Grace Notes in the Desert

Grace Notes in the Desert is written for the saints of Rio Grande Presbyterian Church and the surrounding community.

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Grace Notes acknowledges we need God's grace and forgivness as much as the desert water.


Faithful Gardeners

Life is what happens when we‘re busy making other plans…”

“ This summer people, here, at Rio Grande, are rolling up their sleeves to plant little fragile rows of vegetables and herbs and flowers, outside, north of the church, in the Community Garden; and, once again, members of this congregation will, literally, be rubbing elbows with people from the neighborhood.

In the process of planting, watering and weeding, I hope some of their conversations will be about more than beets and eggplant and tomatoes…but how they came to be here; how God called them to this garden…and what God is doing in their lives.

I don’t know about you, but I want to meet people where they are…to hear their real questions; and ponder, with them, how God may be speaking, in their lives and mine; what God is calling us to do and be (individually/together).

The other day, I said as much, in the course of an ordinary conversation with a parent in my son’s school’s who was attending a student art exhibit. We were just standing around eating veggies in a crowd when I said,

Don’t you think, deep down, everybody really wants to talk about God…but where are they going to have that conversation? Who’s going to listen to their questions and where are they going to rub shoulders with folks who care enough about God and them to listen and meet them where they are?”

Will Willimon, former Dean of Duke University Chapel, now Methodist Bishop, recently wrote, in his blog, “A Peculiar Prophet”, “A growing and effective church:

1)Loves its particular community… and has found ways to reach outward
2)Does what’s necessary to welcome change, movement…even disruption
3)Welcomes strangers and practices Christ’s radical hospitality
4)Keeps its focus on what God is calling it to do and be
5)Empowers others to get involved, participate, and lead.

So, are we a growing and effective church? More: are we committed to continue to learn; to grow; to roll up our sleeves, to tend God’s garden,to become God’s faithful gardeners, meeting people where they are?"*

The Church, the world, our lives, the lives of others…depend on it.

Yours on the Journey,
A Pastor in the Desert

*excerpts from a sermon, God’s Gardeners, preached on Mother’s Day