Category Archives: Summer Street Church

#612: Sermon Haiku #45: Matthew 13:1-23

Bob Earle spoke the sermon this week,
taking as his text the Parable of the Sower.
It’s all about soil
Seed’s growth depends on the earth
rich loam or packed path?
Listen, hearing’s not enough
Hard hearts won’t grow anything
Roots can’t penetrate
Looking to Jesus
Miracles and sacrifice–
Crowded out by weeds

Holy Spirit drives
Connection with himself
roots reaching deeper
Pure Godward focus
Joyful multiplication
Bountiful harvest

What kind of soil am I?

607: Summer Street Church Renovation

Update: We’re in this Sunday!
10:15 am Sunday April 20th
Joyfully Celebrating the Resurrection
 in our renovated sanctuary!
Hope to see you there.
(or at the Old Mill at 6:30am if you can’t wait)

Last October, Summer Street Church
started a long overdue renovation.
Click on the link to see the whole process.
Our hope was to be back in for Easter.
We’ve been meeting at the Westmoor Club.
They’ll need their space back soon for summer guests.

The first decision was to take out the organ.
This church worships with keyboard, guitar,
trumpet and drum.
The organ was rarely used.
As this mouse nest testifies.
Are you sad it’s gone?
I have about 70 wood pipes at my house you are welcome
to come and get.
We used them to play
‘Away in a Manger’ at Christmas.

Removing the staging revealed long absent side pews.

And decoration. I wonder who did this, 
and why they chose this pattern.
 Scaffolding gave access to the peeling tin ceiling.
And to this Acanthus ornament above the central light.
Isn’t it lovely?
Greek revival is such an elegant style.
The blue paint on the floors was sanded off letting
the original wood shine out warmly.
This short pew makes way for a wheelchair.
I call it the ‘courting pew’.
The original builders decided against a porch and columns,
building columns right into the facade.
That look is duplicated in the old organ space.
Yesterday the carpet on the platform was going in.
Everything else is ready except…
a temporary variance from the Architectural Access Board.
You see, we only have one wheelchair space,
and the regulations require four, scattered.
Which we would be glad to put in,
except for this:
See that 2″lip under the pews?
That’s not a platform, it cannot be removed.
The pews sit on structural beams
which had been carved out (!) to make the aisles.
This is going to take a lot more work than
can be done by Easter.
We pray that God would grant us
the variance so we can worship in this space.
But if not, we will worship wherever we can.
Because Easter celebrates the Resurrection,
the most jubilant day in the Christian calendar.
A 1 1/2 ton stone and a Roman Guard
couldn’t keep Jesus in the tomb,
and regulation 521 CMR 16.10
can’t keep us from worshipping Him.
Meet us, and other believers, at the windmill at 6:30 am.
When it comes right down to it,
we don’t need a building.

#588: Pilgrim’s Progress Puppets

Ahhh, Pilgrim.
John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress continues to inspire.
Have you read it?
It is an allegory, the story of a man’s journey
from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City.
The Summer Street Church middle-schoolers
are performing the story with puppets:
Pilgrim: Hello, Friend! Wake up! shaking him
What happened to you? Are you all right?

Sloth: yawning and stretching
Yes, yes. I’m fine. Just fine.
Sloth is my name.
I’m on my way to the Celestial City.
Pilgrim: Indeed you are not!
I find you sleeping on the road.
I know, hmmm. So tired. Maybe tomorrow…

Tomorrow maybe too late! Come with me, friend Sloth,
perhaps we can keep each other alert along the way.
Sloth: head drooping down, waving arm dismissively
You go ahead, I’ll be along eventually.
Such a long road, rest first. Ho-hum, so sleepy…
Pilgrim: Oh truly it is said: “Let us not be like the others, who are asleep,
but let us be alert and self-controlled.”
But I must hurry to the Celestial City.
Just one little nap…big yawn and slumps over

Pilgrim: NO! Onward, the City awaits!
Us, too!
As Pilgrim reminds us:
the City awaits!

586: 30 Days of Thanks: Days 28, 29 and 30!

 Day 28: Thanksgiving itself.
How cool to have a holiday where the whole nation gives thanks.
Our turkey, traded for some lobsters with a local farmer,
weighed 44 pounds.
Which means all the side dishes had to be cooked the day before,
then reheated after the turkey was done.
There was barely room to broil the bacon-wrapped scallops.

Our table, with actual matching dishes.
I don’t know why this pleases me so much but it does.

