Monday, January 14, 2019
“I have baptized you with water; …“ —Mark 1:8a
Many churches talked about baptism yesterday as the baptism of Jesus comes in the day’s scriptures.
My mom told me that I was baptized in September following my June birth. I was baptized by a minister in the United Methodist Church.
As a United Church of Christ minister, I baptized both of my sons when I was pastor of the Congregational -UCC Church in Manson, Iowa.
Baptism in most families is a rite of passage for children. I taught as a pastor that baptism was an acknowledgement that a child is a gift from God and the parents covenant to raise the child in ways of God. I tell the adult or youth that I baptise
that they covenant to follow the ways of God in Jesus Christ.
It means to love self and love neighbor by treating all people equally. I believe in worshipping in a community of faith and doing the work of that community to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give drink to the thirsty, release to the captive and proclaim the year of our Lord.
Too often, parents baptize their children and a party follows. Then, forget the vows they made for the children.
One church I served had worshipers repeat the vows of baptism once a year during a service in January. If you are a Christian, I invite you to renew your baptism vows today.
Sunday, January 13, 2019
“a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”—Proverbs 31:30b
A Special Day
I write about church things usually on Sundays. Today, I am taking a moment to celebrate January 13 for it is a joy in my family.
Marie Edith Tinsley Hempel, my mother, was born on this day at Rosenberg, Texas, to Olga Mae Campbell Tinsley and Henderson L. Tinsley. She had a difficult life in those days. Her mom died of scarlet fever, I believe, at an early age. Her grandmother raised her, her sister (Florence) and her brother (Ira) with her own children.
She attended school until the eighth grade. She told me about riding in a wagon to the Presbyterian Church in East Columbia. She met and married my dad when she worked at The Fair, Inc., a clothing store in West Columbia.
Every Sunday morning she sat in the same pew at the Columbia Methodist Church in West Columbia. After I left home, she lived with her cousin, Margaret, on her ranch with another relative, Bee. She came to Iowa for the remainder of her life after a hospitalization in Wharton, Texas.
She lived with Elaine & I for a time and then in senior housing before going into a nursing home.
I called her this day 35 years ago from Trinity Regional Hospital in Fort Dodge,Iowa, to tell her she had her first grandson, Edward Garold Hempel. Her response was, “That’s mighty fine.” He was named for his grandfathers.
She watched him as he grew. Ed pushed her around in her wheelchair on evening visits. She died a couple years after Ed was born.
I remember my mom this morning who lived a good life and who knew both of her grandsons before her death. Happy Birthday, Marie and Eddie.