I know this will be hard for some of you to believe, but I’m a man who loves his routines. Over the years I have grown and become more flexible with my routines (somewhat), but there is something in my psyche that gets a deep satisfaction from routine. From washing a car to vacuuming to emptying the dishwasher, I have my way of doing things. Truth be told, most of us have our own peculiar way of doing things; I’m just admitting some of my idiosyncrasies to you via the parish-wide newsletter. One of my most cherished routines is part of my morning routine. I awaken between 5:00 and 5:30 most days of the week. I am not naturally a morning person, but over the years I have found that the only true time I have to myself is early morning before the rest of my family awakens and the rest of the world, too. I go down to the kitchen where I begin one of my top five routines of the day: coffee making. I pour a few handfuls of local coffee beans into my handcrank grinder. I set the kettle on to boil the water, and while the water is heating I grind the coffee beans. It takes about 180 to 200 handcranks to get the amount of coffee I find to be optimum. By the time the coffee beans are ground and ready to go, the water is just about ready. I put a fresh paper filter into my pour over device, put the fresh coffee grounds into the filter, and set it all on top of one of my favorite coffee mugs. I frequently use a white mug with the word, “JOY” painted in red across the middle. This mug was a Christmas gift from a parishioner about five or so years ago, and I cherish it. The mug brings back happy memories of a fun Rectory Christmas Open House and of good friends. Plus, who doesn’t need to be reminded of “JOY?!” If that mug is in the dishwasher, then my Christmas Labrador retriever mug is a close second. I pour a bit of the heated water all over the grounds to help them open up and breathe a bit; I give that about 15 to 25 seconds, and then I slowly pour the water in a circular motion over the grounds. While the water is slowly filtering through the delectable coffee I drink a tall glass of water to awaken my brain for the day ahead. I drink the water, and I smell the coffee dripping through. Once the coffee is finished I put the paper filter with the used coffee grounds into our collecting bin for the compost pile that I am still impressed, to this day, that does not create a nasty odor in the backyard. Then, the coffee is carried into our front room, and I sit and savor every sip. I do not rush the process. I enjoy the coffee making and the coffee drinking process immensely. I write in a gratitude journal. I read. I pray, and I meditate. I stretch and breathe. This is my time. This is my way of connecting with God first thing in the morning.
May 10, is the Feast of the Ascension, a pretty big day for a church named “Ascension & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church!” I hope the weather is beautiful that day because we are having a simple Evening Prayer service from 5:30 until about 6:00. I will not preach, but rather, we will have a conversation during the homily time. I encourage folks to bring coffee type of foods. A dedicated team of parishioners are bringing some fruit trays, cheese platters, and light pastries. From 6:15-7:15, Chuck Pfahler, founder of La Terza Coffee, will share a presentation titled, “The Spirituality of Coffee Roasting and Drinking.” I have heard Chuck speak before, and he does a fabulous job of sharing his passion for all things coffee.
This event is open to the public. Please, invite your family, friends, co-workers. It is perfectly fine if folks can only make it for part of the event. We love to worship God and to minister to others (outreach). I have shared one of my passions and how I connect that to my spirituality, my relationship with God. Chuck will be sharing with us about his passion on May 10. What about you? What are your passions? How does your passion connect you with the living God? I look forward to seeing you in the pews and on the streets!
Be well, Ascension & Holy Trinity! In God’s Grace, Eric L. Miller+