Rev. Dr. Anna Verlee Copeland's Blog

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July 7 Blog Post

"O sing to the Lord a new song, for God has done marvelous things." - Psalm 98:1

It’s been said that you can’t go back home again, but it’s not true. I think what that saying means, is that when we do go back, we take a differing version of ourself with us. Returning from my high school class reunion this past weekend tested that theory. We arrived to don nametags bearing photos from our high school yearbook. That skinny blonde or brunette from way back when, may need a little help from L'Oréal to look similar today.

We shared stories of suffering and grace, confessed those times we lost our way and what brought us back. Some asked for support as we walk through fresh grief from unprepared loss, while others struggle with deteriorating health. What surprised me is how much we trusted one another.

After all these years, we’ve let go of the judgments that separated us through our early years, the fears that we somehow don’t measure up, that we aren’t as smart, or as good looking or athletic as someone else. In truth, there was always someone better at something. We now know that’s o.k. We’ve come to accept ourselves, the good, bad and the ugly without shame, and we’ve grown to accept one another for who we’ve become.

We discovered that these relative strangers, many whom we haven’t seen in decades, bore witness to our lives and remembered us with affection. It was rather remarkable that nobody talked politics and nobody argued. We were rather bonded in a common love of the community and the school that launched us into the world.

We laughed a good deal and we grieved, sharing a memorial service for our classmates, teachers, coaches and loved ones who have died. And without having planned to do so, some of us visited prairie cemeteries, where we paused to express gratitude to those who paved our way.

On this summer’s day, pause to remember and give thanks for those who knew you first and loved you best, and thanks to God for this precious, beautiful life.

Prayer: Thank you God for all those you have given us to love and who have loved us. We are grateful for every companion along the way, and for your constant love for us. Amen

God’s grace, mercy and peace,

Dr. Anna V. Copeland
Interim Senior Minister
Community Church of Vero Beach