or another.

But what can we DO about it?

My first response is to take the time - and patience - to listen to the other side without prior judgment..... and that, my friends, often proves difficult. Staying in the middle has its advantages, especially when it comes to moderation or negotiation.

My prayer life tells me it's more about being than doing. We may be called to be peacemakers and children of God - we are called to be elastic cement. Strong enough to maintain a conviction, to remain firm in the belief what much progress can be made through dialogue .... pliable enough to be inspired by the Spirit to learn and make steps toward a constructing bridges that will stand the test of time and the squalls of anger, bitterness, even violence.

Don't misunderstand me here. Radical moderation does not preclude having an opinion or point of view - radical tolerance encourages a healthy atmosphere.

May we have the wisdom to listen to each other, the wisdom to expand our horizons and the grace of God to find a common way, regardless of the dilemma we face.

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