"Goodness Leaves Us Gasping"


Since June, countries worldwide have held 70th anniversary commemorations for the concluding events of WWII. During the last week of January, the liberation of the death camp Auschwitz was remembered, with 300 of the few remaining survivors gathered at the camp's site in Poland from whence they emerged in 1945. Europe’s rich diversity, which is embodied in these survivors, was nearly snuffed out by a murderous regime, and in the ensuing seven decades their lives grew into two and three more ...

Barbara's Blurb for week of Jan. 28, 2015

Barbara Libby


Sitting here in the Conference Office this Monday morning as we await continuing updates on the incoming BLIZZARD … I confessed on my Facebook Status on Sunday afternoon, “Okay… So that snow I have been hoping for? It’s coming!! It did not have to come all at once though…” So first, I confess that I love snow… I know that is not true for all of us and I may take it back later in the week if this storm truly does make as big an impact as they seem to be suggesting. And here’s another ...

Barbara's Blurb

Barbara Libby


Over the course of the past week I have been impressed but not surprised by the amount of attention Martin Luther King’s birthday has received this year (officially celebrated this past Monday, January 19th). I’m not surprised by the attention of pastors and religious leaders, who generally speaking do a great job of raising our awareness each January in Sunday morning worship. I’m not even surprised by the amount of attention that has been given the movie SELMA, which is (I’m told) an artistic ...

Fighting Hunger in Haiti


What has 70 calories, almost every essential vitamin and mineral, many other beneficial food components and is best produced between 7 am and 11 am? Would you believe that it’s an egg? One large egg contains 6 grams of protein, varying amounts of vitamins A, B6, B12 C, D, calcium, riboflavin, thiamin, zinc, and choline, and antioxidants. Eggs have been shown to help build muscle strength, help brain function, improve eye health; and the choline in eggs promotes a healthy pregnancy. Egg protein ...

Barbara's Blurb for January 7, 2015

Barbara Libby


I’m not one to make New Year’s Resolutions – never have and probably never will.   But the turning of the clock into a New Year always offers us a doorway into a new beginning and an opportunity to reflect on where we’ve been in the year past… In a recent Facebook post from On Being, one of their regular contributors, Parker Palmer offered these five questions to ponder for the New Year. These questions resonate with me and so I share them with all of you – post these questions by your computer,...

The Other Wise Man


The Other Wise Man During this week of Epiphany (Three Kings Day) perhaps you will also think of The Other Wise Man.  This story was written by Rev. Henry Van Dyke. Ordained in 1879 as a Presbyterian minister he spent his first four years in ministry as pastor at the United Congregational Church of Newport, RI. Van Dyke explains in the preface to his book that after experiencing a year that had been full of sickness and sorrow "It was a gift. It was sent to me; and it seemed as if I knew the ...

A woman, a man, a donkey and a baby


Uphill all the way, it's about 40 miles from Nazareth, by the Sea of Galilee to the little village of Bethlehem outside Jerusalem. The woman - eight uncomfortable months pregnant - doesn't complain as her husband plods along, mumbling to himself about the stupid government, the dumb donkey, lost work, and his confused mix of loyalty, loss, and worry for his wife and the child she bears. Today's reality is not the "sweet baby Jesus, asleep on the hay" of our Christmas pageants. Although, by the ...

Barbara's Blurb 12/17/14

Barbara Libby


At this time of the year I love the poetry of Ann Weems from her book, Kneeling in Bethlehem. Her poetry speaks to me in words that resonate because they are clear and true. I've been particularly struck this Advent by how long the nights have been and how short the days are - both actually and psychically with all the turmoil both here and around the world. I yearn for more light (Light) in my life at this time of year and so appreciate the language of Jesus as the Light of the World at this ...

An Open Letter to the United Church Of Christ 12/10/14


An Open Letter to the United Church of Christ "I, Paul, and my companions in faith here, send greetings to the Galatian churches. My authority for writing to you does not come from any popular vote of the people, nor does it come through the appointment of some human higher-up. It comes directly from Jesus the Messiah and God who raised him from the dead. I’m God-commissioned. So I greet you with the great words, grace and peace!" (Galatians 1:1-3) As leaders of the United Church of Christ, we ...

A Litany for Those Who Aren't Ready for Healing


A Litany for Those Who Aren’t Ready For Healing by Dr. Yolanda Piercee One: Let us not rush to the language of healing, before understanding the fullness of the injury and the depth of the wound. ALL: Let us not rush to offer a band-aid, when the gaping wound requires surgery and complete reconstruction. One: Let us not offer false equivalencies, thereby diminishing the particular pain being felt in a particular circumstance in a particular historical moment. ALL: Let us not speak of ...

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