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Harvesting Your Power

October 2012
"She had only to stand in the orchard, to put her hand on a little crab tree and look up at the apples, to make you feel the goodness of planting and tending and harvesting at last.                                                                                                                           -  Willa Cather


It's harvest time here in New England and in many parts of the country.   Because I'm neither a farmer nor a gardener, corn, squash and pumpkins are not on my mind. Rather I am thinking of another kind of harvest.  What might it mean to gather in the life experiences that grow in us?


Recently I revisited a wonderful short book of poetry by Matthew Perry.  The book is titled Aim Toward Love:  A year of Loss, Learning and Connection.  The poems are about Perry's divorce and the learning, pain and hope that emerge from it.  In his verse, I hear him harvesting his life experiences.  Just one example: 


With her sitting two seats away,

perpendicular to me,

in the courthouse waiting room, 

staring into the distance,

gazing past the chance for small talk,

cauterizing the recent past and the present moment,

I realized that I hadn't lost the last ten years-

I still have those and always will-

I had lost the next forty, 

or fifty, 

the rest of my life

that was supposed to go this way,

but went that,

and then I realized that I hadn't lost the time itself -

I had lost the idea,

the expectation,

the placidity of the daily flow

when the banks are so defined and certain,

and the ocean so far off and unknowable but welcoming -

and I had gained instead a muddy roiling flood

pushing outward past banks, not forward toward the sea,

making mud out of time and a mockery of expectations,

and then, just before they called our names,

and we left our seats to walk awkwardly

with others between us like islands, I realized that

this flood will leave the coming years

not ruined and fallow,

but rich and fertile.

   Flood, by Matthew Perry


We harvest many experiences, even the painful ones.  Occasionally we revisit them, not because we are masochists.  We return because the soil of those experiences is rich and fertile.


Jesus told his friends to gather and remember him, re-telling the painful story of his betrayal and death.  Not because he wanted us to feel sad and stuck.  Rather, harvesting that experience is a reminder of resurrection, the power of Love over death.  It is a lesson the land teaches us every year. 


In God's Peace, 

  Doug sig

Wisdom for the S-Ages:
The Power We Possess by Betsy Perry


I attended a webinar for non-profits last week about connecting with baby boomers through all the many techniques and facets of THE WEB.  It was presented by three young and very knowledgeable marketing professionals who said that, because "boomers" now represent a $2.6 trillion annual market, it is critical that non-profits meaningfully engage the older generations online.  To be successful, non-profits must make an emotional connection by "leading with the right brain [the emotional side] and punching with the left [the rational side]."  "OUCH!"  I said out loud knowing that the rest of the participants sitting at their computers could not hear me since it was a webinar.    (more)


Introducing our Board, in their own words: 
Dwayne Odvody
(Ed Note: Each month, we'll be introducing you to a one of our Board Members.  This is the third of our series.)


I'm a baby-boomer vacillating between employment and retirement, currently employed. Interested in gardening, cooking, hiking, classic automobiles, tinkering with anything mechanical, and building community through small groups. I am employed as the Director of Materials Management (Purchasing) for Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.


I am a father and grandfather and consider parenting and grand-parenting to be the best opportunities God has given me in my life. (more)


In This Issue
The Power We Possess
Blogs You May Have Missed...Praying & Prayers
Music we love to share: Autumn
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October by Eric Whitacre (string orchestra, high quality audio)
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Upcoming Events
October 27th
Light for Your Journey
(Please contact the church for more information and to register)

Advent Unplugged: Preparing for the Holidays in a New Way

Sunday December 9, 2012 from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM 

St James Episcopal Church, Keene, NH


Also: December 8th,

Winnetka Covenant Church, Winnnetka IL

(Please contact the church directly for more information and to register.)


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(Pssst...Christmas is coming...) FROM OUR STORE TO YOU...Have you been to our bookstore lately?  We have these books, and many more, to help you as you reflect on your life, connect with what matters most, and discover your next steps.  Some of these are great for small groups...all are great for reading on your own.
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