Hello Friends and Family:
I know you all join with me in giving thanks for a safe and peaceful Thanksgiving for our country and our families. In these times our prayers are more important than ever, I believe.
“If you make the Lord your refuge, If you make the most high your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your dwelling.“Psalm 91:9
Michael and I are praying daily for peace, safety, and protection for this country and for all the refugees to find good homes.
I listened to an excellent interview with Krista Tippett on her program “On Being” and the interview was with Jonathan Sacks, former chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations in Great Britain for 22 years. In this interview he explains how religious ideas can help inform modern challenges. In his book “The Dignity of Difference” he speaks about how we are enlarged by the people who are different from us- not threatened by them. Another paraphrased quote that I love, “By being true to your faith, you will be a blessing to others, regardless of their faith….and it is in my uniqueness that I can contribute that something of value to the universe that no one else can give.”
These quotes are helpful when seeking to understand how to minister to our everyday world around us, to people who have no interest and often even an aversion to God. But we are called to be a light in a dark place, and Rabbi Grant shed light on exactly how best to do that in our contemporary world.
The artists community potluck dinner is going incredibly well – a growing number of artists in the area regularly come each month, and a community is starting to happen. Last month we had about 60 artists, and many others emailed that they were sorry they couldn’t make it, but they will come next month. So glad it’s a potluck, because I never know how many people will come! :). Our ministry sponsors and runs the dinner and it is held in the basement of the 1st Presbyterian Church in Hudson, NY. The above photograph Mick took of the “Key in the Hand” by Chiharu Shiota at the Japanese Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. I made a short video that included this art work and several others that I showed at the artists dinner. So, please keep that in your prayers, for God’s blessings and hand to be on it in an abundant way.
I have a large Icon commission for the Graymoor Monastery in Garrison, NY that could use prayers for God’s lavish creativity, and blessing too. The above drawings are part of my daily drawing series.
Michael has been traveling quite a lot this last month and working on photographing a book in the New York City area for Rizzoli. One of the great things about New York City is how diverse it is, how many different cultures are gathered together. It is wonderful to see a group of children sit before the Franklin D Roosevelt’s classic speech of the Four Freedoms set in his commemorative park on Roosevelt Island. One of the freedoms he called for is “the freedom of every person to worship God in his own way- everywhere in the world.” In America there are incredible opportunities and with that come overwhelming questions of which direction to take and what doors to go through.
God loves all of his church and it is good for us to see the good in all the different denominations. I have been reading The Healing River and its contributing streams by Dr. Randy Clarke which outlines how healing prayer has been viewed by the different Christian streams. When we recognize we have many differences but the same purpose we can be so much more effective for the Lord. When the different streams start to flow together that is when we will really be pleasing to the Lord.
We are very grateful for the foundation which we hold on to through our belief in God and the directions we receive through His Holy Spirit. Sometimes we have to wait for the next step to be made clear, in the mean time we realize how important it is for every person to worship God in his own way- as much here in America as in war torn Syria.
We have so much to be thankful for! Sending you love and prayers,
Christine and Michael