Friday, March 31, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/31/17
“Some days I wish I could go back in life, not to change anything, but to feel a few things twice.”  (Unknown)  I recently closed a door and saw my old clergy robe hanging on a hook.  I had some good times wearing that robe--sermons, baptisms, confirmations, weddings, even funerals.  Refrigerator magnets hold memories, too.  Do you have “memory joggers” around your place?  Thank God today for a mind that allows us to feel some things…twice.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  What a novel idea!  I think there were some events in my life which I didn't recognize at the time as being so special.  Would be nice to relive them.  Alas, things just don't work that way.  As they say, "this isn't a dress rehearsal".  We have to settle for getting it right the first time.====JACK:  Thomas Wolfe wrote, "You Can't Go Home Again," but, thanks to "memory," we can re-feel them.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I would love to see you in your robes....preaching a sermon.   I bet you are still up to it!====JACK:  When I was ordained, I wore a black robe, similar to what Martin Luther wore.  A few of the "high church" classmates wore a cassock and surplice.  Eventually I packed the Luther Gown away (I still have it) and bought a c & s.  Some years later the style changed again, and I bought the robe which now hangs on the door.  I think it's called, an alb (with a rope belt).  In reality, it's not the robe that matters, it's what the robe represents...a symbol of one who is ordained to preach the word and administer the sacraments.====JOHN:  I wore a c and s right from the beginning.   It was what Con Trued told me to get.   I didn't know it was associated with The high church movement.   Did you know Glenn Stone?   I think he was about your age.   He was a leader in that Una Sancta movement.   He published a couple of my articles in Lutheran Forum.    That magazine has, I think, been on a bit of a downhill run.   I am reading a biography of Innocent III....interesting about high powered!       Have a great weekend.   Peace====JACK:  The Luther robe was typical wear for the Augustana pastors, pre-1950s.  Things were more casual then.  When I was a college freshman, my pastor asked me to do the liturgy each Sunday.  He had me wear his doctor's robe (with the velvet stripes).  He also had me wear a stole.====JOHN:  Do you think the high church direction by our church was a good thing or did it contribute to the present malaise by elevating our supposed dignity to the point where pastors felt too. Good to do trivial things around a congregation?====JACK:  As Pope Francis said in another context, "Who am I to judge?"  Let the high-churchers do their thing....and the Shakers....and the Quakers....and the Swedes.====JOHN:  How can one live w/o judging?   You have to judge what course of action works best.   You do that, in part, by looking at what has worked well in the past and what has not.====JACK:  Putting the Pope's words into context...Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli asked the pope how he might act as a confessor to a gay person in light of his now famous remarks in a press conference in 2013, when he asked: "Who am I to judge?"  His reply..."On that occasion I said this: If a person is gay and seeks out the Lord and is willing, who am I to judge that person?" Further... "I was paraphrasing by heart the Catechism of the Catholic Church where it says that these people should be treated with delicacy and not be marginalized."

FROM TARMART REV:  "Jack’s Winning Words" certainly keeps fond memories of West Bloomfield, the Jewish community and Temple Kol Ami in the forefront of my mind during this season of my life.====JACK:  I "feel again" that time when you came into my office and talked about starting a new ministry in our community.  It evolved, probably not as you had dreamed it would, but our dreams are sometimes improved on by in this case.

FROM COPPER COUNTRY BOB:  If  God has a frig your picture is on it!====JACK:  I don't know about the frig, but I trust that my name is written in God's Book of Life.

FROM EMT SINGS IN TC:  Memory joggers?  I have a million of them!  I have always kept pictures, scrapbooks, etc.  I have pictures of you--the most recent was at the 40th anniversary of Holy Spirit, on Sunday October 10, 2010.  It is a cute picture of Rick and I with you in the middle.  I love my "memory joggers"!====JACK:  Memory kicks in for me every time I pass the Aspen Ridge condos...was it Breckenridge?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Ah yes! To go back and savor how special some of these moment really were! At the time you are so engrossed in all the details, things race by, and so do the years; But as you say, my fridge door is loaded with  "memories" and many, many pictures and items of sentimental value surround me, and that does jog special times and places. I've been privileged to travel throughout the world much more than I ever dreamed of, as a child!! Good WW!====JACK:  My grandson gave me a football helmet, exactly like the Augie ones, only 6" in size.  I remember "your" Bill being Little All-American while I was at Augustana.  A memory jogger...

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  There are memories nearly everywhere you look:  from photos, paintings, folded flags, candlesticks, wedding toppers and of course, scrapbooks!====JACK:  Speaking of memories, do you have a working privy on your estate yet?

FROM JT IN MICHIGAN:  Thank you for today’s WW.  I would love to relive my wedding day, and yes, some special funerals.  I don’t know if you realize what your WW have meant to me over the years.  I read them all and keep some of them that I want (and need to remember.)  Today’s ends up being in the middle of page six.  God bless you.====JACK:  We often thank God for the gift of memory.  I can't remember thanking God for the gift of emotions.  That's special, too.

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