Featured image: One of the angelic host of ornaments that adorn our Christmas tree.
Cogitation 49 Saturday 8 December 2018 Last week we moved house after more than 40 years of shaping, and being shaped by house and home in one place.
The move itself went well–decent weather, in contrast to the blizzard on the day we moved in January 1977. We have warm memories of finding that house, of everyone who helped in the move, as in this one, and of each of our lives over those years.
To make the transition, we looked at our first week here as being on vacation. It reminds me of a postcard we got from the late Lou and Wilma Stealy when they took their children and their spouses to Hawaii: “Sell everything, we’re staying.” On retirement 10 years ago we said we’d be at Greencroft Goshen by 2018. We’re staying.
We’re grateful to be at home in a new place, a new city, a new setting in an independent and related continuing care living community, where we can thrive in usual and extraordinary ways.
On Thursday we picked up a tiny Frazier Fir and a small tree stand. How do you assemble a Christmas tree stand? A quiet word of advice: read the instructions; then give the clunky old one away.
The tree is up, lit, and decorated with ornaments old and new. Each ornament evokes a memory of time, place and person. And the reason we celebrate.
A bulletin insert that survived the move
Behind a bookshelf I found a litany published in July 1989. I wrote the piece, A LITANY in Support of Churchwide Ministries in 1990, during the time I served a term as Mennonite Church communications director.
“Generation has passed the charge [of ministry] to generation,” reads one stanza, followed by, “With gratitude to God we remember those who helped us find faith and an active ministry in the body of Christ.”
A prayer concludes the front panel:
“Dear God, thank you for the work of our church. Thank you for the witness of our congregation locally, in our conference, and through our churchwide agencies. With other congregations we commit ourselves anew to plant and water seeds of faith and deeds of mercy at home and abroad. All praise to God! Amen.”
Wander and wonder in LaGrange County
The week included a drive to LaGrange County for lunch with Marty’s sister Doris. I snapped the country scenes as Marty drove. They evoke for me both change of season and, more evocatively, the ever-evolving changes in the agricultural community from those we knew as youngsters.
Warm memories, merry times, real hot chocolate.