Flowers flock
appearing in bouquets in the garden
Just as
grass grows strong as a congregation
passing the peace.

Robins roost
nearing one another in tree or shrub
Just as
solitary raindrops rally in mass
bringing renewal.

Forest’s tree roots
reach out, tangling up in the other
Just as
single branches bunch in layers
signaling unity.

Nature teaches
that grace comes when we converge
Just as
in loving actions, we discover
holy harmony.

The faith and
hope of each propagate more fruits
of the
Spirit like grains blowing in
summer winds.

Psalm 16 – The Message

Keep me safe, O God,
I’ve run for dear life to you.
I say to God, “Be my Lord!”
Without you, nothing makes sense.
And these God-chosen lives all around—
what splendid friends they make!
Don’t just go shopping for a god.
Gods are not for sale.
I swear I’ll never treat god-names
like brand-names.
My choice is you, God, first and only.
And now I find I’m your choice!
You set me up with a house and yard.
And then you made me your heir!
The wise counsel God gives when I’m awake
is confirmed by my sleeping heart.
Day and night I’ll stick with God;
I’ve got a good thing going and I’m not letting go.
I’m happy from the inside out,
and from the outside in, I’m firmly formed.
You canceled my ticket to hell—
that’s not my destination!
Now you’ve got my feet on the life path,
all radiant from the shining of your face.
Ever since you took my hand,
I’m on the right way.

Supportive Community

This past week the importance of being together was brought to mind, especially when life changes. When spending some time at Saint Benedict’s monastery near Schuyler, I observed the soon-to-be-licensed pastors bonding in their common goal of following their call to ministry. Their excitement is contagious!

Last Sunday, the church ladies baked cookies and made real iced tea and lemonade for my retirement reception. I am so grateful for a supportive community that goes with me in this process of retirement. Honestly, working half-time at Saint Paul doesn’t seem quite real to me yet, but I’m sure it will in the next week or two. At least there are plenty of people who recognize many of the thoughts about retirement as being familiar to them.

During Patti Griffith’s Celebration of Life service yesterday, the family told many stories, and then Reverends Stephanie and Jerry included their thoughts. After the service, you could hear many people adding to the shared story of the people of Saint Paul. Community is important, especially in times of transition.

We pray for you and feel connected to you in Spirit and in truth,


Rev. Marta Wheeler

To view or download a PDF version of this devotional, click here: Devotional MW 2022-06-22