Monday, December 21, 2009

last advent of ‘09

a special night last evening to celebrate the last advent reflection.  here’s the text from our community liturgy and some pictures to go with it….

In this final week of Advent, almost upon the inbreaking of Christmas, we conceive of reality in which the Messiah is right here. Imagine the coming of Messiah. Break out of cynicism and pessimism. Challenge yourself and others with the presumption that God is acting and that creation is being drawn into redemption - conceive the re:creation that starts with Jesus and continues with us.  Conceive of a love as genuine, as tangible, and as pervasive as the struggle which we more readily perceive. Let that conception be birthed in your actions.

This is the stuff of faith.... a substantial outworking of what we haven't fully seen yet; the kingdom of God, just within reach.

God calls us to the same radical re-visioning of life to which the people of God have been called throughout Scripture. We are called to "see" through the eyes of God's redemptive story. Mary is told that she will become an unwed mother, and she obediently rejoices. Zechariah hears that he will be a father, contrary to reason and biology, and loses his voice for his unbelief. Joseph moves his family to Egypt on the word of a dream and the trust of his faith. Magi journey to see in flesh the child whom they have glimpsed in the stars.

And the beauty of submitting to the dreams of God is that they become reality.

Some suggestions for action:

  • Give $10 when asked for a quarter by the guy on the street. Imagine that God can change a life with grace.
  • Take lunch with a coworker whom you've written off as "impossible". Imagine that you can appreciate them without antagonism.
  • Imagine an hour without cynicism, skepticism, fear, distrust, or something else that you struggle with.... and then meditate on your feelings within the context of the whole redemptive story of God, and the ultimate hope of new life.
  • Imagine your own action, and post a comment here.
  • read these scriptures and let them shape your imagining: Isaiah 2:1-5, Isaiah 11:1-10, Isaiah 35:1-10.

east end christmas

here's some video from the east end tree lighting a couple of weeks ago...this was a neighborhood event that involved many of the organizations sherry is partnering with in her community liaison work.


Monday, December 14, 2009

for the grandparents

this one's for you, grandma, mimi, poppa, and papa.  sherry cut isaac's hair on the weekend and he looked pretty sharp so i took some head shots with the late afternoon window light.  enjoy.




Saturday, December 12, 2009


these are a couple of the dearest people in the world to us.  they will be moving back home to eastern europe next year and, though we are so glad they can move home to be with family, we dare not think about how this will break our hearts.  for now we are cherishing time with them and dreaming of visiting them in their native land.

k's and coffee

family portraits

i have had the good pleasure of taking a couple of family portraits this Christmastime...very informal and geared low for my level of expertise.  i'm learning so much each time i do something like this and on both these occasions learned some valuable lessons about lighting (one is natural/outdoors and the other with a flash).

despite my incompetence these are some good looking families.


kenney family portraitgladding family portrait

friday night fun

had some kids over last night.  it was part-michael-jackson-dance-party (isaac is currently obsessed with the former king of pop),  part-old-fashioned-christmas-story-time.  here's the crew.

friday night funfriday night funfriday night fun

Saturday, December 5, 2009

tree goes up

our tree (a ceder harvested by farmers porter and koch at three springs farm) went up today.  smells and looks like christmastime in our living room.  not only that but it was our first snow today for this 09/10 winter season (isaac was especially thrilled).  'tis the season...

christmas tree

christmas tree

first snow 09

Thursday, December 3, 2009

goings on

it has been tooooo long since our last post.  sorry about that.  it has been a beautiful and full month.  here are some illustrated highlights. (see our flickr page for more pictures)

side path

we built a path along the east side of our's sherry working hard.

thanksgiving at the samsons

we celebrated thanksgiving at the Samsons house with a wonderful crowd of people including one of our neighbors, Ms D and Dino, Aida, and Tarik (here's sherry, D, Aida, and Geoff)

high st house

we kicked off the series of Advent sunday gatherings at communality.

wide angle into the light

we're making time to enjoy downtown morning walks on these brisk Fall's isaac and sherry leaping across the street.


the autumnal leaves have fallen to the ground but God still sends us color to enjoy in our backyard.

IMMAG tree lighting

we celebrated the first east end (our neighborhood) tree lighting with friends, neighbors, and city officials.  here's sherry (below) with our neighbor, Judge enjoying some hot apple cider at the tree lighting.

IMMAG tree lighting

restore voting rights

...and last night we enjoyed fellowship with several hundred people at an event promoting the voting rights of former felons (in kentucky, even after you have served your time, it is very difficult to regain the right to vote - Virginia is the only other state with such laws).  it was a heavenly gathering of choirs and solo singers giving thanks to God and promoting restoration and forgiveness.

restore voting rights

restore voting rights