From the Backcountry ...

North Greenwich Congregational Church

Pastor’s Weekly Update

January 6, 2018

 From the Backcountry …

 Within reality lies the greatest enchantment we can ever experience.”  Hugo von Hofmannsthal

 We are taught to see enchantment as some kind of malign, magical spell.  And yet, it’s actually a French word - meaning “to infuse with song.”   We can consider ourselves enchanted when we begin to feel the many sacred bonds and interconnections that exist within the universe.  In fact, the word universe literally means “one song” – the joyous cacophony of living things celebrating our mutual inter-dependence.  When awareness of these sacred links is severed, we find ourselves in a state of disenchantment – with its many familiar forms: depression, malaise, hopelessness, despair.  Can our souls be re-enchanted?  But, of course.  We need only place ourselves back within the context of the universe’s greater song.

 Sunday, January 7   Epiphany Sunday  10:30  a.m.    

Holy Communion

 Lectionary Readings:  Isaiah 60: 1-6; Mathew 2: 1-12

 Text:    “…Wise men from the East came to Jerusalem.”   Matthew 2:1

 Sermon:   “On the Fourteenth Day of Christmas”

 Tease:   Once again, we join ranks with those strange men from the East, who journey from afar - field and fountain, moor and mountain. They bear gifts that are tools of the magian tradition.   In fact, the word “magi,” simply means wise ones.  Through the millennia, these “wise ones” have become shrouded in myth.   And yet, their appearance in the birth narrative bears profound symbolic significance as the “Old” Testament begins blending with the “New.”

 New Year

Mary Oliver

I worried a lot.

Will the garden grow?

Will the rivers flow in the right direction?

Will the earth turn as it was taught?

And, if not, how shall I correct it?

Was I right?   Was I wrong?

Will I be forgiven?

Can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing?

Even the sparrows do it …and, I am, well hopeless.

Is my eyesight fading?

Or, am I just imagining it?

Am I going to get rheumatism? Lock jaw?   Dementia?

Finally, I saw that all that worrying has come to nothing.

And, I gave it up.

And, I took my old body and went out into the morning

And sang.


 Meet Harper Shea Garren!! 

Harper was born November 2.  I am traveling to Lincolnshire, UK on Monday to meet my new granddaughter. Our friend, Michelle Wiltshire-Clement will be preaching for me on Sunday, January 14.    I return Tuesday, January 16.

Here’s to another enchanting year


Forget-me-not:    Our annual meeting will be held on Sunday, January 28 following worship.  It will be a pot-luck affair. So, bring a covered dish to share.