Posts Tagged ‘Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte NC

25
Feb
20

2.25.20 … “May each person who is lost trust the path. And may each person walk this labyrinth, discovering an openness of heart and spirit, recognizing that we all walk the Path of Life together.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2020 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (0/40), Shrove Tuesday, 2020 Labyrinth Walks, Avondale Presbyterian Church-Charlotte NC:

It’s Shrove Tuesday so my walk today doesn’t count. However, I generally begin my Lenten Walks at Avondale’s Labyrinth, and since I will be inAtlanta tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, I decided to get in a walk here today. This will be my ninth year of Lenten Labyrinth Walks. So this is 0/40 walks. I don’t get to count it, but spiritually Im getting something, so here goes…

Avondale is a perfect place to begin. It seems late for the Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday, and I have seen blooms all over Charlotte and Atlanta but today nothing is in bloom, except maybe the moss. Does moss bloom?

I have used this quote before. My Paris guide Donna Morris (“My Best Friend in Paris“) posted it one year.

“”Lent is about finding “the still point of the turning world” — the still point around which the world is turning, turning around you”. – Bishop Whalon at the American Cathedral.

So today, I’ll begin to find my still point. I feel like I’m a different person this year, this, my ninth year. I’m more relaxed about starting the practice and more open to finding my still point. I have more tools, more spiritual practices to draw upon.

Observations: it’s very wet, jackhammers in the distance, fountain running, bright green of moss on the Labyrinth … otherwise no signs of spring.

I am anticipating pancakes … and I’m on a diet … As I walk, I’m eating oatmeal, part of the diet. That’s a first.

Afterwards I went to TMBS where we discussed The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For and Believe by Richard Rohr. Our leader asked us to take a quote from the book or a quote each week and contemplate that quote each day. So here is one for this week:

“God is not bound by the human presumption that we are the center of everything, and creation did not actually demand or need Jesus (or us, for that matter) to confer additional sacredness upon it.”

I also rediscovered this 2008 article about Sally Quinn and labyrinths: Charmed Circles: Becoming a Believer, https://www.oprah.com/omagazine/charmed-circles-becoming-a-believer/all#.XlPiCWfE59s.facebook

[Sally Quinn] asked everyone to write down something that was an obstacle in their lives. Then we threw the notes into the fire. At the entrance to the labyrinth, I said: “May each person in pain find comfort. May each person who is broken find healing. May each person who is hungry and thirsty find they are filled. May each person who longs for peace find serenity. May each person who is challenged find strength for the demands ahead. May each person who is lost trust the path. And may each person walk this labyrinth, discovering an openness of heart and spirit, recognizing that we all walk the Path of Life together.”

And then I traveled to Georgia where I shared Shrove Tuesday pancakes with my sister and brother in law.

And to end my day, I received a book that I bought just for the title, The Lenten Labyrinth: Daily Reflections for the Journey of Lent. I wonder what I will discover …

Be still …
2.25.20

05
Jan
20

1.5.20 … Always we begin again …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte NC, 2020 Labyrinth Walks, 2019-20 Christmas Walks (12th Day of Christmas):

I started my new year by going back to my home church, First Presbyterian Church of Charlottr, for the first time on a Sunday in quite a while. I arrived in time for ChristIan Formation/Sunday School. Today we had an info session on Father Greg Boyle who will give the 2020 Willard Lecture in March.

“Father Greg Boyle, a Jesuit priest and founder of the world’s largest gang-intervention and rehabilitation program, will be deliver the next Willard Lecture on March 15, 2020. At a Jesuit parish in East Los Angeles, Father Greg served the poorest Catholic Church in the city, in the middle of the territories of numerous gangs. In 1988, Father Greg began to work with parish and community members to develop positive opportunities for youth who were involved in gangs, including a jobs program. The jobs program became an independent nonprofit organization, Homeboy Industries.

This program now offers a way out for young people stuck in a cycle of violence and incarceration.”

Worship at 11 focused on the twelfth day of Christmas and tomorrow‘s Epiphany. Merry Christmas, y’all!

And then, I walked. I returned to Avondale Presbyterian Church, the site of my first ever labyrinth walk in 2010. And I like to begin any new series of walks here. And this walk was a gift. It was a bright sunny day, the chimes rang merrily in the wind, the water ran in the fountain and the labyrinth was cool and welcoming in almost full shade with the bright green of the moss and weeds establishing new opportunities in the boundaries for 2020.

1.5.20

05
Sep
19

9.6.19 … “make us people always attentive to the winds that are blowing in other people’s lives. amen.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte NC, 2019 Labyrinth Walks:

A storm is brewing … Dorian is on her way. The world has been watching her for over a week.

And here in Charlotte today there was a weather change. It was gusty and balmy. The chimes were clanging. The wind and the birds were chirping.

