Hi Calvary readers!
It's my privilege to write to you this week in our pastoral letter. Recently I embarked on the great journey of owning a delicate orchid plant, a peacock calathea, and a rattlesnake calathea. I haven't had much luck with plants in the past, but experience is the best teacher, and I'm hoping to get better.
There are several lessons that I've learned in caring for plants. In Florida, I planted a bunch of things in the dirt patch outside our apartment. The first things I planted were herb seedlings- and I was so excited. I went out the next morning to check on them and they were completely eaten by slugs (slugs in Florida are on a totally different level)! My poor little seedlings never recovered. First lesson: there will be forces that want to steal your life energy from you, and you have to protect yourself from them.
When we moved to Denver, I didn't have a dirt patch any longer, just a 3x6 feet deck. But the former tenant had left window boxes and a wooden lattice, reducing the deck's space by half, and so I planted little flower babies in them. I picked the wrong kind of flowers because they immediately dried up in the Colorado sun. I tried to resurrect them but they never recovered. Second lesson: know your limits!
Next I tried to grow vegetables. I dreamed of walking out to my deck and plucking tomatoes for dinner. I got the seeds and the right dirt and fertilizer, and soon had little tomato, pepper, and squash plants growing. But eventually I noticed there weren't any little fruits forming. I looked it up and apparently I was missing pollination from the bees. Our deck is right on Hampden Avenue and we don't have any bees who visit. Even after trying to pollinate with a paintbrush, no fruit formed. And the season ended with fruitless plants. Lesson three: you can't do everything, and you need to ask for help!
Finally, I resigned to my fate that I needed low-maintenance houseplants. Of course I decided to buy an orchid (very high maintenance plant!). I have somewhat learned my lesson and asked for help early from a friend who is an orchid fiend. She told me early on to get some fertilizing spray, and that eventually my orchid would start to drop its blooms and its branches would dry up- but it wasn't dead! It was entering a resting phase. It might be a whole year before it shoots up another stem. "It's the long game with orchids," she said. Sure enough, its branches dried and browned, and now I just have a plant with thick leaves. But despite its appearance, it is very much alive! I've learned several lessons with my orchid: take the time to rest, and you don't have to produce something to be valuable. Beautiful things take time; don't be discouraged if you don't have results right away. Sometimes it's nice to let go of what once was, and take a little nap.
I think God made the world because creating and watching things grow is a delight, and that delightful feeling is often stronger than the disappointment when your creation fails in one way or another. Creation can teach us so many things. What life lessons have your plants taught you? I'd love to hear them!
Take care of yourselves. I miss you all!
Calvary family & friends,
This week is brought to you by the letter P (thank you Sesame Street!):
• Protests & Petitions
• Personal Issues & Personalities
• P_________ (what word would you add here?) Read More…
Hello Calvary Family -
While we are still under “Safer at Home” safety measures and folks begin to explore what social distanced gatherings look like it can be a bit unsettling. What do we feel comfortable with? How do we know what to do? It would be nice to see people but how do we navigate awkward boundary conversations if someone encroaches on mine? These, and I imagine many others, are questions you might be tossing around as you wish to see those you love from Calvary. Read More…
Dear Calvary, my beloved church family,
How difficult it is to be apart during times where the ache in our souls is like a gravitational pull to be together. Through your social media posts, emails, calls, and cards, I have heard your pain, your questions, and your prayers as you express emotions of outrage, sadness, and grief over the murder of George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement. I, like you, have been moved to see so many people in the streets day after day unrelenting in their calls for justice, and it has been a hopeful sign in some cities to see police officers kneeling and joining arms with organizing leaders. I have lamented with friends of color about the outside groups that have coopted peaceful protests with looting and violence. I join you in feeling a complex range of emotions. But emotions are not the headline here; injustice is. While our grief and lament and passion and worry is warranted, action is what is needed. Read More…
Resources for you. Read More…
During these times of following safety measures for Covid-19 we are not gathering to engage in faith formation together so I wanted to provide you all with some options for engaging your faith formation at home or within your communities. These are things we can do even after Covid-19 safety measures end so now is a great time to practice and see what works for you. You can also see some of these during the Gathering worship service as Pastor Alice uses some of these for the Faith Formation piece of that worship experience. Read More…
Calvary family & friends,
It’s hard to believe how much our lives have changed since I wrote you on March 12th announcing that Calvary would be closing our building because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Almost three months later, we now know that we’re in the midst of a full-blown global pandemic that will last many months, not just a handful of weeks. Read More…