Thursday, February 18, 2010


-Going with Catherine to the Ash Wednesday service at the Catholic Chaplaincy of Queen's University. I walked in and saw Father Gary, who I've had several meetings with helping to network in student ministry, and after showing a bit of surprise that I was there, he said that over their 3 Ash Wednesday services, they had seen nearly 3,000 students. How remarkable! He wished us a season of fasting, prayer and penitence and we shuffled into a pew at the back. The place was absolutely packed with college students and I was so impressed by their faith at being there. Father Gary began with his usual humor, saying "cead mile failte" (which means "a hundred thousand welcomes" in Irish) and then quipping, "That's a little Latin for you." I sat taking it all in, the rhythmic canting, the familiar liturgy ("the Lord be with you, and also with you..."), the ashes put on my forehead as a sign both of my sin and of my forgiveness from God. I came home wishing I had some material to guide me through Lent daily, making it as prayerful and discerning a time as it can be, only to find...

-...a package from Jessi waiting for me! Her Presbyterian Women at her church decided to support my mission work by sending me an amazing care package which included a Lenten devotional by Frederick Buechner (my favorite!). Also included were gorgeous earrings made by Jessi, lots of snacks, cooking magazines, a made-for-me CD called "Whitney's Winter Mix", valentine's socks and Burts Bees! Oh joy! It was overwhelmingly thoughtful and kind and I felt so intensely the connectional church: where I can be thousands of miles away and know that people are with me in Spirit and ministry. Thanks to Jessi and the ladies of First Presbyterian Fayetteville, TN!

-Trees and hills shrouded in mist, little icy puddles that crunch as I walk over them and seagulls swooping in unison overhead.


Jessi said...

So glad the package arrived safely!

Lynn said...

Jessi is a great friend. What a thoughtful package!