Our Partner Church minister, Mihaly, and his wife, Erzsike (Elizabeth) had a wonderful visit with us last month. After returning home he wrote: “I just finished all my agricultural work for the fall and now I can spend a little time reflecting back to the beautiful days we spent in the U.S.
“With each passing day the memories become more and more clear. New memories and feelings spring up in us and we go back and relive the cherished time we shared with you. I keep talking to our congregation about our visit. They are all so interested and curious and they ask us many questions. It is hard to believe that our memories are real and we really lived them.
“We can’t thank you and your congregation in Westport enough! I sometimes feel like I can’t find the right words to express what we feel—you really are such good brothers and sisters to us…you offered us material and emotional help and we can’t thank you enough for this.”
Their visit helped us to deepen our Partner Church connection.
Speaking of events that help us to deepen, I want to express my appreciation for the ways you helped me to celebrate the 20th anniversary of my ministry in Westport. Thank you for your contribution to the special fund—the material expressions that were made. There were lots of cards and notes, too, and want to say, from that deep place, thank you.
One of the highlights of that celebration was having my dear friend, colleague and mentor in ministry, Herb Adams, in the pulpit, and in my home. He talked with me about you—about what he saw and felt here. He saw, up close and personal, your energy and enthusiasm.
The calendar is our collective alarm clock and it’s calling us to pay attention to the holiday season with Hanukah and Christmas, and all the attention around what we’ve come to call ‘the holidays.’ Something else tells us to ease ourselves into this time—not to allow the holidays to become too hectic, too demanding, not to allow it to be another December dilemma!
I’m reminded of Donald Babcock’s poem about the duck. It’s on our website in its entirety under poetry and readings. It says, in part, “There is a big heaving in the Atlantic and what does he do, I ask you? He sits down in it! He has made himself a part of the boundless by easing himself into it just where it touches him. I like the little duck. He doesn’t know much, but he’s got religion.”
May we take a lesson from the duck—may we ease ourselves into this season, even when there’s a big heaving around us. Many have already brought Christmas presents to the prison program—Doris Brenner looked at the full box last Sunday and said, “Wow, look at that!” The coats-for-kids collection is in full swing—there are ways to help make some less-fortunate children feel the spirit of the season.
We’ll have our carol sing-a-long on December 18, and, of course our Christmas Eve pageant and two candle light services. So, ease yourself into it just where it touches you.