Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Reverend Laurie's Blog

"If You’re Burdened, Come Speak." - 05/26/2017

This week I had one of those doctor’s examination’s where you strip naked, put on a paper night gown, sit on a table and wait for a complete stranger to knock on the door, introduce herself briefly, ask a few questions and then look you over from stem to stern. The relationship between a doctor and patient is bizarre because you come for the express purpose of revealing yourself: you talk about your surgeries, your sex life, your addictions, your strange freckles and your family history. When my estranged father died I found and x ray of his heart in his house and brought it to my doctor to ask her what she saw. Afterwards I wasn’t sure if I was asking about genetic, physical or spiritu

His Love Blurs The Lines - 05/19/2017

My brother Jesse is eight years younger than me. I remember the day he was born in vivid detail and the day a week later when my Grandparents drove me home to meet him after staying with them for one agonizing week to let my parents get settled with the baby. When we turned onto the dead end road to my house my friend Kimmy Clifton road her bike as fast as she could up along the side of the car and waved frantically. I knew by the excitement on her face that she’d already seen him. Without thinking about it I opened the door of the car while my Grandfather was still driving and would have jumped out and run next to Kimmy’s bike if he hadn’t grabbed my arm-- down the road, into my new lif

It Has Never Been More Important To Be The Church - 05/11/2017

As a seminarian over twenty years ago, I was sent to help out during breakfast at the Hoboken Shelter. I was eager to fill people’s plates and bring them coffee because, after spending an entire year in the mahogany halls of Princeton Seminary, I wanted to do anything that seemed even remotely connected to Jesus besides reading about him. What could be more Jesusy than slinging eggs at a shelter? But when I got to the shelter Sr. Norberta wouldn’t let me “do” anything. She told me to go have breakfast myself and talk to the people at the table. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I could barely keep down the powered eggs and watery coffee. Not that I hadn’t had plenty

In the Presence of My Enemies - 05/05/2017

How many funeral memorial cards have you seen with a picture of Jesus on one side and the 23rd Psalm on the other? Most Christians seek refuge in this piece of scripture from the Old Testament before they turn to anything Jesus said. Having been asked to include it at nearly every funeral I’ve presided over, I’ve also noticed that grieving people agree this psalm must be read from the King James Version. Everyone wants God to “Leadth” and “restoreth” rather than to “lead” or “restore” them. If Psalm 23 were a piece of furniture it would be a kitchen table. I’m sitting at my kitchen table right now. It’s so cluttered with keys, bills and empty glasses that I barely see the surface and

“You Are Dust & To Dust You Shall Return.” - 04/28/2017

Tempting fate and the last frost, on Monday morning without gloves I planted some lettuce and eggplants in the raised beds in our backyard. I love to stick my hands in the warm dirt after months without touching it and settle new, living things into the ground. There was still dirt under my nails by the early afternoon when I was standing in a cemetery in Basking Ridge with Marion (Gene) Taylor’s family and friends. I picked up some newly turned earth for the second time that day and sprinkled it into his grave. “You are dust and to dust you shall return.” says God to Adam and Eve after they are banned from Eden and consigned to toil over the ground until they return to it (Genesis 3:

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Grace Church Van Vorst  | 39 Erie Street  |  Jersey City, NJ 07302  |  Phone: 201-659-2211  |