Woodland Park Press
Publication of Woodland Park Presbyterian Church
A Covenant Network Of Faith And a Greening Congregation
August - 2014
From the Pastor…..
Dear WPPC family,
This summer, our summer intern Spencer and I are doing a sermon series on Genesis. This cycle of the lectionary follows Genesis from “In the beginning…” to close to the end of the book, and we are taking the week-to-week journey along with it.
Genesis means “origin”, so we have been focusing on themes of origin…the origin of creation, the origin of identity, the origin of trust, etc. Our Tuesday scripture conversation group (which is still meeting every Tuesday at 11:30 at Katrina’s Kitchen across from Ken’s Market—join us some time!) has repeatedly mentioned that may of the clear references to the origin of names and places were clearly added later as the editor used the stories to make meaning for how something came to be.
We all have origin stories—stories that we tell ourselves about why things are the way they are. Origin stories can function to try to keep things as they are but—more often—they call us to appreciate the value of what we have while also calling us forward. In Mary Oliver’s poem “The Summer Day”, Oliver’s keen observations of the world around her lead to questions of origin, but she doesn’t stop there. The astute question she poses at the end isn’t about origins at all but how those origins call us forth.
May it be a blessing for your own summer journey!
The Summer Day, Mary Oliver
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
From New and Selected Poems, 1992. Beacon Press, Boston, MA.