An Afternoon with Jackie

Jackie and JFK

This afternoon began with an hour of exercise led by a representative given to us by therapy of Greencroft Healthcare.  Then I slept in my chair for more than an hour.  I needed the relaxation.  Then I remembered that a movie about Jackie Kennedy waited on my computer for watching.  So I roused myself from my stupor by a cocktail of Tazo Awake English Breakfast Tea, 1,000 mg of Emergen C dietary supplement, and shot of apple cider vinegar with the mother from cranberries & honey over ice cubes.  I was wide awake through the entire movie.

Robert Kennedy

I am a history junkie and I liked the Kennedys.  The movie brought back memories of the deaths of JFK, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy. In the movie Jackie spoke of the time of her husband’s death as being like Camelot, the court of the ancient King Arthur.

The Kennedy administration was challenged by the Russians in the Cuban Missile Crisis.  The nation became alarmed when the news spread that the president had moved to Key West.  Military equipment went down US Route 1 passing the Homestead voluntary service unit and the volunteers knew that something dangerous was underway.  My father and mother were visiting us in Tampa, Florida, but didn’t want to stay in Florida, so quickly traveled back to their Pennsylvania home.

The military advisors who were with JFK urged him to take military action, but the commander-in-chief remained calm and persisted in negotiating diplomatically with the Russian dictator.  When I was an overnight guest of the Mennonite African American pastor in Atlanta I commented on the large portraits of JFK, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. on his guestroom walls.  The pastor assured me that they were prophets.

Leonard Dow

I did not disagree with him but I doubt that I understood him as I do now.  Churches and institutions will soon honor the memory of MLK.  Eastern Mennonite University will host  a woman whose mother, two cousins and a childhood friend were killed in the Charleston massacre on June 17, 2015. (Turn on your sound and click here to hear a powerful sermon on Jesus teaching about forgiveness).

Goshen College and College Mennonite Church will have Leonard Dow as a guest speaker. Dow was a leader among the Mennonite Churches in Philadelphia before joining the stewardship team at Everence.  Watching the movie  “Jackie” helped prepare me to celebrate Martin Luther King Day.



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Enter The Forum without Fear

I began my new year by going to the forum to discover any recent activity. The forum is a place for the readers of this blog to engage in extended dialogue. Any reader may identify him or herself, enter the forum and read what others have posted there, and comment freely, or begin a new topic and offer a personal opinion or insight. I posted in the forum a sermon which I thought worth hearing.  It was preached by a woman who is African American,  her sermon is biblical and for our times.  Since not many of you have had the nerve to experience the forum I am giving you an easy link to the sermon. Turn on your sound and click here to hear.  Do this without fear.  No place for fear in the forum.  It is not crowded, and their are no lions to attack you.

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This is the Christmas season and we Christians recall and reenact the events said to have surrounded the birth of the baby Jesus. Congregations seem to outdo themselves in their desire to tell this old story.

Our College Mennonite Church attempts to use every member of the congregation when it puts on its annual Christmas Pageant. We may bring our own costumes or use a costume provided by the church.  One member of our pastoral team is trained in theater production, so she is in charge of the event assisted by other members of the pastoral team and the congregation.  You may observe the pageant by clicking here.

Our Evergreen chaplain led us in a service of readings and carols.  In the reading of the visit of the Wise Men I noticed a detail for the first time. They seemed to be disappointed in the place where the child-king was. Being royalty themselves and searching for the son of a king who would in time be a king himself they forsook the star and strayed to Jerusalem and into the palace of King Herod.

The king urged them to renew their search and inform him if they found the child they looked for.  When they renewed their journey the star reappeared the wise men were said to have been overjoyed.

Using Bible study resources available to me through the Blue Letter Bible I learned another version says that the wise men shouted aloud for joy.  This is the time of the year when we may be joyfully boisterous.

I see this as I walk the halls of Evergreen at Greencroft. We are an elderly of the community.  We are handicapped in various ways. We have weak knees, stooped backs, and are uneasy because of our forgetful minds. But we know joy.  We show it by what we put on our doors to communicate with those who walk the halls.  My own nonagenarian  joys over flow in manifold ways.

I’m so tired of black and white – wrote our teen-age daughter while experiencing her first remembered winter in Pennsylvania.  Be patient and wait – we wrote to her from Florida.  You will be surprised by the beauty of spring – we promised.

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