Easter at Old Stone Well Farm

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Hope Always Blooms

Happy Easter to all from Old Stone Well Farm! It’s a special day, one where I find hope amid despair, life in the face of death, and remember that God is holding each one of us.
I also invite you to join me on Sofie’s Hill on this Resurrection Day for a beautiful sendoff for Rev the cat. (More on the timing of his farewell in the video! Talk about a God moment!)
It is a joy to have you with me on this day!!! I would love to hear about your Easter God moments. Email me at accidentalcountrypastor@gmail or watch the video on YouTube and leave a message.

Click below for our Easter celebrations to begin.

Blessings!

Holy Week at Old Stone Well Farm

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Seven Greens Soup and Seven Words

The holiest days leading us to Easter are here and I spend the day making a Swiss German soup known as Seven Greens Soup. Traditionally served on Maundy Thursday, the soup features seven greens, which got me thinking about Jesus’ seven last words spoken to us from the cross. Come and ponder with me these words as well as Jesus’ mandate to love one another. Let us journey toward Easter together — and bring a friend as well!!

Old Stone Well Farm

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Legacies, Palms and My Redeemer

What better way to spend Palm Sunday than at the church where I hear God speak the most powerfully to me — nature.
It’s on a cold, rainy trail where thoughts of legacies, palms and my redeemer, got me wondering: What do I really need in life?
So let’s usher in Holy Week together. Join me. I promise you won’t get wet like I did.
I pray our time together will be a blessed time. (Oh, and there was a little surprise during filming. Something that I wonder if Rev, the cat, had something to do with? A little smile from heaven?

Old Stone Well Farm

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Heavy Heart and Holy Week Expectations

Getting ready for Palm Sunday at Old Stone Well Farm and realized just how not ready I am. Ever find yourself in a season where all your best laid plans got changed?
Perhaps, when this happens, it is God’s invite to us to really be open to something new. Or perhaps it’s just an invite to stop “doing” and just be. So, won’t you join in this short time together to just “be”?

Old Stone Well Farm

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Running Home

Need a smile? Need encouragement? Need to feel the love and grace in your lives again? Then let’s “run” back to where we will find wholeness again. On this fourth Sunday in Lent we ponder the parable of the Prodigal Son with a little help from Rembrandt, Henri Nouwen — and some cute little piglets! Enjoy your time in Vermont at Old Stone Well Farm. Comment, share…and let me know your answer to what brings a smile to your face.

Blessings!

Old Stone Well Farm

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Like a Mothering Hen

The second week in Lent begins at Old Stone Well Farm and I find comfort on a cold, snowy day wrapped in a prayer shawl and thinking about chicks, mother hens and how comforting it is to think of God as a protective hen that I can run to when feeling down or lost. Who do you turn to when feeling down or lost? And I am curious, what’s your favorite image of God? Come, join me at the farm. Like, comment, share! Blessings!

Old Stone Well Farm

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Into the Woods

I have often found my energy — and faith — lagging midweek. So if you are having one of those weeks, or simply need a quick retreat into the Vermont woods with me (and Robert Frost!), then allow yourself a few minutes to step away from the news, from deadlines, from stress and worries. Renew your souls. Take a coffee break and escape to a quieter place and reflect on where God is leading you in this the first week in Lent.

Blessings,

Donna

Daily Readings in Lent, March 5

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A command and a commission

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. — John 13:34

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”— Matthew 28:19–20  

I worked in a church that had a stunning stained-glass window of “The Great Commission,” where Jesus, before ascending into heaven, tells his disciples to go out into the world and make more disciples. Next to it was a window depicting another one of Jesus’ marching orders before leaving this world: Love one another, as I have loved you.

I never thought much about how the “command” and “commission” windows were side by side. That is until the day the rural congregation I served became a Matthew 25 church. (Matthew 25 is an invitation to the churches in my denomination, the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., to serve and love boldly as Jesus did.) The educated and well-off session members reviewed the three ministry focuses of the Matthew 25 invitation: building congregational vitality, dismantling structural racism and eradicating systemic poverty. Like many congregations who have seen numbers dwindle dangerously low to the “closing-the-doors” level, they zeroed in on vitality over eradicating poverty and dismantling racism.

All too quickly, building vitality began looking like programming to get people into the pews. My heart broke. I reminded them that Matthew 25 was not a program to save a church. Rather, it’s an invitation to die to self to save others. It’s about boldly living as the body of Christ, and that living begins with loving as Christ loves. “That means loving all the shoppers in the local Walmart that I have heard this congregation talk disparagingly about,” I dared to say.

When Jesus said, “Love one another,” he didn’t want lip service. He wanted love to be shown in our actions that would transform a community — and, thus, the world. We are at the beginning of our Lenten journey. There are still more weeks to tread all the rough and undesirable places Jesus has already gone. But it’s here that we take a spiritual stop to examine our hearts before venturing further. We must be honest and question our commitment to Jesus’ command and commission. “Lord, when did we see you?” we ask. And he will answer, “When you began loving as I have loved, you have seen — truly seen. Now go with that love in your heart and make disciples.”

Pray

All-knowing God, you see how often we speak about love and how rarely we show it. In this season of Lent, help us go beyond words. May the world see your love through our actions. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Ponder

What are the ways in which love can become a verb as you go about living this day?


OId Stone Well Farm

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Confessing, Cleaning and Flipping Pancakes

Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, which ushers in the season of Lent, has traditionally been a day of preparation for the 40-day journey to the Easter. That preparation has included presenting one’s self to a priest to confess sins, also known as shriving, thus, the name for the day — Shrove Tuesday. It was also a time to clean out the pantry of flour, eggs, butter and sugar. And what better way to use all these items up than to make pancakes? Join me here at Old Stone Well Farm as we get ready for Lent together. And, yes, it involves pancakes!

Old Stone Well Farm

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Changed By Prayer

Our Lenten journeys are about to begin! But before we enter into this season of discernment, join me in the kitchen at Old Stone Well Farm where a little butter churning reminds me of how moments of change are not just found on the mountaintops, but often right in ordinariness of life. A little cream turns into delicious butter, and all it takes is perseverance and prayer.

Before you take you seat at the farm table and pour yourself a cup of coffee and begin watching today’s message, I want to extend a thank you to the Rev. Sarah Bigwood who invited me to guest preach this Sunday at Southampton Presbyterian Church via video. Sarah is a pastor with vision and passion, and thinking beyond traditional pulpit supply is just one example of how she embraces the new thing God is doing.

So today, you not only join me at the farm, but you have other friends from Southampton at the farm table.

Blessings!

Donna