This whole time

trinity ucc - northport, Mi - 4-15-2015

First Congregational Church of Northport was formally organized in February of 1863.  Their first church was built on this location in 1869.  The structure you see is a renovation of the original building that was built by a forebear of several current members and friends of Trinity Church of the UCC.

Northport Methodist Church was organized in 1858.

In October1965, these two congregations of


joined together as one Body of Christ and formed Trinity Church of the United Church of Christ.  We celebrated our 50th anniversary as Trinity on World Wide Communion Sunday in October, 2015.


This whole time we have been a lively, loving, serving community of faith.DSC02177

On November 15, 2015, we will gather at 11:00 am to sing and pray, to listen and learn, to give and receive, to be blessed and to be sent into the world once again to serve.  You are invited to join us.  I am delighted to say we will receive new members for the second Sunday in a row.

We’ll hear this story from:  1 Samuel 1:4-20  (Contemporary English Version)

4 Whenever Elkanah offered a sacrifice, he gave some of the meat to Peninnah and some to each of her sons and daughters. 5 But he gave Hannah even more, because he loved Hannah very much, even though the Lord had kept her from having children of her own.

6 Peninnah liked to make Hannah feel miserable about not having any children, 7 especially when the family went to the house of the Lord each year.

One day, Elkanah was there offering a sacrifice, when Hannah began crying and refused to eat. 8 So Elkanah asked, “Hannah, why are you crying? Why won’t you eat? Why do you feel so bad? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?”

9 When the sacrifice had been offered, and they had eaten the meal, Hannah got up and went to pray. Eli was sitting in his chair near the door to the place of worship. 10 Hannah was brokenhearted and was crying as she prayed, 11 “Lord All-Powerful, I am your servant, but I am so miserable! Please let me have a son. I will give him to you for as long as he lives, and his hair will never be cut.”

12-13 Hannah prayed silently to the Lord for a long time. But her lips were moving, and Eli thought she was drunk. 14 “How long are you going to stay drunk?” he asked. “Sober up!”

15-16 “Sir, please don’t think I’m no good!” Hannah answered. “I’m not drunk, and I haven’t been drinking. But I do feel miserable and terribly upset. I’ve been praying all this time, (my choice of words – “this whole time“) telling the Lord about my problems.”

17 Eli replied, “You may go home now and stop worrying. I’m sure the God of Israel will answer your prayer.”

18 “Sir, thank you for being so kind to me,” Hannah said. Then she left, and after eating something, she felt much better.  19 Elkanah and his family got up early the next morning and worshiped the Lord. Then they went back home to Ramah. Later the Lord blessed Elkanah and Hannah 20 with a son. She named him Samuel because she had asked the Lord for him.


What is it God has been aching this whole time to birth within us at Trinity Church of the United Church of Christ situated as we are just a dozen miles north of the 45th Parallel, halfway between the equator and the north pole?


As I read and reread the text, “this whole time” are the words that keep echoing and reechoing within me:

“Don’t you get it Eli . . . I am not drunk . . . no, I am bereft, I am aching in the core or my being, I am sad beyond your understanding, I am woman, I am vulnerable.


This whole time I have waned.

This whole time I have wanted.

This whole time I have wondered.


This whole time I have been an active protagonist in my own behalf . . .


This whole time I have been anxious, I have hungered, I have ached.


Ohhhhhhh God, hear my plea!”


Have you ached, like Hannah, for your life to be different?

Have you agonized for a new beginning?

Have you wanted with your whole being for there to be justice?

Have you wondered, how with your understanding of what is right, life has been neither kind nor fair?


Have you been aghast at the arrogance and stupidity of your rival?

Have you been tired of being misunderstood?

Have you ever wanted more?

Do you know the meaning of unrequited desire?


What do you dare to imagine that God is aching to birth in you, in me, in us?


May God impregnate us with . . .

Your comments, challenges, courage, compassion about this text and these words and images are, of course, welcome.

2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 8,800 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 15 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


Early in the morning, 31 years ago, Jacob wanted to be born.

It took much of the day.

He was born September 10, 1981.

One time when he was a teenager, I got a call that he was being transported to Duluth, MN, by ambulance with a “head injury” from a ski hill community a fair distance away.  I went to the hospital to wait for his arrival.  I was very afraid.  I did not know the nature of his injury.  While I waited I preregistered him with the birthdate of 9/11/1981.  Turned out, he greeted me with a smile and a joke as he was transported from the ambulance to the ER.  His injury was minor.

Thanks be!

All the years since then Jacob and I have bantered about which day is actually his birthday, the one I told the hospital that day when I was afraid, or the one he was actually born when I was very joyful.

November 1, 2011, a wee bit less than ten months ago, Paul Lawrence died.

We are staying, here in Kells, County Kerry, Ireland, in a home that was imagined by Paul Lawrence and then built by Paul and Martha and their children and some others.  Lawrence home - Kells It was built in the 70’s, at a time when the Irish construction industry was building ranch homes.  Paul did not want a ranch.  He wanted a house that was consistent with traditional Ireland construction and, at the same time was contemporary in design.  With the help of an imaginative architect he achieved both.  It worked then  . . . and it still does today.

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To be “sated.”

I always thought “to be sated” meant

to be full to the excess . . .

like that

very much too much

feeling of food and tiredness associated (for me) with Thanksgiving.

When I checked it just now,

I discovered, it can also mean “to satisfy fully.”

I like that.

That’s how we are today,

satisfied fully.

We had a luminous and filling time with our guide, Grace O’Keefe,

Grace O'Keefe - Dublin Guide par excellancefor a walking history tour of Center City Dublin area.

It was just the three of us.


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