First in ER

Nope neither Patricia nor Phil were the first in the emergency room.

“First” is First Congregational United Church of Christ.First UCC, Eagle River, WI

“ER” is Eagle River in northern Wisconsin.

Today they are celebrating 125 years of ministry in Eagle River and beyond.

Blessings to you for this remarkable day in your lives!

We were invited to be with them for the celebration.  These are the words I wrote for them for today:

Dear Ones of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Eagle River, WI,

       How wise and faithful you are to honor your heritage and legacy by celebrating 125 years of ministry in Eagle River.  Congratulations!

       I am delighted to be invited to the party on August 19.  Patricia and I will, however, be in Ireland on that day, so unable to attend.

       Please accept these words as our way of giving thanks for the privilege of being a small part of your 125-year faith journey:

              For lakes and rivers, forests and gardens, thank you.

              For eagle and chickadee, for loon and owl and trumpeter swan, thank you.

              For deer and walleye, for squirrel and fox, for otter and raccoon, for fisher and black bear, thank you.

              For the quiet of snow and the song of the wind in winter, for the running water of spring-thaw and the flowering of marsh marigolds, for lovely, luscious, long summer days and the joy of tender, fresh corn on the cob, for the vibrancy of autumnal color and delicious bowls of homemade soup, thank you.

              For your laughter and lament, for your courage and curiosity, for your certainty and wonder, for your doubt and questioning, for your hospitality and hope, for your love and light in our years with you, thank you.

              For prayer and song and communion and silence and preaching and listening and friendship and playfulness and just being, thank you.

              For the sound of the bells in your tower, for the warmth of the fireplace at Moon Beach, for the sight of the full moon in February, for the taste of fine fellowship at God’s Country Kitchen, for your passion to be a community of justice, thank you.

              For the power of your vision, the beauty of your creativity, the grace of your healing, the bravery of your forgiveness, the dance of your step, and the collegiality of staff and lay leaders, thank you.door in Dublin

              May you know today and always, you are a dwelling place for God who is beneath, within, above, behind, beside, before.

       With love for you, Phil Garrison

Ohh, and those of you who read the comments in these posts, may have noted that Lew is wondering about the pictures of our posts.  He says, “there are buildings, scenery, redheads, priests, and Patricia, but none of you.  Are you really there?” Lew, I suspect you are asking that in the existential sense, which I’ll leave well enough alone, thank you very much, and respond in the literal sense.

There was a sighting of of someone who looked a bit like me at the Howth harbor, so Patricia took a picture.

Phil at the Howth harbor

6 thoughts on “First in ER

  1. I must have confused someone. Sorry. Thanks for printing your words. I read them before going to church this morning and preparing to sing, then MC.

  2. “FIRST IN ER” headline! Come on.

    You look like you’re all there :).

    Have those nice Irish people take photos of you both.

  3. Phil J. read you words to us today, Phil, and they brought tears to my eyes! They are soooo YOU and so appropriate for our Northwoods. We are so fortunate to have had you as our pastor. You blessed our lives – and still do!!! Sally

  4. Phil, your words this morning and were beautiful. And although your presence was missed your Spirit was very much with us all. Thank you.

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