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Desert and Harvest: A Sabbatical Story

Blessed are the pure in heart Austere country, this, scrubbed By spring's ravaging avalanche. Talus slope and Appekunny Mudstone make a meadow where High-country beargrass gathers light From lichen, rock, and icy tarn, Changing sun's lethal rays To food for grizzlies, drink for bees Heart-pure creatures living blessed Under the shining of God's face. Yet, like us the far-fallen, Neither can they look on the face And live. Every blossom's a breast Holding eventual sight for all blind and Groping newborn: we touch our way Through these splendors to the glory.

Atug of war takes place every week between pastor and people. The contest is over conflicting views of the person who comes to church. The result of the struggle is exhibited in the service of worship, shaping sermon and prayers, influencing gesture and tone.

People (and particularly people who come to church and put themselves in touch with pastoral ministry) see themselves in human and moral terms: they have human needs that need ...

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