I write this from Phoenix Arizona. I sit at my friend Susan's computer and reflect on the events of yesterday.
On Sunday i preached at 2 services at her church - KTIZO - a new church start here in Phoenix. It is a very different kind of church. They purchased a building on the west side of Phoenix and are an open and affirming UCC church who does significant ministry to the homeless who live in the neighborhood as well as regular outreach in Nicaragua The congregation is small and very diverse and extremely welcoming. I really enjoyed preaching and being there.
Sunday night we went to a really fun event: Caberet and Cabernet. It was an evening to raise money for a new keyboard. The talented young musicians that play Sunday morning put together a program of singing and playing that was incredible. We heard aca pella singing, some gorgeous solos and upbeat dance music. We drank wine and listened and participated in a silent auction and a pie auction. We purchased 2 pies and last night had a piece of an outstanding caramel, cranberry and apple pie. And I got a painting in the silent auction.
This is it. I was drawn to it immediately because of the mother and child depiction. There is something that really spoke to me.
Ted, the minister had big $10 initially, I countered with $20, he came back at $30 and Chuck wrote in $35. And then Ted got distracted by everything else and WE got the painting.
Afterwards I learned the backstory. This church offers water stations to homeless people twice a week and one homeless man does "dumpster diving" for art. He brought this picture to the church because he thought the church might like it.
It is a print - #62 of 200 and looking at the back of the picture we identified the painter - Irving Amen.
We went online and found one print for sale on Ebay for $150. So, according to Ken and Susan we have purchased an investment.
For me, it is just one of those beautiful serendipitous events that happens in the church : a church that reaches out to the homeless, a homeless man that gives back, a blessed woman who makes a donation and receives a beautiful piece of art to remind her of all of this.
And so, on this Monday morning, Memorial Day I am - as always - awed when I reflect on the way in which God brings people together and hope and beauty into this world.