Greetings, Third Church Friends!

I have a reason for sharing this photo with you—beyond just showing off. This is my one and only grandbuddy, Lincoln. He and his father are native Oregonians, where he resides with his parents. I don’t get to squeeze him much. His mother (my daughter), my wife, and my other three children, squirmed into existence on New York soil. Thus, the shirt. And this missive.

I proudly declare that I was long-ago motivated to imagine new and more sustainable ways to live on this delicate sphere. My first published environmental article flowed from my pen in my high school days. OK, so it was the school paper. Glad to say that the public record convicts me of being an environmentalist before being an environmentalist was cool (Sorry, Lynn Anderson—Google her). I have averred for decades that the way we are living on the face of Mother Earth is not sustainable, with a whole bucket-load of ramifications for humans. Additionally, the present-day plagues of racism, discrimination, and a host of other oppressions are not sustainable, either. Unless we change, we risk coming to a bitter end as a species.

Which brings me back to my grandbuddy. This does not qualify as rocket science to those of you who are already grands. For us relative newbies, a grandbaby’s birth serves as a swat of awakening. A lot of little beings have come to populate the earth. They are counting on those of us who have had some length of experience to do the right thing: to hand off an inhabitable, just, compassionate world to them. Even though I have a Medicare card, I can’t check out of the responsibility line just ‘cuz I’m older. My little buddy makes me want to kick it up a gear or two in the years I have left. Which means I have to plow my way out of the rut into which I have fallen. Not always easy!!

Romans 6:12-23 is presenting me with some grist for my thought mill as it relates to that thought. I’m kicking around a bit of a different take on the idea of sin that populates Paul’s thinking in this passage. I consider the sinful(?) ruts that I—and we—easily fall into in the course of attempting to live good and godly lives. Click into worship on Sunday and think with me. Especially you grands who have been at it longer than a year and a half.

I keep running into opportunities to meet and chat with more and more of you! I intend to stay that course. I will be in Rochester now through July 14, after which I will take some time to tend to the list of home/family matters that always manage to end up on my agenda. “See” you soon!

Blessings,

The Rev. Conley A. Zomermaand, PhD
pastorz@thirdpresbyterian.org
(618) 606-1053—after office hours; emergencies