Dear Kind and Gentle People,
When I was a little boy and visiting the family homestead on Stickney Hill, my sainted father would lift me up to put my lips on Mr. Moose’s soft fur. We all knew he was a buck who met his demise on the Grand State of Maine’s Borestone Mountain in October 1926, but that is beside the point. We called him Mr. Moose. In 1989, this ghastly stuffed mammal descended to me, making my father was so very pleased.
In 2018, Mr. Moose joined other stuffed carcasses in my hunter son Zeb’s home. After Zeb transitioned to his eternal home, Mr. Moose came back to “The Mill.” Currently Mr. Moose is transformed and dressed for all holidays and occasions. In this way, a bit of my son, father and grandfather are resurrected and a bit of childhood is gleefully revived and enjoyed. In this picture Mr. Moose is all jazzed up for Easter with a dashing Easter Hat and Antler trimmings.
During the long journey of Lent, many of us have questioned our circumstances, our faith, the appearance of troubles in the world and our mortality. We have also had a grand opportunity to reflect and grow in faith and the understanding of our respective ministries. We, as servants of the Holy One, are called to see the sufferings of the world, and not run from them, but towards them — not to escape suffering, but to see how we can comfort, serve, and help. We can only understand with the help of God’s grace and let it understand us as an unrepeatable miracle of love.
The only people to whom the Risen Christ appeared were people who loved him. The Resurrection, therefore, is made visible and possible for those who experienced it because of the love that was in them, because God is love and because God loved the world so much that he gave Christ to these people in a new and living way. The bottom line is, if you can believe that love is stronger than death, you are able to believe in Easter. We can put down our grief, fear, and plethora of burdens at the feet of Jesus, and when he calls our name, we can answer, “Rabbouni! Teacher!”
I hope that you will allow yourselves to receive the limitless blessings and opportunities to be transformed that are at your disposal. The transformations about Mr. Moose from this living dust’s viewpoint (me) have vastly changed from an excited child, a grossed-out teenager, reluctant heir, caring father and grieving parent. We are all on a journey to grow in unction with our creator. At this time, Mr. Moose has been a tool of transformation and is currently a relic of great delight.
May your powerful ministries be filled with Joy—like that of a transformed Mr. Moose, and may your Holy Week, Easter and Eastertide be blessed by our “Rabbouni’s” miracle of Love.
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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