Showing posts from November, 2009

Hamantaschen - Let's Eat!

(This has appeared other places but thought I'd post it here too). Recently I did a paper for school. I am always doing a paper for school. This topic was to be a time I gave pastoral care to someone. Why is it that you never can remember something when called upon to do so? It was like what? Me? Did I ever minister? At last, I thought of Rose. Rose was in her 80’s, Jewish, suffering from a dementia, confined to a wheel chair and living in a dementia unit at a relatively posh assisted living facility. I would see Rose once a week as part of my job. She rarely made sense. Sometimes she would scream for her husband. Nevertheless, I liked Rose. She was loud and Jewish. I think she reminded me of where I grew up, Brooklyn. It was March and Purim was nearing. Purim is the Jewish celebration built on the Biblical story of Esther. I had asked Rose about her spirituality. She would sometimes light up when I mentioned something about faith. I decided to purchase a children’s book on

It's Not Just a Thrift Store

Christmas isn’t Christmas without Salvation Army bell-ringers and red kettles. When I was a child in Brooklyn, those bell-ringers were usually Salvation Army (SA) officers in full uniform. Sometimes there was a small brass ensemble playing Christmas carols rather than a simple bell. They were usually outside of the Woolworths on Fifth Avenue BROOKLYN (not Manhattan). I knew the Captain of the local Salvation Army Corps. Like most everything we associated with in the neighborhood, she was Norwegian. My first memory of the leader of the local corps was walking with my father and coming across a street meeting in progress. Street meetings had a little music, a short sermon, an invitation to receive Christ right there or to the local church. When I was five or six, I first met Captain Johnson. It might have been Lieutenant Johnson then but mostly I remember her as Captain. While we were not Salvationists, my father loved to go to different churches when there was a se

The Sounds You Crave

Have you ever noticed that your ears are a bit like your mouth? Just like your mouth waters for grandma’s special cookies, pie or stew, there are times you just get a craving to hear something that brings you pleasure. Just like the delight on your tongue, your ears tingle and feel satisfied just at a sound. I feel that way when I go back to Nashville. When we first moved to Tennessee, we would hear: Ya’all I’m fixin to go to the store I carried my mother to the store ya’all want a buggy? It sounded so strange and we would laugh. And that accent!? So tinny and high pitched. Children and even adults always called me Miss Joyce. I feared that my children would be viewed as rude since they had never been taught to use the polite Miss in front of a name. As a family, we purposed to NEVER pick up the Southern accent nor ever use fixin in a sentence. We haven’t. Yesterday I went to the bank in Nashville. A simple activity. I pushed the button for the pneumatic tube to go inside th

The Rich Woman and Tapir the Barber

Someone asked me recently about an unusual ministry opportunity. I have had them. There was the time I was asked to go to an African American Seventh Day Adventist church. I was one of two white people out of about 300 African American’s. They were such warm lovely people. I loved all the Happy Sabbath greetings. Now before we get into a discussion on theology, let me just share with you what happened. My husband worked with a woman from the island’s name Marcia. She asked my husband one day if we had any saris. She knew my husband was from “somewhere over there.” He said no but we had salwar and kameez, the traditional dress of Pakistan. She was supposed to give a mission talk at her church. He quickly volunteered his wife and daughters to help her. I asked him many questions. Since he has a tendency to only half listen to anyone, he wasn’t much help. He had a date and it was a church. Then he said I think it is during their regular worship service. In my mind, of course I thought S