Pastor Henry's Memo

October 2019

Trick Free and Treat Full

October 31, 1963.  The Henry family was moving in to their new home in Kokomo.  We'd just relocated from Houston, Texas.  It was Halloween night and my three siblings and I peered out the front room picture window at all the "trick-or-treaters" parading up and down the Windsor Drive sidewalk.  And our costumes were hidden away in any one of a hundred moving boxes.  Finding them was not any kind of priority.  So we watched and yearned and were left without treats that October night.  We didn't even have goodies for the ghosts and goblins that knocked on our door.  But what we did have was a home and a roof over our heads and a dad who was employed and a mom who stayed home, even though she was a Registered Nurse who was employed when the family needs were needed.  Fifty-six years later Mom and Dad are gone.  My siblings live in four different cities, three in Indiana and one in Texas.  We are all beyond middle age and no longer dress up for Halloween.  Those 1963 costumes would surely not fit, even if they could be found. Our good fortune across the past fifty-three years has been a real blessing.  How many more years lie before each of us is absolutely unknown but will also be filled with still more blessings.  My prayer for all of you is that Halloween 2019, will be trick free and treat full.  I think CVS has a Three Musketeer Bar with my name on it.  I just hope it isn't fifty-three years old.      

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Our Calvary congregation is thoughtful and generous.  How our Pastor Parish Committee over saw last Sunday's Pastor Appreciation Day more than warmed my heart.  Fixing a special breakfast for the congregation hit the spot.  I will not attempt to list the ones who made that day special as I would surely leave someone out.  Thank you to all.  Allow me to return that affection by saying this: I am proud to be your pastor.  I am thankful for your kindness and generosity.  You show it to me and to our Syracuse community.  We saw last Sunday a list of how we "serve" as Christ's ambassadors where we live.  Again, I will not list all those ways.  Just let it be known the body of believers at Calvary gives and shares from its bounty in many, many ways that make a difference to those in need.  October is drawing to an end; 2019 isn't far behind.  We have much for which we can be grateful.  Let us continue to move faithfully along the paths of charity that Christ might be praised and glorified.

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Yom Kippur

At sundown last Tuesday, the 8th of October, Yom Kippur began.  At that time our Hebrew cousins began the Day of Atonement.  For them, it is the holiest day of the year.  It is an annual day of profound solemnity when the global Jewish community stops nearly everything to repent.  This holiest of days is a time for prayer and repentance.  On that Day Jerusalem's Chief Rabbi will enter the Holy of Holies and utter the Name Of God and immediately seek forgiveness for himself.  He will seek forgiveness for his family and then for Jerusalem and then for Jews all over the world and then for the world.  Twenty four hours later the shofar (a ram's horn) is sounded signaling the end of Yom Kippur.  Between dusk on the 8th and dusk of the 9th the Jews believe the Book of Life is sealed and those who marked for death in the coming year is fixed.  Hence, the solemnity for repentance and atonement.  All is at stake for the year to come.  You can't get more solemn than that.  Last week this was done.  As it has been done for almost three thousand years.  And it will be done next year and for every coming year until Elijah comes to usher in the Kingdom.  I do believe Jesus will have a hand in all of this and all our prayers will rise to Heaven and the mercy granted in our atonement and repentance will see us safely to our eternal rest.

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One of the most amazing kitchen appliances ever was patented on the 8th of October, 1945.  The beloved microwave oven was the end result of a series of accidental events.  It was Percy Spencer who, when playing with a radar devise in a laboratory at Ratheon, melted a chocolate bar in his pocket.  Soon he was popping popcorn with his radar.   When he tried to cook an egg it exploded.  Enough about Mr. Spencer.  Today, 74 years later, the microwave is in most kitchens.  It's used for popcorn and heating coffee and warming vegetables.  I use it to make hot ham and cheese sandwiches and hotdogs and heating up Chef Boyardee ravioli; and melting butter to I can spread it on toast without smashing the toast flat as a piece of paper.  I'm sure there are quite accomplished microwave chefs; they who make entire meals with this time and labor saving appliance.  I don't know any of them, but I'm sure they exist.  Oh, leftovers.  I forgot leftovers.  They are also conveniently re-heated and made palatable in the microwave.   I see it's 12:17pm.  I'm getting hungry.   I'm sure glad Penguin Point doesn't fry its chicken in a microwave.

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Upon seeing a line graph indicating the use of the word UNIQUE (in print, I assume), I was somewhat taken aback.  How its usage was confirmed was not explained.  I'm only reporting what was  From 1800 to the present day the word UNIQUE has risen almost exponentially.  That is, from almost very irregularly used, to being used most all the time.  From left to right, the graph very nearly shoots up.  That caused me to be taken aback is the word itself.  UNIQUE means "being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else."  Have we discovered scads of UNIQUE things in the last generation?  Have buckets full of singular things been created or revealed so as to warrant the use of that word?  Or are we now taken to exaggerate in order to impress upon our listeners or readers the great, even, very great importance of what we have to share?  How special it must surely be to have a UNIQUE thought to share or picture to post or place to eat.  Imagine the thrill of being the only person to have enjoyed or witnessed a UNIQUE thing.  There are singular things in the world.  Each of us is a one-of-a-kind next to the other seven billion humans. The Preacher reminds us "What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9).  Does that settle it?

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