"The world turns on our every action, and our every omission, whether we know it or not."
- Abraham Verghese, Cutting for Stone, 21st century
This Sunday Jesus reminds us of just how important the smallest of kindnesses is toward the betterment of the world. He said, “whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple — truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward."
These days with social distancing and the gear of protection during a pandemic, one of the small kindnesses we absolutely are asked to give for the sake of others are our face masks.
It is ironic for me to find on my desk at church our Mardi Gras masks from just before the world changed, and to think how the meaning of a mask can change. Yesterday a mask was celebration. Today a mask is preservation.
My UCC colleague Reverend Mary Luti shared with us this week a Blessing for a Face Mask, and I share it with you, with the hope that YOU will think of these words whenever you lovingly practice the necessary kindness of putting on that mask. Wear them as your badge of caring. --- Pastor Pat Kriss
God of health and wholeness,
of neighbor love and kindness,
bless this mask, my slight shield
against great ills:
Bless the fabric that repels the drop,
the ties that go behind my ears,
the wire that fits snug against my nose,
the folds that cup my chin.
Make me grateful for my mask
even when it makes me hot,
even when I look funny in it,
even when I’m dying to take it off.
Bless me also, and everyone
who for their own and others’ sakes
put on this holy inconvenience every day,
our minds made up to love.
-- Reverend Mary Luti, from Emerge: Blessings and Rituals for Unsheltering
There’s one thing that’s always clear to me each year: it’s much, much harder to accurately write about what’s it’s like to be a Dad than it is when it’s Mother’s Day. Why is that?
Although every single person has a Dad, there seem to be many more “models” of the “Father-Child” relationship than with mothers.
You have the wonderful, fully engaged Dad who’s not only YOUR father, but who parents your friends, too when you are little.
There’s the Dad who has bought into our culture’s idea that work-work-work and being a good provider are the mark of “a real man,” although there’s not much time for kids in that approach.
Then there’s the father who is not there most of the time, either because his own world is clouded with challenges, or perhaps it’s because that’s the model of fathering he learned from his Dad.
Finally there is the unknown father who met one’s mother for the only time in a petri dish.
And of course, all of us have a Heavenly Creator who ignited the spark of life in us and numbers every hair on our head. This Sunday we will talk about just such a famous father. Regardless of what model Dad we are gifted with, time spent with our Dads is something golden and magical. There is a closeness, a bonding that exceeds DNA and lingers in our memories on a day like Father’s Day.
I especially remember the golden moments with my father when he was happy. Happiness came for him at the end of the evening, after that cocktail, when he would put on a Strauss Waltz, and dance and dance with his little girl. It washed away for just a little while the depression he suffered from, and created my memories. Perhaps that’s why Theodore Roethke’s ode to his own Dad when he was a little boy rings true to me, and I share it with you all:
First Congregational Church
164 Deer Hill Ave.
Danbury, CT 06810
Phone: (203) 744-6177
Monday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Tuesday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Wednesday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Thrift Shop Hours:
Friday 9:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Saturday 9:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Sunday 9:30 a.m.–11 a.m.