A Wonderful Gift

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Not just a definite sign of spring but a wonderful gift at this Easter season. Wearing the color of a brilliant golden sun and always somehow promising...

Image above (and on front-page mastheads): Forsythia by Paul Jeffrey Poling of BigDog Photography.

Words above by Paul Jeffrey Poling.


One Day Of A Life

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Maybe any one day of a life, even the most humdrum, has in it something of the mystery of that life as a whole. (Read more here.)

Image above (and on front-page mastheads): Electronic iPad image created by Rev. Dr. Marty Carney from his oil painting after the 1950 woodcut by Fritz Eichenberg, "Christ of the Breadlines."

Words above by Frederick Buechner.

Sacrifice

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Image above (and on front-page mastheads): Sacrifice by Sherry Byrd.

She Said "Yes"

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She knelt beside the neatly planted rows
of cumin, dill, and mint. The clear March sky
was bright; a flock of birds flew high.
She pinched a leaf;
then, suddenly, she froze —
a voice had spoken. There was no one there.
It spoke a second time; she looked around.
“How can this be?” she asked the vacant air.
Once more it spoke, yet there was not a sound.
She paused again; her answer in her mind.

In thirty years and three, her words would find
an echo: “Not my will, but thine be done,”
said in another garden by her son,
while three friends slept.
So here none heard her words —
except an angel, a high flight of birds,
and three neat rows of cumin, mint, and dill:
“Be it to me according to thy will.”

Image above (and on front-page mastheads): Ave Maria by Lisa Bell.
Currently appearing in ECVA's exhibition: Women At Prayer.

Words above: A Poem for Annunciation
by Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG (April 7, 1989)

Through One Window

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While sitting in the doctor's office, I was intrigued by the sky as seen through a rectangular window. The clouds were skittering by, yet the telephone wires remained in the same position. There became a visual connection between this view and how I reflected on people praying while at the doctor's office...the wires becoming a conduit to God, the scenery changing but with light shining through.

Image above (and on front-page mastheads): Doctor's Office Prayers - Like Telephone Wires by Chillon Leach.

Words above by Chillon Leach.

Beauty At Hand

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Seen above, left (and on front-page mastheads): Grandmother's Spoon; middle: The Fork That Will Not Stab; and right: Knife for P, from the Artifacts II series by Roz Dimon.

Foretelling

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HAPPY IS THE ONE WHO walks otherwise
Than in the manner of the heedless
Who stands otherwise
Than in the way of the twisted
Who does not sit in the seat of the scornful
But finds delight in the loveliness of things
And lives by that pattern all day and all night...

Image above (and on front-page mastheads): Foretelling by Jim ApRoberts

Words above from Psalm 1 by Norman Fischer in Opening to You: Zen-inspired translations of the Psalms.

Read, Mark, Learn, and Inwardly Digest

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Today
Just now
Always so
Truly so
The light will come out of the darkness
Out of all the struggles a great light will come
A new you too
In the harshest cold the weather is sunny
We mourn with those who experience the hardships of winter, may we commit to help them
The eye of the storm and in the shadows of death
May we fear no one but God
May we learn not to fear
Death
Live on in winter, summer, spring and autumn
Winter
Spring (imagine that)
Summer
Fall
Into the moment
Heart and mind and soul and strength
One God
One Aim
One Destiny
One one one

Image above and on front-page mastheads: Read, Mark, Learn, and Inwardly Digest by Roberta Karstetter (as seen in current ECVA exhibition, Advent 2013: a photographic journey).

Words above by The Rev. Mark Bozzuti-Jones, Trinity Wall Street.


Celebrate

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Image above and on front-page mastheads: Christmas Morning by Virginia Wieringa.

The Longest Night

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All throughout these months
as the shadows
have lengthened,
this blessing has been
gathering itself,
making ready,
preparing for
this night.

It has practiced
walking in the dark,
traveling with
its eyes closed,
feeling its way
by memory
by touch
by the pull of the moon
even as it wanes.

So believe me
when I tell you
this blessing will
reach you
even if you
have not light enough
to read it;
it will find you
even though you cannot
see it coming.

You will know
the moment of its
arriving
by your release
of the breath
you have held
so long;
a loosening
of the clenching
in your hands,
of the clutch
around your heart;
a thinning
of the darkness
that had drawn itself
around you.

This blessing
does not mean
to take the night away
but it knows
its hidden roads,
knows the resting spots
along the path,
knows what it means
to travel
in the company
of a friend.

So when
this blessing comes,
take its hand.
Get up.
Set out on the road
you cannot see.

This is the night
when you can trust
that any direction
you go,
you will be walking
toward the dawn.

Image above (and on front-page mastheads): Longest Night by Jan Richardson.

Words above: Blessing for the Longest Night by Jan Richardson.

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