Greetings new friends—both all of you I have and haven’t yet met. It’s a delight to be in ministry here with the good people of Condon United Church of Christ. I’m getting settled into the parsonage and out into the community. I look forward to getting to know you.
Here’s a piece of getting to know me: I write poetry. I follow the practice of one of Oregon’s great poets, William Stafford, and write something every day first thing in the morning. Quite a bit of it’s not much good, but showing up for the writing is the important thing. (Stafford’s word on ‘writers’ block’: “Lower your standards and keep writing.” More on this in another post. Hint—it applies to prayer.) Here’s a piece from earlier this week. Rereading it now I think maybe it shows part of me is still in the big cities I’ve been in for the last 15 years, but I suspect even here the call to quiet centering with God is still important.
In this overheated time—
outrage on every screen,
work pursuing us through our phones,
literal heat waves portending worse to come
and small leadership for change—
in this overheated day
open the night windows of your soul
Let the dark mystery of grace
enter and cool your true self.
Give it time to work:
Rest, pray, retreat.
Water your garden in the evening;
stand under a tree at first light.
In each overheated moment
guard that cool sustaining presence:
Sometimes turn off the news,
Sometimes turn off your phone,
yes, you really can.
Cherish that cool renewing place within,
an offering every time you open
the door of your heart,
a cooling center for
the cares of our community.
David Zaworski August 2017