Working on Our Present Moment

January 31, 2019


You’ve likely heard this wisdom:  Don’t take impetuous actions or say impetuous words when you’re HALT.  That is, hungry, angry, lonely or tired.  When you’re HALT, your present moment is very small.  Long term consequences have been crowded out, almost as if they don’t exist.  I think boredom is another danger.  Out of boredom, one might needlessly needle someone.  Know what I mean?


At my church I wear the hat of Historical Chairman.  As such I watch over the long term, the larger present moment, otherwise known as tradition—Judeo-Christian, United Methodist, and local congregation.  One way I do that is to present displays to illustrate each season of the Christian year.  This is more joy for me than I can even describe!


Perhaps I can describe it a little by sharing a report I gave to our church council this week.  A note of explanation:  We’re in the season of Epiphany, which takes us this year from Epiphany Sunday–January 6–all the way to Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday–March 6.  Are your eyes glazing over yet?  Well, an emerging epiphany for me is that people like rhyme.  A lot.  Rhyme can take swathes of information, consolidate it, present it in a way that makes eyes shine–far better for eyes to shine than glaze over!  So, enjoy the poem, and the images that follow.


Historical Committee Report to Church Council

January 29, 2019

Phoebe H. Dishman, Chair


‘I don’t deny that there should be priests to remind men that they will one day die. I only say it is necessary to have another kind of priests, called poets, actually to remind men that they are not dead yet.’ – G.K. Chesterton


A happy hat at Trinity

Is mine again to wear

Curator of church seasons

Also known as historical chair


It’s clear historically speaking

That there are several reasons

The church should organize itself

According to the seasons


The seasons teach our story

Repetition works it in

The colors and the images

Touch us deep within


Advent and then Christmastide

Epiphany and Lent

Eastertide and Pentecost

And now the year’s half spent


Then here comes Ordinary Time

Another half a year

Leads us up to Advent

Again to Christmas cheer


And then it’s January

Wise men from afar

And then a dove and a blessing

Epiphany—here we are


There is of course an exhibit

In the cases in the West Wing

We hope it brings a smile

We hope it makes you sing


Star of wonder star so bright

Star with royal beauty bright

West Wing leading still proceeding

Help us shine the holy light


Epiphany’s ours for another month

Ash Wednesday marks its end

And then we’ll curate Lent

On that you can depend


And all to fortify

And all to open our eyes

And all to impart a grateful heart

Grounded and growing and wise






Author: Phoebe Dishman

Phoebe H. Dishman was born and raised in Beaumont, Texas. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother. An essayist and poet, she teaches adult Sunday school, compiles a monthly prayer calendar, edits the Big Thicket Association quarterly bulletin, and keeps a keen eye and ear open for birds.

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