Eastertide

Blessings with a return after Lenten hiatus! What a gift to share bright balloon images from Easter at Kittamaqundi Community Church. This past week, I noticed on my local Facebook Buy Nothing Group the availability of some beautifully bright balloon strands. I was able to pick them up locally after they were upcycled for a little girl’s birthday. So these splendid strands saw triple duty, brightening multiple settings with joy! And what a lovely sunrise service with a masked and spread out crew enjoyed together. A blue heron even flew majestically overhead–if… Read More

The Big Expanse

January into February is one long expanse. On this cooped up (or is it cozied in?) Saturday, I hear the ice graze the windows. I think back to the many days already spent sledding. And I see out the back the snowman holding steady. I think of my four year old son declaring to his teacher that there would be six more weeks of winter. Here is the crossover to winter’s second half. And she is teaching — with not only the usual freezing temperatures to invite hibernation, but the new rasp… Read More

King Day

On January 6, I worked with my four year old son to make a king cake. We have spent hours in past months in Tomie dePaola’s Strega Nona’s anthology, including “Strega Nona’s Gift,” a celebration of Italian holiday feasts at Christmas and Epiphany. The story inspired us to bake. We mixed ingredients, kneaded dough, and, lacking a favo bean to hide inside, found a mini-motorcycle eraser boy to stand in for a hidden Jesus. The King or Queen of our family feast would be declared at the end of dinner. In dePaola’s… Read More

Joy

Images for the weeks past as we approach a week of Advent Joy. Remembering resources that point to joy as resistance. Recognizing the ways in which so many are tired and in need of rest. Although we may not have as been as much on the go, we are harboring the anxieties and spinning of uncertainty. COVID numbers in Maryland have only been rising. It’s been a year since I first stood on the corner of Little Patuxent Parkway holding a balloon and hoping to spark joy for those driving by. Little… Read More

Freetown Farm

It was nice to have a little warmth. The winds crept up as we distanced around the fire. It was a gift to join interfaith friends at The Community Ecology Institute’s Freetown Farm in south Columbia. Stuart, an Episcopalian intern in Deacon formation, invited us to take a tour of the Farm and to share in conversation with Chiara D’Amore, Executive Director. We learned about the history of the land and about the Institute’s mission. They pursue a connection to nature, civic ecology, community health, and climate action. The Institute builds transformative… Read More

Rocket

Today at the small neighborhood tot lot, I noticed her sitting on the hill. She seemed curious and comfortable. No aggression. Just a complete contentment to watch us. A contentment at one point to curl up in a ball, occasionally stopping to look up. Even my son’s louder shrieks didn’t disturb her. I wondered at her stillness, her majesty. We named her “Rocket.” Well, my son named the beautiful fox Rocket Skyberg Dumptruck. You can see her there just on the hill above the sandbox. She was at peace there and my… Read More

Pet Blessing

It’s right up there. It may be my favorite pastoral day of the year. A day when we recall the loving legacy of St. Francis and honor the animals in our lives. What a gift that 22 furry friends gathered on the Sacred Garden lawn. We reveled in the music of Rev. Amy Sens. After many minutes of sound system wrangling, we were able to secure some amplification. How patient the canines were as we waited to kick-off our time together. The balmy temps of a warm October day were a welcome… Read More

Binsar Update

If you have followed the previous posts about Binsar Siahaan’s Story: Introduction and Protest , you’ll want to know the latest! With cautious optimism we look forward and are praying and hoping for the best into these weeks and months to come. Rev. Kara Scroggins, Binsar’s pastor, writes this update 10.16: #FreeBinsar Binsar is FREE! Pressure on ICE came from all sides–14,000+ petition signatories and marchers; a fantastic legal team and a just federal judge; Congressional representatives who themselves were responding to public pressure; and the prayers and presence of a multi-faith… Read More

A Community’s Discernment

Kittamaqundi Community Church (KC) is engaging in a Spiritual Discernment on Sunday afternoon. The discernment centers on the question: “Is the Holy Spirit calling Kittamaqundi Community to rename our building?” Over the last year, KC researchers have uncovered historical evidence outlining that the Oliver family was a slaveholding family who owned the property at Oakland, including the Carriage House from 1825-1838. They were one among many slaveholding families to occupy the grounds. A real estate ad from the 1920’s first reveals the name “Oliver’s Carriage House.” There was at least one other… Read More

Balloon for Binsar

See my previous post here for background on Binsar Siahaan’s story. I joined other people of faith in downtown D.C. on Thursday. We met in front of Christ UMC and walked to ICE headquarters. There we prayed and attempted to deliver petitions with over 13,000 signatures asking that officials release Binsar from custody at a Georgia detention center. It was emotional to stand there as Binsar’s two children held the petitions, asking that the officers deliver them inside the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Building. The next day, Friday, was Binsar’s hearing… Read More