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Showing posts from May, 2018

Memorial Day Remembered

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Memorial Day - Flag on Tomb of  fallen soldiers from King Phillip's War 1675
Memorial Day in the United States has become associated with picnics, barbecues, and the opening of summer camps. Ask most young people about the holiday and they will not be able to tell you the significance. I have heard answers ranging from "It is something to do with veterans," to "It's the first day of summer, right?"  Wrong!
Memorial or Decoration Day, which has its beginnings during Civil War times from 1861 to 1865, is a day to remember those who died in the service of our country. Surprisingly, while Memorial Day has been observed in many states since the mid-1800's, it did not become a legal holiday until 1971.
From its start, Memorial Day was a time of reflection, remembrance, and prayer. Graves of the fallen soldiers were decorated with flags and flowers. 
Today, parades of veterans march to cemeteries, sometimes accompanied by local school bands playing patriotic songs…

Taking Time to Retreat

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This weekend, I went on retreat with fellow clergy. As we were sitting in the closing circle this morning, I realized how much I had needed this time away.

A retreat is a time to reflect, to rejuvenate and to re-examine our lives. To be able to retreat is essential to self-care. Retreating in this sense is not cowardly, but rather a very brave and rewarding thing to do.

If you have never been on a retreat, I highly recommend it. Many of the old religious centers have now been transformed into retreat centers. Many offer interfaith retreats, so you don't have to belong to any particular faith path. (One thing - retreat centers are not luxury spas, so don't expect that. These are places where you go to feed your soul. The accommodations are lovely, clean and they do their best to accommodate specific needs of the guests.)

I can't describe how wonderful it was to reconnect with my colleagues, nor how peaceful I feel. What a joy to come home feeling refreshed! 

Remember, to retrea…