Friends and family,
for whom I am thankful every day.
Fantastic feastings with enough left over
to have company again and again.
Day 29: Whimsical original paint on the interior walls
at Summer Street Church.
I like to think whoever painted this was thrilled to serve
God with their art.
It’s being appreciated again after a hundred years.
Day 30: Hedgehog mushrooms.
We bought these at Moors End Farm,
they have a mushroom guy who grows lots of different kinds.
I call these Tribble ‘Shrooms,
they look just like tribbles and make me happy.
Thirty days of thanks is just the beginning:
bright shining as the sun,
we’ve no less days, 
to sing God’s praise,
than when we’ve first begun.

#581: 30 Days of Thanks: Day 11,12,13,14,15 and 16

So much to be thankful for,
even in a rough week.
Lobelia blooming in the window.
It may be cold and wet out but
the sun still shines in.
Both the lobelia and I are grateful.

Can you guess what Becky’s doing?
She’s inside the organ, blowing a pipe
before removing it.
Do you need an organ pipe?
I have lots.
And I’m so thankful.

Trompe l’oeil behind the organ.
Hidden for a hundred years,
secret beauty by an unknown artist.
Gate behind Bartlett’s Farm,
isn’t it sweet?
I’m thankful for its 3 hearts,
lovingly guarding the winterberry.

Hat pin or bog button.
Usually can’t get this close as it’s too swampy.
Whimsical flora.

OK, one more for tomorrow.
Daniel’s 18th birthday cake.
Never let it be said the Gliddens aren’t thankful 
for birthday cake.       

#547: Hope House Haiti

So what does a Nantucket blog have to do with Haiti?
Outside our fish market is a bookcase:
It’s filled with kid books, classics, mysteries,
all kinds of books for summer reading.
This sign asks for donations for Hope House 
in Fond Parisien, Haiti.
Take a book and leave whatever amount you can.
This is Yvrose Ismael and her husband, Pierre Richard.
They are the adoptive parents of the 30 children of Hope House.
Their first child came to them three years ago, just after the earthquake. 

The children now have a home,

a school,
along with 300 other students,
A well, electricity…

and a cow, for milk for the little ones.
The connection is this:
Yvrose worked on Nantucket summers
to earn money to pay the teachers in her school.
She was just back this summer for a short visit
to share with the Vacation Bible School kids 
about God’s faithfulness in all things.
The VBS kids then raised enough money to
get chickens for Yve’s kids in Haiti.
They’re hoping to buy a parcel of land 
next to theirs to build a farm.
And,  given the faithfulness of God,
I believe it will happen.

#511: Winter Storm from the Tower

Here’s what a winter storm looks like from
Summer Street Church’s tower:
This picture’s enhanced,
even so, you can’t see the harbor at all.
If you want pictures of the flooding
go here.
Even red houses fade.

It’s not really snow,
more like slush,
falling from the sky.

Being driven almost horizontal
by the winds.


Think I’ll climb down,
the tower’s shaking…

#509: Sermon Haiku #39: Galatians 3

Living by the law
Self-defeating arrogance
Hopelessness revealed
Sunglow shines on sin
Scrubbed away by Jesus’ blood
Complete acceptance?
Yes! By grace, not works
World’s power irrelevant
Equal heirs in Christ
World-wide believers
Even here at Summer Street
Worshipping as one
Hailing from Holland
Brazil, Germany, Norway
Lebanon, Haiti
Jamaica, Belgium,
the only real question:
Do I walk with Christ?

#462: Feverish thanks

30 days of thanks: Day 16 through 21
Day 16: I’m running a fever of 102.4,
the white spots in my throat makes me think strep.
I am thankful for my sweet kid making me some hot tea.
Day 17: Cranberry bogs!
We can harvest our own cranberries for Thanksgiving.
How cool is that?

Day 18: Um, septic tanks.
When the lid collapsed in, Visco Pumping came
the same day with a new one.

Day 19: Summer Street Church.
Not the building… the people.
I could write a whole book on what this
little church means to me.

Day 20: Remember the praying mantises 
fleeing my mower last summer?
They left egg masses all over the garden.
I am thankful for generous bugs.
Day 21: Sleep.
Healing sleep, I hope to be better
in the morning so I don’t miss church.

#453: Thankful for symmetry

Day 7 of 30 days of thanks.
I am thankful for the restfulness of geometric shapes:
The Congregational Church tower.
It draws your eye up to the heavens.

The Town Clock–
perfectly centered and keeping accurate time.

Summer Street Church.
A symphony of form.

Even the post office has a restfulness about it,
the seagull agrees.
The geometry of buildings on Nantucket
is noticeable because most of the buildings are shingled,
with white trim.
The trim shows off the edges and the shingles,
well, they’re perfectly orderly.