Windows and Doors

At the last of the five San Antonio missions.

13895258_10210366515303577_5291168409085738495_nEspada is definitely my favorite. Such a sense of the holy here. The last of the five on the mission trail. On my bike today, so it’s a kind of pilgrimage to get here.
The last time I was here, perhaps because it had been a long ride and I hadn’t know where I was going, and perhaps because I’d had a deeply and complex few days of emotional ups and downs, I came in the doors here and just wept.
Tears of relief, catharsis, and sadness.

Although there’s also a lot going on in life today, arguably even more than on that day almost a year ago, I am far more calm and centered.

Grateful to be in a holy place, and on this sweaty, sacred pilgrimage.

What is it about doors and windows? You come to old missions like these, and more often than not, what you find are doors and windows or stone and wood.

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Yes, the footprint of rooms, for sure. But far more old doors and windows. It’s like we have a special drive to preserve them. Or rebuild them. Perhaps because, even though the original doors and windows at this mission date to 1731, they still are generally know what to do with them.

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Now as then, we walk through them. They lead is us…somewhere. The future. The past. Safety Adventure. Home. Challenge. Sanctuary.

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Doors and windows are pathways on our journey. And perhaps it gives us comfort to know others have walked through them too…that their very existence speaks a word of hope…they say…

“Someone else walked this path before…sweated through a day like today…and moved into their future too.”

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We human beings are forever walking through doors, and peering through windows. And hoping for our future.

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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