Tag Archives: snow

LIGHTING CANDLES IN THE WIND, by Mark Koenig

Thanks to my friend Krin Van Tatenhove for inviting me to write about hope for his blog.

Krin Van Tatenhove - Reflections on the Journey

May your strength give us strength
May your faith give us faith
May your hope give us hope
May your love give us love
– Bruce Springsteen, “Into the Fire”

Hope is like lighting candles in the wind…

The northern and southern parts of Sudan engaged in periodic conflict since the country achieved independence in 1956. In at least two instances, the conflict rose to the level where it was considered a civil war. The second began in 1983 and lasted, off and on, until a Comprehensive Peace Agreement was brokered in 2005. The CPA, as it is called, provided that the people of the south could vote to remain part of Sudan or to become their own country. After six years, that referendum finally occurred.

From January 9-15, 2011, the people of southern Sudan had their chance to vote.In support of their effort, an interfaith community in New…

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Filed under Friends, Human Rights, New York, Prayer, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, United Nations

A prayer for Ozzy

God who loves us each,
on this night when snow is forecast for Louisville,
I pray for your beloved child Ozzy.
I am sure you know him, but just in case …
he has his name tattooed on the fingers of his left hand
and he is wearing the Steelers hat that Eric knit for me.
I pray for Ozzy.
May he have a warm and safe place
to spend this night.
May he make the connections he needs
for warmth and safety on the days ahead.
I pray for all the Ozzys –
each of your precious children
wherever they may be.
May they find safe, warm places
to stay this night and
to call home every night.
I pray for myself.
May I act in ways beyond
conversation, fist bumps, and giving a hat
to ensure safe homes for Ozzy and all your children.
In the name of Jesus, who had no place to lay his head.
Amen.

– based on a conversation today with John, “Call me Ozzy,” he said several times as he showed me his tattooed hand

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Filed under Advent, Human Rights, Louisville

Purple flowers, Morningside Gardens 18

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2 April 2018
Morningside Gardens
Manhattan, New York

Again they endure snow.

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Purple flowers, Morningside Gardens 16

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24 March 2018
Morningside Gardens
Manhattan, New York

Regular readers will note that these are the same crocuses photographed 8 days ago. They have endured at least one Nor’easter. They endure. They persist.

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Filed under New York, Photo

Scouring the Shire

photo (59)09:58:34

15 February 2014

Snow blankets the Shire, powdered sugar on pastry.

The aroma of coffee, strong coffee, fills the air.

A friend comes to visit soon,

no mark on the door needed for me to know.

Time to prepare, to make ready, to clean.

photo (58)Enthusiasm seizes me, energy surges through me,

the scouring begins.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under New York, Photo

Facing down Nemo

New York WeatherI sit in warm comfort in Memphis, Tennessee, preparing for speaking gigs over the next two days. But my thoughts turns to New York City and the people of the Northeast.

Snowmageddon, in some form, has struck. Many people are or will be inconvenienced by the storm; some will be threatened: people who have no shelter, people still recovering from Sandy, and people who must, for whatever reason be outside. My heart aches with worry for my sisters and brother.

The invitation to visit Memphis came last fall. I purchased the ticket in December, scheduling the flight for Thursday.

Early last week, I pondered changing the ticket to leave New York today – Friday. The change fee proved more than I was willing to pay.

Only after I had decided not to change my ticket did I start paying attention to the weather. And I realized that I would still be in New York if I had made the change. Airlines had begun cancelling Friday flights by the time I arrived at LaGuardia on Thursday afternoon.

Part of me gives thanks that I made it to Memphis. I am with good people, eating too much good food, and having great opportunities to share about the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations.

Part of me wishes I were in New York – as the city and the region deal with Nemo.

All of me wishes for safety for all people who are in the path of the storm.

All of me gives thanks for all people who care for sisters and brothers – going in harm’s way or providing shelter from the storm.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Current Events, Friends, New York, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, Travel

Shelter in the storm

Time and again, I would return to the Shire to find that the electricity had gone out. The clocks showed me that. Power seemed somewhat fragile.

Yet two years in a row, when snow and ice sent Louisville into a deep freeze, the Shire provided shelter in the storm for me and served as a warm place of refuge for friends stranded in the city, for friends whose homes, as had many in other parts of the city, had lost power.

See you along the Trail.

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S is for Snow

Pedernal has had more snow in its day.

Pedernal has had more snow recently.

Someday I hope to have a camera with me when I see that.

For now, that little strip gives Pedernal a slightly different look.

24 October 2010

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Weather on the trail

Sun
rain
sleet
hail
snow
all forms of weather
greet us on the trail

21 February 2011
New York City

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A prayer service with the people of Sudan

The clear highlight of the day was the blessing of participating in a prayer service with the people of Sudan. Here is a reflection originally written for Swords into Plowshares, the blog of the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations.

Remember.

The interfaith group who gathered today in the Tillman Chapel at the Church Center for the United Nations to pray with the people of Sudan in anticipation of the referendum on self-determination in Southern Sudan did that.

Remember.

Times and places when people made hard decisions and peace prevailed were named.

Remember.

The violence and the pain, the death and the suffering, faced by the Sudanese people through the years, was recalled as was their courage and grace, hope and faith.

Remember.

Participants held pictures of people from Sudan as reminders of those for whom prayers were said – those with whom prayers were said – for the people of Sudan are and have been and will continue praying in the days through the referendum and its implementation and beyond.

Remember.

Re-member. Bring the members back together. The members of the human family. In Sudan. Around the world. All the human being tribe.

Remember.

“You are not forgotten. We remember your names.” The song echoed off the chapel walls and guided the participants from the chapel to the Isaiah Wall in the cold and snow.

Remember.

Large snow flakes and the swirling wind made it impossible to light the candles the participants carried even though they could not extinguish the candles of hope and love and faith that are lit in human minds and hearts and spirits.

Remember.

As the service closed, the participants together recited the ancient words of the prophet Isaiah, “they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

May it be so. For Sudan. For us all.

See you along the Trail

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Filed under Current Events, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations