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Friday, November 2, 2012

Grateful

My covenant group, gal pals, women of the green stoles, pastor pals, collegial friends, whatever else one might want to call them, have developed a tradition of one of our members which is to answer the question "For what are you grateful?" as our table grace whenever we break bread together.  Today, as I wandered the streets of the Old City (and outside the Old City when I got hopelessly lost and somehow swept into a crowd in the Muslim Quarter which was completely too much for me!) I had the opportunity to reflect more deeply upon the moments of gratitude so far on this journey, pilgrimage, trip of a lifetime.  These are just a few of them:

* Safe arrival
* The hospitality and kindness of our friend and colleague, Debbie Whaley
* The simultaneous breathtaking expanse and yet relatively small Sea of Galilee
* The ability to be lost, seemingly hopelessly lost, and then to find our way once more
* To walk in, around and near the places that Jesus might have been
* The laaandddddscape
* Falafels
* Shashouka
* Worship on Reformation Day at Lutheran Redeemer Church in Jerusalem
* Freedom
* The welcome and graciousness of every Jew, Muslim, Christian, Palestinian, and Israeli that I have met
* Running into Nadia Bolz-Weber in the most unlikely of places
* The Giants won the World Series!!!! (I know that has nothing to do with Jesus, Jerusalem, Palestine or anything holy, but I still care!)
* Study leave/vacation from Clayton Valley Presbyterian, the grant from PC(USA) that allows us to be here, and a very supportive husband who understands the value of this excursion
* Stories that take your breath away
* St. Anne's Church - acoustics to die for
* The chance to become more familiar with who I am in the midst of foreign and unfamiliar people and places

I had a difficult time expressing my gratitude at last evening's dinner, and perhaps that is because there are just too many things to name.  I do give thanks, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, from whom all blessings flow!

1 comment:

  1. I GUESSED that you might be the group of PCUSA clergy Nadia B-W ran into. How lovely. And I am grateful for your clergy colleagues and for your time together on this pilgrimage. PLUS I get to hear the stories in person in January.
    Shalom, y'all,
    Sarah

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