Inspiring, educating and nurturing those who minister through music and the arts

Rich Toward God

August 01, 2022 8:00 AM | Admin UCCMA (Administrator)

August 2022

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


  • August 04, 2022 7:00 PM | Eric Dundore (Administrator)
    Bless you, Petah! Thanks for doing this pilgrimage and i look forward to hearing more about it at future meetings. If there is anything you would like to write about for the Journal, let me know. Take care and stay cool, if possible! maybe Maine for My wife and I next summer.
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  • August 19, 2022 11:55 AM | Ronald Hanft
    Beloved Petah, So glad you had this uplifting conference experience, and so sorry for the negative backlash. There are times we must shake the dust from off our sandles and continue on our life's journey. Add my voice to all those who are cheering you on. I so appreciate all the grace and generosity that you share with us in all your 'pontifications' - the good kind! And pickles, too! Endless goodies, endless Grace.
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  • August 19, 2022 4:17 PM | Jeffrey Clouser
    I was lucky to get a copy of OLOFOB hot off the press when GIA held a reading session for the new hymnal at the historic African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas in Philadelphia. There I also learned more about the Seventh Day Adventist and Absalom Jones. Thanks for sharing your story.
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