I began blogging about a year ago -- right during the Memorial Day weekend. Those first posts found me shooting, attending the Greek Festival and visiting my friend Beth in New York. A year later, the cycle is continuing.
After going to the Greek festival this year, we took a little tour of the surrounding neighborhood. This area is peppered with many churches, small homes crowded together (by today's standards) and is currently in a state of flux. The homes here were once occupied by the many immigrants who made their way to the industrialized haven of the big city Cleveland. They lived in this neighborhood and walked down into the valley to work in Cleveland's great steel mills. They worshipped in nearby churches and patronized nearby stores. This picture is a not uncommon site. An abandoned building with interesting architecture waiting for some cycle to continue. Will it be the cycle of revitalizing a community by refurbishing this house or will it remain abandoned until this piece of history is demolished?
This building is right next door to the house with the broken windows. The roof on this building (part of a larger complex of buildings) looks like it will hardly make it one more cycle of the seasons.
One more turn of the corner reveals the newer part of the Tremont area. Clean, revitalized new homes. The cycle continues as the people who move into these homes will once again work in the nearby area although they will not walk into the valley to the steel mills. They will most likely drive their BMW's downtown into the city and work at a law firm. They are the new urban settlers. They shop at nearby art studios and eat at upscale restaurants close by. And so the cycle continues....
A year ago, I was visiting my friend Beth as she battled cancer. This is a picture of Beth in happier days with her not-yet-but-soon-to-be-husband Mark. Of course, now is really a time of rejoicing for Beth as she has completed the cycle of life and death begun at her physical birth, continued with her spiritual life begun in Baptism and finally claimed as she entered eternal life through death a couple of weeks ago.
The cycle continues in church as we celebrated Pentecost yesterday. The Father loved us enough to send His Son into the flesh. The Son loved us and the Father so that He gave His life on the cross in payment for our sins. The Son loved us and sent His Spirit, the Counselor who would lead us into all truth. This Spirit of truth draws us and calls us by pointing to Jesus and what He has done for us. And Jesus completes the cycle by once more pointing us to the Father in glory.
At Christ Lutheran Church we go through the cycle of the church year and rehearse, relive and remember the cycle of life given to us by the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We were blessed this weekend to attend the wedding of a member and the baptism of the son of a member. Here I am celebrating with the mom and aunts of the groom. These ladies have been called, gathered and enlightened by the Holy Spirit and brought into fellowship with the Triune God. These sisters have gathered this weekend for the wedding traveling from South Carolina, Iowa and Wyoming.
Yesterday also marked the 28th anniversary of the Baptism of my son Theodore. As my parents brought me to the font and as my husband's parents brought him to the font, so we brought Theodore (which means in Greek - gift of God) to the font and rejoiced as he was given New Life
in baptism. His father baptized him and his Uncle Tom, my brother, came from St. Louis with his family to witness the baptism of my first born and preach at the service. My brother Tom has completed the cycle of his earthly ministry and is now singing with the other saints who proceeded him. Theodore is now the father of five and has brought his children to the font. Two were baptized at area Lutheran churches; two were actually baptized at the font below and we await the birth of his fifth child.
This post ends with a picture of the baptism of our newest member of Christ Lutheran Church. He is being baptized by his grandfather, Rev. Roger Vernick, who traveled from West Virginia to participate in the service. Here he is baptizing the 4th son of his daughter. And so the cycle continues.....