This is Phil Higgs writing. Carol added me in and I removed
myself from the FB group after reading the first few weeks of
postings. The reason I removed myself was because most of the
comments I disliked or bored me or I was just plain angry. Much
of it nostalgic and lovey dovey about a past life and with warm
Don't get me wrong, I am sincerely grateful for my time on
Cumbrae, at Post Green and Aliquippa. I would not be the person
I am now without that experience. I have many wonderful memories
and great life-long friends. So remember Ok, re-live ? No
Celebrate the whole of it was also about the negative and
broken, the sorrow and the pain. It was about sharing with the
poor; protesting the building of a nuclear power station outside
Edinburgh (Rather topical don't you think?) It was also about
being stuck in the shit of life - literally for those of us who
dug up the North College drains or cleared out the chicken
coups. My recollection is that Celebration was always about
having your feet on the ground.
So, Stephanie Sawyer, I don't know you, but thank you, you spoke
a truth. it is also true to say that there are still a few souls out there
who came into contact with us one way or another who are still
broken and/or in pain.
In my usual un-reverent way, and to keep things real or at least
make you smile, I'd like to add a Monty Python version of a
beloved children's hymn
All things dull and ugly All creatures short and squat,
All things rude and nasty The Lord God made the lot.
Each little snake that poisons, Each little wasp that stings,
He made their brutish venom. He made their horrid wings.
All things sick and cancerous, All evil great and small,
All things foul and dangerous, The Lord God made them all.
Each nasty little hornet, Each beastly little squid--
Who made the spikey urchin? Who made the sharks? He did!
All things scabbed and ulcerous, All pox both great and small,
Putrid, foul and gangrenous, The Lord God made them all.
Stephanie S Sawyer Carol:
Thank you so much for writing. I appreciate your comments and
espeicailly the realistic nature of them. I have been bold in
attempting to state that not all was lovey dovey as you state..I
term I use as well. I have been muted inside for years, and was
in pure agony yesterday as all this came pouring up. While the
worship and the gifts were like no other, and the talent pulled
together was awesome, the thought that ran through my head
yesterday was "We need a Redeemer Recovery Group!"
Diane Nagy This has given me a little bit of release, which I didn't
think I needed. But obviously it came bubbling up when I
started reading of others' experiences. Again, I believe the
intentions were good and the concept was good; but as in a
plans, as new people came in and decided they too wanted to
be a part of the leadership in households, there was no
screening or follow-up process. Probably because so many
needy souls came for help and it was sometimes overwhelming.
If you landed in a perfect place for you, that was great. If
you didn't, not so great. Maybe some didn't need to come at
all. Whatever the case, we pray for God's healing of the
pain, and the nuggets of the good and holy be then brought
Stephanie S Sawyer Phil:
I apologize for misdirecting my comments to Carol. I was writing
before my first cup of coffee! ACH!.... But the heart of the
letter went straight to me, and I believe there are more of us
that are now able to speak out due to this forum (thank you,
Bob), and that is a very healthy thing. Owning the Whole Truth
is what is healthy, not just the pretty parts. We can then learn
by reflection and gain wisdom through those experiences.
Elaine Carr Thanks
much, Phil, for the levity. As someone who is frightened by
strong emotions -- my own as much as anyone else's -- I have
found this FaceBook forum a safe place for embracing and
acknowledging the good and the bad. Being able to laugh at the
Monty Python verse helps make embracing my own more negative
strong emotions easier. This forum also makes it easier to allow
others to express their strong emotions without feeling like I
have to withdraw and protect myself from them or them from me.
And I smile with real enjoyment.
There were certainly many negative experiences and some were
devastating. I am grateful that I am now able to laugh about
most of them and cringe about a only a few. Life is better
because of all of them. As a father and a long time youthpastor,
I often wonder why we seem so incompetent at translating our
experiences bad and good to the next generation. They seem
destined to repeat the same mistakes while completely
ignoring short-cuts to happiness we have acquired and are
desperate to guide them toward. I suppose its necessary for
each of us to find our own way.
Elaine Carr Tom,
Complexity Theory says that while patterns repeat themselves,
they are a little different each time. So I picture it as a
spiral (hopefully, a spiral up) with each generation repeating
the pattern but slightly differently. While I see some of my
parents' mistakes in myself and each of my siblings, they are
different and have ultimately led to different, sometimes more
positive results for my generation. Hopefully, it will be true
for each generation so that they are moving forward.
Lucy Cook Deliganis
At some point I would like to share my story or memory on
here or in an appropriate note and it would not be for the
purpose of reliving a past memory. It would be because it is
a testimony of God goodness and mercy to me. Redeemer is the place
where Jesus chose to make Himself known to me I would say
supernaturally the first Sunday I was there in 1977 through
someone serving the wine in a white robe. I don't remember
his face, but a river of pure love (Jesus' love) came
through his eyes and touched my hard heart. I don't desire
to go back but I am eternally grateful to the Lord and
because of the amazing way He delivered me I know now with
people that I encounter that are lost, broken, oppressed -He
can do it again. I get a little hesitant because I don't
want to bore people but sometimes the retelling of a story
or a memory may only mean something to one person whether
good or bad. It's why I think this group is so perfectly
Celebrate the Whole of It and when Betty said it was a
"God-thing". For me it was.
Marie Schlink Phil,
Speaking of memories. good and bad, I will never forget the time
that someone poured the"fish head soup" down the drain,,,I
wonder who it was? I was soooo thankful! "lol" I am reminded of
the verse, "Everything works together for good..
Phil, I love this, and want you to know that I really
cherish the time we lived together in Aliquippa. Remember
how on "payday" we would buy a case of the cheapest beer we
could, and I still have a photo that we processed in the
of our rowhouse.
George Ellis Mims
The best to you, as you always and forever will give all you
have. My love to dear Carol.
Phil, scripture says " our righteousness is as filthy rags."
Except for the grace of God there go we. What man meant for
evil, God meant for good. The devil is a fallen angel. Tom
Lees on more than one occasion suggested that you all were being
put through the crucifixion in the UK community. The amazing
thing about it all was what I experienced as a visitor maybe
some eight years in January. You all were creating
incredible events of worship and work for all around you and
the fruit of it was obvious in every way to me and
truthfully thrilling to behold. God is blessed and I pray
that with you we can all see His most holy presence in the
dark hours as well as the hours of light.
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