Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmastide

St. Stephen's Day 2017

Christmas in New York is always a unique occasion. The Christmas lights in the neighborhoods, the congested corridors in the department stores, and the increase in traffic on the streets and highways. In the frenzy of the season there is the leitmotif of hope and joy in the midst of the troubling circumstances of the world.

Christmas Eve I was the celebrant at Epiphany Lutheran. There wasn't a large congregation. The fact that Advent 4 and Christmas Eve were the same day limited the number or worshipers for the evening. After the liturgy, some members of the congregation went and sang Christmas carols to my aunt who continues to have problems with walking. She also received the Eucharist. Afterward, we ventured down the block to visit another shut-in who can no longer walk due to her lost of her lower limbs. The Christmas season makes one aware of the God of promise and hope given to us in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

On Christmas day we had brunch at home and then we (my sister and brother-in-law) went to make the family rounds: Aunt Dot, Ricky and Terry (cousin) and Mrs. Payne (Robert's mother). There was no rushing. After the visits we returned home to eat Christmas dinner.

This morning, the reality of city life was very apparent as I had to move my car (double part) due to alternate side of the street parking....I moved the car by 8:20 and re-parked it 9:25. Now, I can relax the rest of the day. I'll probably watch a French movie on DVD.


Friday, November 10, 2017

My aunt Catherine

It is 6:47 as I write. I received a call a little while ago that aunt Catherine, my father's youngest sister died. She was ailing and so it was expected. I remember that when I was growing up, she was always reading. I particularly remember when I was sick and couldn't return my books that were due at the public library, she returned the books for me...and it was during the winter. She and my uncle Winston were in a senior living facility in Brooklyn. They were in the same room for the past few years. Rest in Peace.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

A Sunday Afternoon

It is really a fall day...overcast and rainy. Last week was really interesting and brought a surprise. I had a good report from the doctor (nephrologist) for my monthly visit. Home dialysis or PD seems to be working for me. On the same visit, the social worker, Dawn, talked to me. She indicated that I was accepted on the transplant list at the University of Maryland. She had made the inquiry after I told Keith (the PD nurse) that I had not heard anything from them. It was a pleasant surprise and in many ways calming news. I am comfortable with the PD so I know any transplant will not be immediate so I can be calm. and be thankful.

This is Reformation Sunday. I'm sure the music was great but I went to worship on Saturday evening. I appreciated the sermon which emphasized the global dimension of the Lutheran theological movement. This was an important word in the midst of xenophobia in the United States and around the world. I was reminded of Luther's treatise on education, "To the Councilmen of Germany..." which contains a global perspective as part of his theology of education.

I was just thinking that I am also thankful for my community of friends. Although I did think I'd be comfortable in Gettysburg after retirement, it has proved to be a good location for me. It is also central for me with friends or family in Ohio, New York, and Washington, DC.

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.