Our Easter in Ukraine

Khristos voskres!

Christ is risen indeed!

These words spoken in Russian are the very first expression of Easter joy we hear on Sunday, April 24, 2011 as folks gather at Birth of Christ Church in Kiev, Ukraine, preparing for the worship hour.

Here is the choir after rehearsal preparing to ascend the steps to the sanctuary for the Easter service.

Easter_UK_Birth of Christ Choir

At the invitation of ABCLife, Kathy Gould’s ministry to children and families, husband Cliff and I spent two weeks in Kiev (April 8 – 28, 2011) and surrounding towns performing art and music shows in public schools and churches. His final program entitled “He is Risen” is presented here at Birth of Christ Church on Easter weekend.

After the exchange of greetings, we worship by singing songs of the resurrection and then thrill to the experience of seeing the “He is risen!” presentation accompanied by exultant music and special lighting effects.

Easter_Birth of Christ+new mural_6x4_300

Before the service, early this Sunday morning, we see a couple, basket of Easter bread and eggs in hand, wending their way toward a Ukrainian Orthodox church farther down the road. Ukrainians walk every where possible as cars are very expensive here, and today the weather is cool and gorgeous. This couple graciously allow me to photograph their beautiful paschal offering.

UkraineEasterCoupleUkraineEasterBasket

Their special bread is frosted and coated with sprinkles. Here is a recipe for Ukrainian Easter Bread (Paska) from Extending the Table, a World Community Cookbook published by MennoMedia in a revised edition. In my older edition from 1991, the recipe is found on page 65.

RecipeExtending the Table_recipe_p65

*  *  *

After completing 19 shows in a 12-day period, we are ready for a respite, which we enjoy in Crimea: the ornate Livadia Palace, site of the signing of the peace treaty between Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin; the Church of Foros with its onion domes, where celebrities marry. Then in a park in the city of Yalta, a statue of Pushkin, the celebrated Russian poet and one of Chekhov’s “Lady with Her Dog” virtually come to life along the promenade bordering the Black Sea.

Sadly, the door is barred to Crimea now, once the accessible southern-most region of Ukraine. Since our visit, President Vladimir Putin has wrested this lovely coastal land from Ukrainian hands.

Pray for the people of Ukraine!


Cliff’s YouTube connection

Coming next: Enchanted April, Renewal and Possibilities

Purple Passages with a Weather Forecast

To my friends both in the northern and southern hemisphere, some thoughts about the weather. All quotations from BrainyQuotes.

Sometimes I wish I was the weather, you’d bring me up in conversation forever. And when it rained, I’d be the talk of the day.  —  John Mayer

 

I like the cold weather. It means you get work done.   — Noam Chomsky

 

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.    — Anthony J. D’Angelo

 

Scarves, mittens, and hats are a great way to express your personality in the cold weather.   — Brad Goreski

 

Where's my hat? Freezing temps on Chincoteague Island, VA
Where’s my hat? Freezing temps on Chincoteague Island, VA                              Chic Dumps? Best guess: Chicken and Dumplings

 

People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.

— Anton Chekhov

 

 

For there is no friend like a sister / In calm or stormy weather; / To cheer one on the tedious way, / To fetch one if one goes astray, / To lift one if one totters down,/ To strengthen whilst one stands.   –– Christina Rossetti

(from “Goblin Market”)

 

 

A friendship can weather most things and thrive in thin soil; but it needs a little mulch of letters and phone calls and small, silly presents every so often – just to save it from drying out completely.       — Pam Brown

 

 

The forecast: Spring will come!

Paperwhites

Paperwhites from the narcissus family, with their “delicate color and sweet, musky fragrance,” a forecast of spring to come.

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.    Genesis 8:22  KJV

 


I’m guessing you agree with some quotes more than others. One or two you may completely disagree with. 

Can you add another one? We’ll be listening . . .

 

Coming next: Wanda: Boring in Beige or Beautiful in Blue?

Purple Passages and Feet in the Creek

Dreams

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.

– Langston Hughes in Dreams

 

Dreams always come in a size too big so we can grow into them. – Josie Bisset

 

. . . if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

– Henry David Thoreau in Walden Pond

 

Grandparents

“But grandparents, imbued with a different sense of time, create a narrative arc across generations. If parents are the forward momentum of a child’s llife, we become the curators of traditions.”    –  Ellen Goodman/Washington Post Writers Group quoted in the Florida Times Union.

“Our echoes roll from soul to soul and grow forever and forever.”  – Alfred, Lord Tennyson in The Splendour Falls on Castle Walls from The Princess

 

Psalm 78: 2-4

2 I will open my mouth with a parable;

I will utter hidden things, things from of old—

3 things we have heard and known,

things our ancestors have told us.

4 We will not hide them from their descendants;

we will tell the next generation

the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,

his power, and the wonders he has done.

New International Version

 

Being Special, Unique

There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.   – C. S. Lewis

While we have the gift of life, it seems to me the only tragedy is to allow part of us to die – whether it is our spirit, our creativity or our glorious uniqueness.    – Gilda Radner

Conventional is not for me. I like things that are uniquely Flo. I like being different.          – Florence Griffith Joyner, Olympic track and field star

 

Deep Summer

Heat Wave: “Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.”    – Sam Keen

Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.     – Henry James

My dad at the Grandpa Martin farm
My dad Ray Longenecker at the Grandpa Martin farm,  circa 1920

People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.

– Anton Chekhov

 

Your turn!

Did any of these quotes feel like an “Aha” moment for you? Will you add one?

Coming next: “I’m All Ears” with a Cliff & Marian tiff