Saturday, July 8, 2017

Changes and memories

Last Friday I attended the last hours of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. At the stroke of midnight it became United Theological Seminary - (ULS:the merger of Gettysburg and Philadelphia seminaries). With the stories that were told at three of the buildings on campus noting its context with the history of the seminary, the encounters with former and present staff members, and a service of the Word in the chapel, and the tolling of the bell, I couldn't help but note that life has changed on the campus. I spent more than half of my years in ministry on that campus. That is a significant amount of time and memories. But change happens. My prayers for the faculty, students, and staff at ULS.

On Sunday, July 2, I received notice of the death of Earl Werdelin. He was my internship Pastor supervisor when I was a seminarian at Gettysburg. What memories! I am also godfather to David, his youngest son who is now a father of three. I am embarrassed to say just how long it has been since I had seen David but it was so good to be with him and his wife during the funeral. I hope we can build on the few hours we spent at the funeral and luncheon afterward at Emanuel Lutheran Church in Manchester, Connecticut.

I acquired a tremendous amount of pastor skills under Werdelin. My life in the theological academy certainly was nurtured and honed during that internship year. For Earl, the intern/vicar was an integral part of the ministry. When I returned to St. Croix as co-Pastor with him at Lord God of Sabbaoth Lutheran Church, I continued to hone those skills. Little did I know where those initial years would lead.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Medical Update

I went to the University of Maryland Transplant Center at the end of April for a preliminary interview or more accurately, interviews for the transplant process. This week I began the follow-up tests at my primary physician's office and at Gettysburg Hospital. I still a few more tests to go through. I really cannot say how I am feeling about the process. After not getting approval at the previous assessment at Pinnacle Health in Harrisburg, I'm just taking it one day and one test at a time.

I didn't think I would go through with it again but after Dr. Ayolo indicated that I should try U of MD, Dr. Miller stated that I had nothing to lose, and my problems with the graft since the beginning of February, I needed to look at the transplant option.

I will know the decision of the iU of MD transplant committee in a couple of weeks.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter 2017

The Triduum between Gettysburg, PA and Brooklyn, NY...Good liturgy on Holy Thursday and Good Friday at St. James in Gettysburg.It was a glorious Easter in Brooklyn, NY: celebrant at Epiphany Lutheran with 6 baptisms, and 13 first communions; attending St. Matthew/St. Luke Episcopal Church, and visiting family in the afternoon. 

Champagne was the order of the evening or early morning as we celebrated my sister's 66th birthday.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Friday Reflections

Today was a day for reflection for me. While at dialysis one of my fellow patients had severe cramps. Cramps are not unusual for dialysis patients but today's cramps with Clyde had him in tears. I really felt sorry for him. They subsided but his tears really affected me. On the other side of me is a female who in addition to having dialysis also has chemo treatments. As I reflect, Advent helps us to know that God is with us in all aspects of our lives.

I had luntch at Ventura's in Fairfield, PA with Joe and Bev Donnella and two of their friends. It was great to just sit, eat and talk about anything. We were there from noon until 3...It was relaxing and exhilerating.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Advent III

There are times when things don't go as planned at dialysis and I get down. Then I always get a reminder that life is o.k. I went to the late liturgy at St. James and saw a family sitting a few pews in front of me: mother, father, daughter and son. The daughter's head was bald. Perhaps it was due to chemo therapy or similar treatment. I'm sure they have gone through and continue to go through difficult times, however, she was alive and going to take the Eucharist with her family and the rest of the the communicants. During this Advent we remember that God is with us in illness and health.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

I'm in New York again for the Thanksgiving holiday. I left Gettysburg on Tuesday evening. I would have left at noontime but I had to wait for the plumber to arrive for a problem I was having. I missed the rush hour in Harrisburg as well as the rush hour in New York. The only problem I had was finding a parking space in Brooklyn...After circling for 30 minutes, I found a spot.

On Thanksgiving day, I preached and presided at Epiphany Lutheran. It is always a pleasure to return to my home congregation. Afterward I stopped at Jesus Joy where the congregation was feeding people from the community. They advertise throughout the community. What an outreach!

In the latter part of the afternoon, we had dinner with my Aunt Dot at her home. We had a good time talking and laughing. Afterward, we (Jeanie, Robert and I) went to Ricky and Terri (my cousin and his wife) just to visit. It was good to see their young adult sons (Martez and Marric) who are both in college.

Thanksgiving now, is not like the Thanksgiving days when our grandparents were alive and the whole family gathered in their home, however, we continue to keep in touch and talk to one another. I am certainly thankful for family, good friends, and another year of life.

Catching up!

I have neglected to post for quite some time.

I returned from France last Thursday, 29 September 2016. It was a good visit. My primary reason for going there was to test the dialysis treatments in France and whether I could continue to travel there. This was my first trip abroad following bypass surgery and the routine of dialysis. I think the trip was successful on that account. I had two dialysis treatments. The staff in Littlestown were very helpful in getting through the required blood tests. The staff at Hôpital Américain à Paris was very good. I experienced the difference between the two cultures. I was asked whether I wanted to eat and soon we were all given a tray with croissants and rolls, yogurt, juice, hot water for tea/coffee. We were all given blankets if we wanted them. With the dialysis procedure, they use a different method in France. I was given needles that were plastic and not metal. In addition I was given a numbing spray for my arm. I barely felt anything with the insertion of the needles.

I went to a soiree on Sunday the 25th as well as Notre Dame to worship that Sunday evening. During the soirée I met a musician from the US who knew my cousins, Andrei and Ricardo. It is a small world.  In addition, I met Catherine Ferguson, who is a retired U.S. citizen who in her 70s moved to Paris in this past August. She is a retired academic (Ph.D. in French literature) and media personality. We have a mutual friend in Gettysburg who helped us to connect. We spent three hours in a French café talking about French life and culture. She intends to become a French citizen. The other interesting piece about this conversation was the fact that she did her undergraduate work at Hunter College where I did my work as well.

On Monday, 26 September, I went to dialysis. As I stated above, it was a good experience and the communte was very easy from my studio, a short metro ride and the #82 bus.

Tuesday, 27 September, I took a the Eurostar to London and met Jeanie and Robert for breakfast in London. This was the first time that we were in Europe at the same time. After breakfast, we took a short walk and then took the tube to Selfridge. It was nice to be in the department store after viewing "Mr. Selfridge" on PBS. We walked around there and saw that it was certainly an upscale store...we had soft drinks in the restaurant.  We left from there and went to the Tube. They had a dinner engagement in London and I had a dinner engagement with Yves in Paris. I arrived at Léon Bruxelles about 3 minutes ahead of Yves...I couldn't have planned it better.

Wednesday was my last full day in Paris. I had a taste for Couscous and went to my favorite Morocan restaurant one block from my apartment for lunch. It was delicious as I remembered the last time I was there. Afterward I ventured a few blocks away from my apartment to take pictures of 19 rue Madamoiselle. This is the building where Madame Woolsey (Danielle Garber's mother) was born and lived in her childhood years. I took several pictures of the building and the street to give to Madame upon my return. I think she was moved by the pictures.

On Thursday, 29 September, I left the apartment and took the metro to Charles de Gaulle airport for my return to the States. As always, I was sad to leave France but thankful that I was able to make the trip and look forward to another stay in the City of Light.