MAN’S INHUMANITY to man is a story as old as humanity itself. One of the places we go to find hope, respite and relief is Church. Yet we humans ostracize each other, stab and shoot each other, cut off one another’s heads and bomb one another, because of which church we attend. Here by the Mississippi River on the edge of the North Woods, we treasure an old grove we call the Church O The Pines. Within it dwells a small congregation of wild things. Here chickadees hobnob with nuthatches, cardinals with blue jays, deer with fox, squirrels with woodchucks, beavers with otters, eagles with crows, and so forth. There are occasional dust-ups but nothing very concerning; nothing to interrupt the flow of life or ruin the goodness of living.
Downstream and upstream are other churches—oak groves and aspen stands, islands and meadows and bogs. It is a simple fact that our church—our humble denomination—has never been known to make war upon these other outposts of life and faith, nor they upon us. Rather, we see beauty and value within and among them all, whatever superficial differences there may be.
It would be nice, it would be lovely—it would be good—if human beings in their various modes of dress and custom, language and faith, could be as smart, as wise, as kind and humane, as chickadees. As otters. As eagles. Could hobnob with one another in tolerance, appreciation, and wonder, all under the same great sky and upon the same good Earth. From the Church O The Pines, we wish you Good Sabbath. And peace.