Dear Kind and Gentle People,
A glorious month of July comes to a close tonight as a fabulous August is anticipated for the Grand State of Maine. Raspberries have run their course; zucchini, summer squash and cucumbers are running rampant; and the blackberry brambles look “loaded” with promises of blackberry pies on the horizon. Here at “The Mill” the kitchen has been bathed in the aroma of pickles. Yup, 30 quarts so far! A victory!
In addition to enjoying the abundant gifts from Gaia, I had the joy of participating in a seminar, a pilgrimage of sorts to seek peace and justice, held at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids. African American religious autobiographies from the late 1700’s to the present were studied, discussed and reflected upon. All attending read nine books and prepared some outlines for group discussion. It was a mountaintop experience.
We visited sites of the Underground Railroad, the resting place of Sojourner Truth (of course I wept), and meaningful places marked by the Michigan Historical Commission. Personally, I am horrified, mortified and ashamed of a barrier in Detroit called Birwood Wall, a reminder of institutionalized racial segregation constructed in1941 to separate Blacks from whites. Boo Hiss!!! I had no idea!!!!
On a happier note, the singing with 35 fellow pilgrims was amazing. One of my heroes of song, Dr. James Abbington, led the music from the new African American ecumenical hymnal, “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism.” It is published by GIA. Petah highly recommends this gem as an addition to your music library. Order today — don’t delay!
Jesus warns us that if we follow him in the way of peace and justice, healing and grace, people will be offended; even loved ones will be divided against us. ***Sadly, I have found this true with hideous comments made to me about attending the Calvin seminar/pilgrimage. What was said to my face left me speechless and shocked — and I will not give it any of our holy energy by printing it. Horrors!!!!
The Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace is not an easy walk. It is a courageous and costly participation in God’s pilgrimage of justice and peace. How will you become rich toward God, giving thanks for the abundance of the earth and working for justice and peace?
As always — Gobs of blessings and heaps of happiness.
Rev. Dr. Peter Stickney, Chaplain
UCC Musicians Association
P.O. Box 370631
West Hartford, CT 06137
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