Practicing our faith through the times of the Coronavirus

Each day our Pastor will post a message to keep us connected while the Church is closed.

Day 59, May 11, 2020
“Well done”

Words are very interesting in the English language. They can be extremely difficult as you are learning the language, but once you have obtained a certain degree of understanding the English language can become playful, even fun. Think of our words and how flexible and varied they are. I’m especially thinking of words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have completely separate meanings.
We have words like where, wear, and ware
There, they’re, and their
Eye aye and here hear,
Hi high and bye by
Know no and ho hoe
We have bought and bot, not to be outdone by not, knot and naught.
For a person who enjoys words I think God knew what he was doing when he brought me to the Dunn’s Corners Community Church, Presbyterian. Just last week I was able to play with the spacing of Dunn’s Corners Tone and by simply removing a space come up with something new, “Dunn’s Cornerstone.” This wasn’t the first time I have had fun with our church name. For those of you who do not take such pleasure in these play on words, I regret to inform you I’m not even half “Dunn” with wordplays.

I love ice cream. When summer comes, I love ice cream cones. When summer comes and the weather warms, when tourists flock to our seaside community, the ice cream stores open up on seemingly every corner, every beach, and everyone’s favorite Sunflower Farm. Our Vespers group enjoys being together for our Wednesday service. In the summer, we finish by 7 pm, which leaves us plenty of time for some Presbyterian Fellowship, which almost always involves food. I suggested several years ago that during the summer we form a group to go out for ice cream after our Vespers services. A good name helps when you form a group, so I suggested we call ourselves the Dunn’s Coners. The name stuck!

As we began the New Year as a church in 2019, I wrote a newsletter article making a play on the phrase, “Been there, done that.” Usually that means I’ve done something once, why do it again. A simple twist on that tired phrase has brought quite a bit of life to our church social life. Now we ask, “Been there? Dunn that?” It has become an invitation to hike the Cliff Walk in Newport, walk the trail through Wakefield to the Narragansett Beach, a chance to gather for snacks and a game night at church, and to attend musicals at Theater by the Sea. Even though the Coronavirus cancelled our trip to Sturbridge Village, we will get there someday!

Friends, I’m not “Dunn” with having fun. A few weeks ago, we sent you an email alerting you that it was Administrative Professionals Day. I asked you to send an email to Luba, our wonderful friend who serves us all so well in our church office. But when we sent out the email, we removed Luba’s name, so she had no idea of our little plan. I got to church before her that Wednesday morning. I checked the church email and saw a whole page of emails she had received. When Luba walked in, I made up some problem I was having with email and told her she had to check the church email immediately. I put on my best “This is an emergency” face and voice. She was momentarily flustered and got right on checking the email. She looked at me to ask for more information and I had to duck behind my office door because I could not hide my laughter. When the screen came up, she was stunned…surprised…and needless to say, extremely happy and grateful. You all responded in a way that brought great joy to someone who does so much for us. When I told Julie about it later a new phrase came to mind. “Well Dunn!” Well Dunn you Dunn’s Corners friends.

I can already tell I’m going to use that new phrase often. Here in the midst of the Coronavirus Crisis, a parable of Jesus comes to mind. Workers are given talents to use. One receives a measure of five, another a measure of two, and finally a person receives a single talent. The amount is not the key aspect of the parable. What each person does with their talent, now that is the key aspect of the parable. The one with five returns five more, the one with two returns two more. The one with one…well, read the parable in Matthew 25. The one with one does not use his talent wisely or productively. But to those who do use their talents wisely, productively, and yes, faithfully, they hear these words from Jesus, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” We have not all been given the same measure of talents during this Coronavirus Crisis. Some have been on the frontlines in hospitals, nursing homes, grocery stores, emergency services, and other essential lines or work. Others of us have been given the job of staying home and not spreading the virus. It doesn’t matter. Those who are on the front lines are doing amazing work. Those who are staying home are sewing masks, praying, writing, calling, reaching out, sending food, and spreading God’s love in a multitude of ways. You have even taken time to write a word of thanks to our good friend Luba who has faithfully been handling the office duties even during the crisis. It gives me great pleasure to share with you my new favorite Dunn’s Corners phrase: “Well Dunn, good and faithful servants.” And thank you. Thank you so much for your kind and caring hearts.

With the love of Christ,