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The Class of 2020

The Class of 2020. These days, I think about them often. I think about all of the hard work and countless hours over the years they have endured to earn their diplomas from high school or degrees from a college, university, seminary or other educational institution. I think about their parents who have loved and supported them through their journeys. But by now, due to the risk of spreading COVID-19, traditional graduation ceremonies across the globe have either been postponed or have been replaced by virtual ceremonies over the Internet. Needless to say, this isn't how it's supposed to be. These students deserve to walk across the stage and be officially recognized by receiving their dip

The lessons of Pentecost

It is week # ? (I forgot how many weeks I have been social distancing with my family. Send help soon!). I never would have imagined that I would be working at my kitchen table for as long as I have. Tracy has given the boys and me at least three COVID haircuts. The novelty of wearing T-shirts and sweatpants has worn off. The boys are missing their teachers because their old man is more demanding than their teachers. At least once a week, someone ends up at the end of the kitchen table crying out of frustration. (I am not too proud to admit that this is usually me.) I am eating all the wrong type of snacks and sweets. Comfort food is on the menu every day of the week. Unfortunately, we are f

A New Normal

This week has been particularly difficult; I'm not quite sure why. Perhaps with all that's been going on in the world, the stress of it has finally caught up with me. Maybe at some point over these last two months, you've experienced a week like this, too. So much has changed. Psychological research suggests that it takes approximately 18-24 months to adjust to a major life change or a "new normal" and here we are, only eight weeks in! Many people continue to work from home even as restrictions begin to lift, while those who work on the frontlines are having to face the risk of exposure to COVID-19 on a daily basis. Then there are companies having to lay off employees and many small busines

Legend of Our Dogwood

Legend of the Dogwood ~ Unknown In Jesus time, the dogwood grew To a stately size and a lovely hue. 'Twas strong & firm it's branches interwoven For the cross of Christ its timbers were chosen. Seeing the distress at this use of their wood Christ made a promise which still holds good: "Never again shall the dogwood grow Large enough to be used so Slender & twisted, it shall be With blossoms like the cross for all to see. As blood stains the petals marked in brown The blossom's center wears a thorny crown. All who see it will remember me Crucified on a cross from the dogwood tree. Cherished and protected this tree shall be A reminder to all of my agony." Given that the Dogwood Tree is not nat

Searching for Apple Seeds

Martin Luther once said, "Even if I know tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." A recent article in the Chicago Tribune (4/21/20) was about a group of people who search for lost/heirloom apple trees in orchards that were abandoned long ago by the pioneers who planted them. Some of these orchards are in forests that have grown up around them. Some are in small canyons hidden around rural Idaho and Washington State. These "lost' apple varieties were likely brought to the area by early settlers from New England and the Midwest who brought saplings in buckets as they made their way across the country to settle in the West. These forgotten orchards are scouted

© 2016 by First Presbyterian Church of Valparaiso

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