Monthly Archives: May 2017

End Of The Orphan Train

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Easter 6A – End of the Orphan Train

John 14:15-21

May 21, 2017


In the mid-1800’s there were an estimated

30,000 homeless, orphaned, and abandoned children in New York City.


Some of these children were orphaned when their parents died

from typhoid, yellow fever or the flu.[2]

Others were abandoned due to poverty or addiction.[2]


Many children sold matches, rags, or newspapers to survive.[3]

For protection against street violence, they got together and formed gangs.[3

They lived on the streets

without much hope of a better life.


In a kind of early foster care program –

with both the blessings and abuses of modern day foster care –

the Children’s Aid Society sent some of these children

by train to live and work on farms out west.


The orphan train movement lasted from 1853 through the early 1900’s.


The movement began with the heartfelt belief

In a handful of community leaders that no child should be left alone…

That children should feel safe.

That they should be loved and cared for.


Today’s gospel reminds us that regardless how old we are;

Whether we have living parents or not;

It is human to want to feel safe.

It is human to want to be loved and cared for.

It is human to be afraid of being left alone.


Jesus tells his disciples…and each of us today…

You are not alone.

You are never alone.

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The Voice

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Easter 4A – The Voice

John 10:1-10

May 7, 2017


I’ve never had a good sense of direction.


So when I started Kindergarten long ago,

I was worried – I wasn’t sure how I was going to get home.


I didn’t have to walk home;

And I didn’t have to find the right bus home;

The only thing I had to do was leave the school on the correct side of the building –

the Livingston Avenue side…

and that would be where my mother would be parked to drive me home.


I remember getting anxious pretty much every day though,

that I would miss the cue –

that someday the older student who was the line leader would forget to come to my room,

or the teacher would forget to call out Livingston Avenue –

and I’d be completely lost –

I’d never find my way to my mother’s car and then home.


Each day there was the same routine.

One of the older kids would come to our classroom door,

And the teacher would call out:

“Bus students line up” – and then out the door they’d walk.

“Stratford Avenue line up” – and out the door they’d walk.


I was on pins and needles by this time!

But finally, the voice, “Livingston Avenue line up” came.

And every time – every time – I would breathe a sigh of relief…

That’s me!

I will get home one more day!

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