Although it’s still summer, today felt like fall. The colors were muted and brown. Weeds were making one last push for dominance.

As I walked, I talked with my son … allergies this year … Denver … the mountains … lots of construction …

Back to Dorian … Maren always fashions words I appreciate:

God, you speak from the siren

of first responders

and not the whirlwind.

You comfort mourners in the Bahamas

and those who sift through loss

of home and business

after the storm stayed and stayed

over the islands

and you have waited

on the worried mainland

through the vigil of trajectories.

Give to the stranded — patience,

to caregivers – stamina,

to those who choose to stay

with their small animals,

common sense

and bars on their phones.

Along the seaboard storm path,

give wisdom to governors,

energy to emergency room workers,

guidance to school superintendents,

judgment to those

who deploy line workers.

And turn neighbors

into good watchers and kind friends,

while strong bands and eye-walls

are passing by,

and, having learned

to notice and to care in these days,

make us people always attentive

to the winds that are blowing

in other people’s lives.

amen.

Source: In the Days of Hurricane Dorian | Gifts in Open Hands,

https://giftsinopenhands.wordpress.com/2019/09/04/in-the-days-of-hurricane-dorian/

Yes, make us people always attentive to the winds that are blowing in other people’s lives. amen.

9.6.19

25
Jul
19

7.25.19 … “Love still takes the risk of birth.“

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte NC, 2019 Labyrinth Walks:

I tried, but failed. I left a big pile of gray hair on the floor at the hairdresser … but still it’s not really short. My friend called me a “chicken.”

So afterwards, I moved on to a favorite labyrinth. As I approached with my McDonald’s lunch and book, I saw the labyrinth was weedy and looked scorched.

I heard multiple “caws,” and looked up to see a murder of crows flying overhead. Yes, really that is one of several names for a group of crows.

When Rachel Held Evans died recently, I realized that I had never read anything by her. I searched on the Internet and reserved several of her books at the library, including a Madeline L’Engle book entitled “And It Was Good: Reflections on Beginnings,“ which contained a forward by Rachel Held Evans. In five short pages, I think I got a very nice introduction to Rachel Held Evans, and I quickly realized that I have very similar thoughts and musings about the author Madeleine L’Engle. Here are a few quotes from Evans’ Forward:

“Love still takes the risk of birth.“

“The young writer, who might as well be any of us who long from time to time to call up St. Madeline and ask the very same thing, pressed once more: ”’I just need to be sure you believe what you say in your books.‘“

“I do. ‘ God help me, I do. Even when I don’t, I do.“

“I believe all of these things, at least most of the time.

And thanks St. Madeline, even when I don’t, I do.“

And then I was distracted. Just like my last walk here, I saw a high school boy, this one a carrot top in a boot, sneaking back into the woods behind the columbarium … he wasn’t there long, before he returned to the waiting dark colored Jeep. I’m not sure what is back there, but an educated guess is weed. I had kids, so I get it, but what I hate is that this made me uncomfortable in a sacred space. I didn’t feel unsafe, just uncomfortable. So if you have kids, tell them to respect spaces … to keep them safe and sacred.

When I got home, I found a note from a friend whose daughter had just had a boy to tag along behind her three older sisters. “Love still takes the risk of birth.“

7.25.19

22
Jun
19

6.22.19 … And I walked … most noticeable was the shortness of my shadow …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte NC, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, Summer Solstice:

I am technically a day late, but I was in transit. So I knew I would walk today and honor the arrival of summer.

As I entered the sacred garden, a group of four teenagers, all boys, walked to the far corner corner of the garden and went into the woods…

I sat on one of the benches at the side of the labyrinth and read my new library book, Jennifer Robson‘s, “Moonlight over Paris.“

After about 20 minutes, the group of boys walked out and seem startled to see me sitting and watching them. My guess: they were up to no good.

The heat was intense. And so I again missed the huge oak tree that was here for so many years. I realize that in another year or two, there will be no evidence of its former glory and many will never remember it existed.

The birds were singing and the chimes were ringing, and I heard the rushing water in the fountain at the columbarium. Where at first I was distracted by the presence of the boys in their hideaway, the peace and sacredness was now restored.

And I walked … most noticeable was the shortness of my shadow.

After my walk, I ventured into the woods. It was no surprise to find empty cases of beer, but I also found a secret circle … maybe for scouts or Indian guide gatherings.

“Do you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it.”

– F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Happy summer to you all.

6.22.19

19
Apr
19

4.19.19 … still …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (40/40), Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte NC:

Thursday night I went to First Presbyterian’s Maundy Thursday Tenebrae Service and on Good Friday I attended MPUMC’s Good Friday service. They were similar and I ended Good Friday in a somber mood.

For my 40th walk, I chose to return to Avondale. It was Good Friday late afternoon and a wicked storm was brewing. Because of the weather, i knew it might be a quick walk.

