“And suddenly you know.  It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”  --Meister Eckhart


The morning of January 31st, when the beautiful “Blue Moon” was lighting the path, we began the daunting process of leaving the place we have loved … the place that has loved us, for a new dwelling place.  We are stirring up a lot of dust as we sort through what seems like a million books, piles of papers and all the other stuff we have collected over the years.  The season of Lent is a good time for this work.  There is time to ponder what the Holy One can do within the dust, within the dirt, within the stuff of which my life is made.  


As Jesus knew, going into the barren and uncomfortable places
isn’t about proving how holy we are, or how tough, or how brave.

It’s about letting God draw us into the place where we don’t
know everything, don’t have to know everything, indeed may be
emptied of nearly everything we think we know.


—Jan Richardson, “Discernment and Dessert in the Desert”

Although I have moved many times before, at this stage in my life I’m learning a lot about the challenge of leaving one place of dwelling for another.  Harlan and I came to the Parsonage in Selkirk just after we were married on May 4, 2002.  It was a place where our hearts rested into one another with a deepening love which the church community celebrated and embraced.  So here are a few things I want to remember about this moving from one place to another:


        First things first:  “Let the Heart have its day!”…take time to grieve the sense of loss in our leaving and honor the abundance of grace we have been given. 

        One thing at a time…stop making long lists of what needs to be done.  Those lists ask me to manage so much that I manage my soul into oblivion.  To plan a little is good.  To plan too much leaves no room for spontaneity and for listening for the invitations to live an authentic life. 

        Receive the gifts that are being offered with deep gratitude: “The  offering of tender, encouraging words from friends and family, affirmations for the good decision we have made, a lovely basket of green and flowering plants from the church, etc., etc.

        Return often to our former place, feed the birds, listen to the bird song, take a walk

        Let go of what no longer is needed

        Enjoy the new uncluttered space

        Slow down and gaze often; don’t forget to breathe

        Enjoy the discovery of all there is to love about this new place

        Give God thanks…over and over

        Be patient and know it is enough


Reflections from Ellen Ratmeyer…on the way



Next to the chair in which I take my morning coffee sits my Bible, several devotional guides, and the television remote. Over the course of time, it has become apparent that whichever I reach for first can have a subtle yet profound effect on the rest of my day.  Unfortunately this insight doesn’t always lend itself to me making a positive choice.  Having always been prone to distraction, or curiosity as it was referred to in my younger days, I often find myself challenged by this current “information age.”  Scripture encourages us to “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” (James 4:8).  To that end, I have recently cancelled my cable television in an effort to indeed draw nearer.  Although there is still enough out there to keep me distracted, I do feel that I have created a little more space for which the Holy Spirit to roam.  Now about that Internet …………… 

                                                                        -- Ray Reuter, Elder

Harlan E. Ratmeyer, Pastor

38 Church Rd.

Selkirk, New York