Good morning dear church family, and thank you so much for all the good wishes you have sent our way as we have navigated the last week of Covid 19.  Your prayers, your notes, your cards, your warm feelings are deeply appreciated, and I’m happy to say that our entire household is well on the mend.  I fully expect to be in the virtual pulpit this Sunday.  Though, in the interest of full disclosure, because I have spent most of the week convalescing, I am going to the Froggatt Files for this week’s sermon; a sermon I wrote a number of years ago (you haven’t heard it yet) and one I have a little fun with – I hope you do too.
Next Monday and Tuesday mark the approximate halfway point between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox. Monday is St Brigid’s Day, an Irish celebration marking the approach of spring, and Tuesday is Groundhog Day, which does the same in a very different fashion, and I want to mark both with a bit of poetry.  Tim Napier wrote the following last year, and I offer it to you as we look ahead to Monday, and the end of Sunday’s service will glance at Tuesday with its theme of shadows.

          St Brigid’s Day:  February Thaw Along the River          
           Tim Napier 9/7/2020
          I am half-way between winter and spring,
          lost somewhere in the month of February.
          The river banks are no longer feverishly white,
          Color that blinds when looked at straight on;
          they are mottled, now, with the detritus of winter,
          first signs of spring:  ivory lines.
          Ice and snow, lie a few pages of old newspaper
          printed with the common grit of our survival,
          seem to blow away, down the street, around
          the corner.  Patches of earth appear in the
          ice-bound fields; they grow in this thaw like islands
          in a draining sea.  The landscape is in a fever.
          Sometimes we try to keep you in surplice,
          implied purity we know.
                                                   Life is a mess
          We can feel you turning under ground;
          we can feel you rising to meet us
          through the softening landscape;
          clods of earth break in our hands:
          It is St. Brigid’s Day, and
          We are moving toward spring.

 Bulletin for Sunday January 31, 2021
 Link to Service 




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