aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,


Last week, I went to the local Intermediate School on St. Patrick's Day as a favor to a teacher-friend. I did an hour and a half of Irish history, songs, and stories for her fifth grade homeroom. I didn't dodge religion (you can't talk about St. Patrick -- or Druids -- or modern Ireland, come to that -- without talking about religion), but I was not there in my role as minister.

The final song I sang was "Danny Boy," and I talked about the Potato Famine, and how this song was so beloved of Irish-Americans because it spoke to their sense of separation. A young man is standing on the quay with his old mother, and they are saying good-bye. Despite their brave talk, they know that this is probably the last time they will ever see each other.

Sunday, a boy in that homeroom who is also one of my parishioners brought a whole bunch of St. Patrick's Day thank-you cards from the kids in the class. I was reading them over today, and this is what one girl wrote in hers.

Dear Dr. Art,

I first want to say Thank you. I really liked the last song you sang about the boy going to find a new home. It reminded me of my cousin Cayne he got ran over and died and I still believe that I will see him one day in heaven. Don't think it is a bad thing that you made me think of him. It's O.K. I think you helped me. Thank you. God with you.

Always, in my prayers,

Ashleigh W.

And that, my friends, is how the Holy Spirit uses you even when you're not "doing ministry."

  • Psalm 62

    To the choirmaster: according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David. For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He only is my…

  • Preachers on the move

    One of the screwiest things about the United Methodist pastorate is how we can't have rational discussions about pastoral succession. For one thing,…

  • Apologia pro vita sua

    On my entry into my fifth year of retirement, I look back over what I accomplished – and didn’t – over forty-one years of ministry. Amidst the…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 1 comment