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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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Friday, February 02, 2007

Love abiding

1 Corinthians 13:12-13

Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13:13 And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

From the Concise Oxford Dictionary:
abide:1. v.i. remain, continue, (arch.) dwell; remain faithful to, act upon; 2. v.t. encounter, sustain; submit to suffer, put up with, tolerate.
abiding: a. enduring, permanen.

According to the writer in the first letter to the faithful in Corinth it was imperative to establish that those things we do or say or profess - if not based on the continual love God pours on us and instills in us - are hollow and without any substance whatsoever.

The love that eminates from God is sustainable, renewable, to be counted on. The love of God for us is permanent and enduring. The love of God - even without me nurturing it - dwells in me.

How many of us believe - truly believe- these things. Within us, sustaining us - are faith, hope and love...... and the greatest motivator of all three is love.

Do YOU believe this??? Does your life demonstrate that belief? Do you give for the sake of love alone, pray for the sake of love alone, try for the sake of love alone? Are your daily conversations laced with love? Are your interactions - even with complete strangers - kind, generous, loving? I am convinced the more I become in tune with the remarkable, unearned, precious and animate love of God - abiding in me - the more harmonious my relationships with myself, with others, with my environment, with my vocation I will become.

ABIDE WITH ME 1982 Hymnal music: W.H.Monk, 1861; lyrics: H.F.Lyte, 1847

Abide with me: fast falls the eventide; The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

I need thy presence eery passing hour; what but thy grace can foil the tempter's power?
Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be? Through cloud and sunshine, Lord abide with me.

I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless; ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death's sting? where, grave, thy victory? I triumph still, if thou abide with me.

Hold thous thy cross before my closing eyes; shine through the gloom, and pointme to the skies;
heaven's morning breaks, and eart's vain shadows flee; in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

Monday, January 29, 2007

A new venture - a new adventure

I am in the midst of a new enterprise: I am taking the stepts to leave long standing job in the Pension Fund at the United Nations. Good grief, if I had been a Mom for as long as I have worked for the UN, my offspring would now be 28 years old....and I would be a grandmother....... it boggles the mind (well, at least my mind).

I will be changing my status from an employee to a retiree..... well, kind-a sort-a.

In a twist of things that I could not have foreseen even two years ago I became - in August 2006 - the deacon of the Geranium Farm. What all can that possibly mean? It means I don't have a parish, 'though I have begun to visit many; I don't run a soup kitchen, 'though I occasionally feed people and just as often am on the cleanup crew. I write a 'column' of sorts that has some prayers, some music, some reflections, some essays, some liturgical emphasis and some sermons/stories.

To that Barbara and I are adding a new component. I am going to be (using a generic New York area dialect) "a sec-a-terry".

I have begun to draft some of Barbara's correspondence, liase with the groups that wish her to conduct a retreat, quiet day or series, am in touch with her travel agent and - in the four state area - help her take the Farm on the road. From time to time I'll go with her on the longer trips out of the immediate area. At least one day a week I will do the real 'sec-a-terry' work with calendars, invoices and receipts.

Being a 'virtual deacon' in the ethers of cyberspace is an amazing place. At the same time I miss the very 'human', very tangible interatction with people one on one. Going with Barbara on some of these quiet days and retreats will help me learn a great deal more about ministry - and the roles of the differing orders.

I have missed interacting one-on-one with the laity and these excursions will certainly get me back to those roots. The other gift I will be able to offer - after many months of having something wrong with my back, then the pneumonia, etc - is both practicing and teaching others to tap into the beneficial power of therapeutic, prayerful touch. After months out of commission my body is finally back on track and I can dedicate the time and the focus to practice and teaching. It's an exciting prospect.

So right here I wanted to say thank you to the readers of the various aspects of the Farm - to loyal readers of Barbara and Deb and Carol.... for the zippy gen X contributions by The voice of the e-Mo,s Rev. Buddy.

An adventure. At age 56.1/2.... who knew...??? (p.s. and for those of you who are often worried that Barbara isn't taking care of herself or is running on emply: you have my word that I'll do everything I can to decrease the stress and booking levels, the dreadful double and triple bookings, the travel fatigue). All of us want Babrara to be full of Moxie and with us for a long time into the future...... and I'm gonna give it the best shot I can! (or as the responses go in the Baptismal Covenant, "I will, with God's help!"

Wish me luck...... a spontaneous person working with a spontaneous person is a good discipline for both us us!

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