postcards from sabbatical – week #3

postcards from sabbatical – week #3

Dear Faith Friends, We have been on the Island of Crete for almost a week, already.  The ruggedness of the landscape has been a surprise to me.  We feel like we are in the Rocky Mountains, but with a lot more oxygen.  The mountains are high and craggy and cascade down to the most beautiful clear water – the Sea of Crete on one side, the Sea of Libya on the other. The waters are placid now, but they say the winds and waves are terrible in winter.  That’s when the Apostle Paul advised remaining here because the seas would be rough.  The crew went anyway, taking Paul with them and all were almost lost.  Paul had confidence that God had a plan for him and for all onboard. This time of rough and hard walking in the wild beauty is good for my faith.  I am reminded that God is in control of the universe – harsh and beautiful as it is.  I have my part. And so do you.  It will be exactly as God intends when we live in faith. Blessing for the journey, Charlotte …[T]here stood by me an angel of God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, “Do not be afraid, Paul, you must stand before the emporaror..So keep up your courage…for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told.” – Acts...
postcards from sabbatical – week #2

postcards from sabbatical – week #2

Dear Faith Friends, We have seen so many ancient ruins of history and pre-history.  Delphi, Corinth, Epidaurus, and Mycenae in the first six days in Greece! Delphi, as the center of Hellenistic worship, amazes with its sense of sacred place. Mycenae is overwhelmingly large and gives reality to myth.  Epidaurus brings Greek public life alive with its impressive architecture and sound projection.  It is the simple, quiet ruins of Corinth that touches me deeply. The bema at which the Apostle Paul was brought up on charges of blasphemy, for speaking of a living God, is remarkably unimposing.  It helps me recall that it is ordinary lives that walk out with courage into everyday places to tell the good news of Jesus. We don’t need myths and heroes.  We are the people of a wondrous God. Blessings on the journey, Charlotte I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him…so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. – I Corinthians...
postcards from sabbatical – week 1

postcards from sabbatical – week 1

Dear Faith Friends, At some point I thought I would be well-prepared for this sabbatical time.  The unexpected surgery my husband had at the beginning of May was the largest change in plans.  Then the two weeks before our departure for Greece all of my technology went on sabbatical ahead of me.  In the last week, I had to get a new mobile phone, erase and replace my laptop.  I was literally restoring computer files at midnight before our 6;30AM departure. It has been a good reminder of how little in my control, as we head out into this adventure of time in Greece, time away, time without the usual work and expectations.  Rosina has proved a good muse in helping me see the big stuff and shrug off the small stuff. I pray for the congregation to find that each day brings – no matter how unexpected – a pathway to ministry and life in Jesus Christ. Blessings on the journey, Charlotte A Samaritan, while traveling came near to [the injured man] and … was moved with pity.  He went to him and bandaged his wounds…put him on his own animal and took care of him. – Luke...
Too many rules rule us. Try five.

Too many rules rule us. Try five.

Traveling involves a lot of rules. There are rules about what you can bring, how big it can be and how much it can weigh. Rules about when you can sit down and stand up and use the restroom. Every country we come from or go to has its own rules. Every country applies some rules more strictly than others. In Greece, where we are traveling for the first part of this sabbatical, isn’t much of a stickler for traffic rules. Speed limits are ignored. Pedestrians must yield to be safe. Passing on the left – or right – is accompanied by much honking and gesticulating. On the other hand, if there is an accident, Greece is all about the rules. If you are stopped, you better have plenty of proof of insurance, and you must have – not just a license from your own country – but an International Driver’s permit. That’s no big deal. Here in the States you go to the AAA office, give them $20 and show them your driver’s license and you have an International Drivers Permit. Unless you have unexpectedly been notified that your driver’s license has been suspended. Let me tell you my story. I am generally all in favor of traffic rules. In fact, I am often one of those annoying traffic rule followers. I am the person going 40 mph down 71st street, with another car riding my bumper. I’m the driver who stops at the yellow light, only to have a driver pull from behind me to run a red light. I use my turn signals so religiously that...
Someone Made Room For You

Someone Made Room For You

I grew up in a traditional Midwestern White Anglo-Saxon Protestant suburban family just past the middle of the last century. My parents didn’t have the proverbial average 2.5 children, just 2. In our kitchen, each member of the family had an each equal side of the square wooden table, and our own solid wooden chair. I remember being fascinated by another kitchen set up I saw when I went to a friend’s home during college. Lisa Marcucci was from an Italian family outside of Pittsburgh. In her family’s kitchen, there was a long rectangular table with a chair at either end. On the long sides of the table were open -backed benches. I remember thinking it looked a little uncomfortable not to have a back to lean on. Then I remembered that Lisa was a twin, and six more of her siblings were twins and there were some singles mixed in there, as well. When we sat down to eat it was clear how helpful those benches were as younger ones were sentenced to the end so they could hop up and get anything that was needed and older ones stepped over and out of the bench, arriving or leaving for work and sports. And there was room for me. Mrs. Marcucci said, “There’s always room for one more at this table.” My husband’s family has an expression that always reminds me of the Marcucci table. “Sit like you have a family.” The first time I heard Gene say it, we were in church. It was a signal for people sitting in a pew to scooch on over, get...