Acts 11:19 - 12:3

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  • Responding to the Challenge: The Periphery Becomes the Center

    by Kathy Donley
    This story is told by Pastor Stan. It happened at the Wild Goose Festival in 2018. Jim and I happened to be there that year. This is an outdoor festival with music, art, story-telling and worship. Someone has described it as Burning Man meets the Chautauqua Institute. There are a few thousand people present, so a lot of stuff happens in small pockets and we had no idea about what I’m about to tell you. Stan was in line to receive communion at the close of the festival. He noticed a woman just in front of him quietly dabbing away tears. She did this for all of the ten minutes it took the two of them to make their way to the front. He wanted to check in with her to ask if she was OK, but he thought better of it and just prayed for her. Her hand shook as she received communion and afterwards she stood there for a while seemingly lost in thought. She stumbled over to the front of the main stage, leaning against it to steady herself, with her eyes closed. In a few minutes, he walked over and slipped a tissue into her hand. Stan told her he felt drawn to check on her. They made a connection and she told him that she had not been to a church service or received Communion in over fifty years. Fifty years. She went on to explain she was a cradle Catholic who had grown up in a small New England village...

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