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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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Thursday, June 21, 2007


There are rabbit holes in my backyard at the base of a massive maple on the far side of the property line.

Where there are rabbit HOLES, there ARE rabbits - it would seem obvious, but these are the joys and trials of living in the suburbs.

This came into perfect focus as I thought how eager Emmy Lou has been to get into the backyard whenever possible for the last month. Tonight I saw the rabbit through the top screen of the storm door, grazing away on my lawn. The chase would be on as soon as the door was open.......aaaaannnnnnddddd....... she was OFF! As quick as Em is, she doesn't quite have the HOLE concept down and looks around to where the white tail has disappeared.

While that was all well and good, I turned off the flood lights and saw the indisputable evidence of summer...fireflies. Slowly they rose from the grass - winking and disappearing, only to reappear in a different formation, all with flashing behinds that sometimes were in sync and other times flickered at will in one section of the yard or the other, taking turns. Loud or barely visible, they were all signalling " Pick ME!" to a mate that might come by or be charmed by their amazing luminescence.

I simply sigh and say 'summer at last........aaahhhhh'. What marvels of ingenuity, adaptation, beauty and ability we are.... each a part of a dream of God that became creation. What diversity! I had to go out on the back steps and soak it in...briefly. I retreated for an application of mosquito repellent and all was well. Em had her shout to the ground in happy pursuit of the elusive. I had my eyes upward to see the twinkling ground light show that will take place for several weeks - and glanced to the heavens beyond that we stars that we will still be able to see for our lifetimes (at least). And with some green stewardship on our part, may it be so for generations to come!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Refrigerator Effect

Praying this morning did not come easily. It hasn't for a while. I do pray - less frequently than is healthy, less ardent when the weather is hot. If I rely on my 'feelings' to motivate me to prayer it would be hit or miss; it's
most fulfilling when I stick to a daily regime.

This morning I went to my refrigerator hoping to find something new there: something delightful, tempting.... or, nearly as good, something nutritious and healthy.

When I opened the door, the following things peered back at me: the uncooked chicken breasts were still uncooked and didn't have the slightest notion of how to cook themselves, the eggs remained uncooked in their plastic molded cocoon, the milk was running low and the green beans in the veggie bin had seen decidedly better days.

I walked away to wash up, then wash the dishes in the sink and back to the fridge I went. Opening it again, 'wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles', the exact same items were there, in the same state, in the same position. I closed the door, grumbled and went downstairs to hang up the laundry I had washed on the basement line.

Back up the stairs and..... you guessed it....I opened the fridge door to exactly the same contents, no more - no less. Duh! and Harrumph. I had the wherewithal to make a breakfast, but felt lazy...and nothing there "spoke" to any craving. This just might be the result of not having gone to the grocery store in over a week.

To some extent, the analogy holds: your prayer life becomes what you put into it, what you are willing to do to make it more palatable and enriching. So, off to the store I will go tomorrow.... and into my prayer space I will go as well, armed with a new book, some inner quiet and the ever-open invitation for conversation with a loving God.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

On borrowed time

I'll never know why it had never struck me before. I am living on borrowed time. We all are.

Not because of misfortune or illness or fate. No. We are all God's children and here but for a while.... loaned out to this earth at this place in this era. Our home base is with God: where we were before our consciousness, before our birth, our families of origin or choice. Before any of our accumulated memory.

It seems only right that while we are here we enjoy what this life affords and what we can contribute to it. Living it full and overflowing with gratitude and grace, no reason or room for regret.

So that when our borrowed time is up we leave happy and/or content to have spent the time wisely and well. Few of us know what tomorrow may bring, if - for us - it comes at all.

Put into that perspective, I can decide to live not only with the adventures this opportunity brings me each day.... but also with the knowledge that I will have a wonderful place - and a loving God - to return to.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


I am a lucky son-of-a-gun in some things. I have survived injuries that others have not survived, diseases others have not survived, temptations others have not survived (I know, it's NOT fair, but for the most part I can pass up chocolate without blinking an eye), additions others have not survived.

With a high school education, apprentice training in massage therapy, the diaconate program in the Diocese of New York, humor and a reliable wit I have 'come a long way, baby' (for those of you who were not yet born, that was a phrase used - of all things - to promote the first 'women's' cigarette - Virginia Slims).

I have worked with the devastated and dying, those in shock and denial, kids who wondered how big God's body was if He has the whole world in his hands. Opportunities for travel and new adventures have fallen into my lap- and working in an organization where I have met citizens of hundreds of countries throughout the world - an opportunity afforded to a relative few.

Let me share with you a secret: I pick up pennies wherever I find them. Always have. Never hesitated if they lay there 'heads down'. A penny is a penny. Haven't freaked out thinking where they were last or if someone two months ago had sneezed on one.

What can a penny do? Go to the home page for the Farm and check out "Pennies From Heaven". Pick up those pennies (or dimes, nickels or quarters) and send them in. It all adds up! I'm convinced it brings luck to the finder and needed help to the receiver. Keep your luck up and running (and it doesn't even involve a chain letter - THANK GOD!!!!!!!!!)

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