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September 2018 Crump Expressway

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Sanctuary Renovation~ As you read this column, our teams are reviewing contracts and beginning the sanctuary renovation project, some signs of which we have already witnessed – LED light replacement in the sanctuary and added track lighting, for example. We can complete the whole project without moving the congregation from the sanctuary on Sunday mornings.  We will, however, be re-oriented east and must observe safety and construction zones. Be safe, observe the CAUTION zones, and watch out for our children for they will be no less curious than the rest of us in wanting to see what lies beyond the polyethylene sheet wall.

A Sneak Preview in Jazz  ~ The Jazz Services each year include one of my lyric-rewrites to an old standard. With apologies to lyricist Holt Marvell and composers Jack Strachey and Harry Link, here are words to These Holy Things Remind Me of You for the Jazz Services, Sunday, September 2: 

A cigarette snuffed out, that's called Board policy.

A hymn repeated 80 times, that's called whimsy

And still my fool heart sings. These holy things remind me of you.

Remember Christmas Eve, a Snowman brought us together.

And never on a Sunday, did we close on account of weather.

And still my fool heart sings. These holy things remind me of you.

You came, you saw, maybe you laughed at my expense.

And on matters political, some of you hoped and prayed your ministers would, stay on the fence.

We got serious, and we hoped and prayed.

Yes, we got serious and we joked, and stayed,

That's why my fool heart sings, These holy things remind me of you.

A committee meeting that went on for hours

A special Sunday when we shared fresh cut flowers.

That's why my fool heart sings, These holy things remind me of you.

A chord he played, that seemingly came, out of thin air.

A note he plucked, that came from God only knows where.

That's why my fool heart sings, These holy things remind me of you.

How strange, and I would say how lucky, and I have to add the words how sweet;

Forty years in the ministry; and all forty, except for a couple, I would repeat.

We got serious, and we hoped and prayed.

Yes, we got serious and we joked, but stayed,

That's why my fool heart sings, These holy things remind me of you.

 (s. j. crump lyrics, 9/2/18)

Best Laid Plans ~ Of Mice and Men belongs to playwright John Steinbeck, but he borrowed the phrase from Robert Burns' poem, To a Mouse.  "The best laid schemes of mice and men, go often askew . . . ." In this column last month, I inadvertently did not credit Burns as the source of Steinbeck's inspiration. I'm also reminded of an error from this year's Easter Sunday homily.  I said Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on Good Friday.  Actually, Good Friday 1968 occurred the following week.  I was thinking about Abraham Lincoln who was shot on Good Friday but died the following day. In both cases, partly because their deaths occurred around Easter, and partly because both were assassinations as was Christ's death, Lincoln and King achieved parallel, Christ-like martyrdom status in American history.