Because my blog is not a popular newspaper, I do not feel obliged to report news as it happens. My news is mulled over before it hits page 66 of the New York Mimes. My news is generally about touchy—feely stuff like an unusual event with great music or a family reunion or a sermon that touches my heart. In this case it is all of that and it happened three weeks ago at the Palo Alto Unity church.
Erin Riley, eighteen years old, opened the service with announcements. My cousin John Riley gave the sermon which included inspirational poems from his mother’s new book of poems titled “Color This Day Beautiful.” Poet and author Joyce Riley told a wonderful story. She told us about raising her first three children, and how the family did not attend church on a regular basis. When the fourth and youngest child, John, turned ten years old he said he wanted to go to church. Over a period of months she and John visited many types of churches. When they finally attended a Unity service, John said that was the one for him.
Zoom forward forty years. Today John is in the last stages of studying to be a minister at the Unity Church in Palo Alto, and fills in as substitute-minister. The men in my family are generally pretty quiet, but not John. He delivers a wonderful message with poised zeal and sincerity. My Aunt Joyce delivered her story with grace and clarity, and Erin looked very sweet and comfortable at the pulpit. So proud of my family!