I entered the sacred garden and the chimes were ringing wildly in the wind. The water was flowing. The dogwoods which were glorious just the other day had been defrocked by the storm today. And the weeds were winning.

I walked between storms. I raced around the labyrinth knowing that another storm was brewing.

I know I mentioned the other day that everything was at its peak… Well the strange weather today, this strange storm, has knocked the blooms off the dogwood trees and the azaleas.

As I walked I contemplated this Jan Richardson post:

For you, for this Good Friday—this day that asks us to bear witness to what is breaking. May we not turn away.

STILL

A Blessing for Good Friday

This day

let all stand still

in silence,

in sorrow.

Sun and moon

be still.

Earth

be still.

Still

the waters.

Still

the wind.

Let the ground

gape in stunned

lamentation.

Let it weep

as it receives

what it thinks

it will not

give up.

Let it groan

as it gathers

the One

who was thought

forever stilled.

Time

be still.

Watch

and wait.

Still.

—Jan Richardson

from Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons

It was very strange to walk on Good Friday afternoon in this weather, this very dark weather… This is what the Bible said…

John 19: 30 “When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”

4.19.19

16
Apr
19

4.16.19 … Notre Dame … “a visual reminder of what a human heart, guided by lofty aspirations, can dream into existence…”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (38/40), Avondale Presbyterian Church-Charlotte NC:

I attended TMBS and gave a devotional that highlighted the tragic fire at Notre Dame in Paris. I first read from a Facebook post of Christopher Edmonson:

Ed McLeod, Pastor of FPC Raleigh pretty much says it pure and true:

“A professor of mine used to say, “People with convictions build cathedrals, while the modern church awards the contract to the low bidder.” The church and the artisans who built the Cathedral of Notre Dame spared no expense, or effort, to build something that would honor God. The tragedy of this fire is not simply the destruction of an historic building, but of a visual reminder of what a human heart, guided by lofty aspirations, can dream into existence…”

And another poem by Maren Tirabassi, “With love and tears for Notre Dame de Paris”:

In the telling

of all the holy stories,

pilgrims have come to sacred places

to meet God and be surrounded

by the faith of past saints

and the work

of Eucharist and compassion

of living communities.

In that lineage

of worship and pilgrimage,

tourism and the identity of a people,

Notre Dame has blessed

people of Paris and the world.

All who have visited there,

all who have prayed there,

all who simply walk to work or home

or a café for bread and coffee

and see her presence

defining their skyline — weep.

Those who love her sing hymns

on the sidewalk as she burns.

Bless those who fight this fire,

in danger and in hope,

supporting buildings all around,

those who mourn her losses,

those who remember a single visit.

Notre Dame, pieta at the heart

of Holy Week,

we pray —

with gratitude for the gift of beauty,

tenderness for hope,

and confidence that every prayer

ever prayed there is lifted —

not on smoke, but wings

Afterwards, I headed to the labyrinth.

Here, today, the sun was shining brilliantly, the chimes were gently ringing, the birds were chattering and the water was running. As in all of Charlotte, the grass and weeds were overgrown.

There were two people on the bench sharing a tête-à-tête, possibly a pair of twenty something siblings. I only heard snippets: unless you take him … What are our challenges today? … Buddy challenge … Instagram … Snorlak … Blue drink, just water, two weeks without soda … Beyond me!

So I focused on going in and out of the shadows … cool v warm/shade v sun. And I thought about the beauty of Notre Dame … “a visual reminder of what a human heart, guided by lofty aspirations, can dream into existence…”

4.16.19

And then I saw this from a UGA Law Classmate:

Bart Legum, who heads Dentons‘ investment treaty arbitration practice from its Paris office, grew up in Atlanta, graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1985 and joined the State Bar of Georgia. Dentons’ Paris office is about 2 miles from Notre Dame Cathedral. At the Daily Report’s request, Legum shared these thoughts Tuesday morning:

“I rode my bike home from work along the riverbanks yesterday evening. Even from a distance, you could tell that the source of column of light smoke was the Île de la Cité. As I got closer, it first looked like it might be coming from the courthouse (the Palais de Justice), then the Prefecture of Police. And then I saw the spire of Notre Dame, unmistakable, even wrapped in flames.

“The feeling was one of heartbreak. Heartbreak shared by the huge crowds of people who had gathered along the banks of the river, all staring in the same direction. Aghast.

“It is a tremendous loss—but a tremendous relief that it seems to have been an accident rather than an act of terrorism. As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said, ‘even a dog knows the difference between being stumbled over and being kicked.’”

Source: Dentons Lawyer Witnessed Notre Dame Fire While Biking Home | Daily Report,

https://www.law.com/dailyreportonline/2019/04/16/paris-lawyer-witnessed-notre-dame-fire-while-biking-home/




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