Monthly Archives: August 2010

Taking a wee break

We try to practice what we preach around here! In the Sabbath spirit, your bloggers will be taking a short break until early September. (One exception: we will continue to post sermons.) Stay tuned for new content and bloggers this fall!

Van Gogh's Noon: Rest from Work (after Millet)

Time, like an ever rolling stream

Picture © Patrick Hoff

Chapter 8, the final chapter of Receiving the Day, ends with a description of a funeral.  It is appropriate that Bass would conclude her book about time with this inescapable truth:  at some point, we all run out of time.  In her discussion of Psalm 90, traditionally understood as “a prayer of Moses,” Bass describes how these verses “bring together two kinds of time–our short sigh and God’s mountainous eternity–together” (121).

My favorite paraphrase of Psalm 90 is found in the beloved hymn “O God, Our Help in Ages Past.”  Despite our commitment to inclusive language at FC, I’d like to offer up Watts’s original words.  For me, the old language makes the hymn’s themes even more poignant; the poet may be long dead, but his spirit endures through these verses…

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On the way home this afternoon, I’ll be picking up our weekly box from the farm where I worked last summer, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Farm.   I love that moment when I heft the box into my arms, and through the crack at the top, the fragrance of basil wafts into my nostrils.  I close my eyes and scenes from weekly harvest morning at the farm unfold in my imagination — the dawn chill and dew, the insistently bleating sheep and goats, the wheel barrows brimming with freshly cut produce, the endless washing and sorting and bundling, the ache in my stomach stemming from eating too much raw cabbage or watermelon, the freely winding–and often hilarious– conversations, the bountiful table at noon, and the scramble to load the cars and trucks in time for delivery.

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The wheel goes round and round…

The Liturgical Calendar

The Liturgical Cycle (source:

If you’ve ever felt curious about or confused by the Christian liturgical calendar, I highly recommend Chapter 6 of Receiving the Day. Dorothy Bass vividly describes the seasons and cycles that make up the church year, as well as their origins and traditional meanings.  She also poignantly describes how the liturgical year has given shape and meaning to important periods in her own life.  Over the course of a particular two years, for example, the story of Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection helped Bass overcome isolation and despair in the wake of a failed relationship:

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Congrats, David!

This past Tuesday, at the Rondo Community Library in Saint Paul, David Gilbert-Pederson was recognized at the Twin Cities Gray Panther celebration of founder Maggie Kuhn’s birthday anniversary for his work on social justice issues.

During the celebration, TCGP’s saluted and recognized three notable social activists: David Gilbert-Pederson, Tom Sengupta, Katherine Kwong along with the organization Women Against Military Madness (WAMM).

About 50 persons attended from throughout the Twin Cities. First Church member Jane Seeley presented the award to David, and Trevor Hausske attended and said a few words about David’s community leadership.