Finding Meaning

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Palm Sunday

By Skip Hellewell

I write as the Indy traveling correspondent to little Midway, Utah. It’s a picturesque village high in the Wasatch range of the Rocky Mountains. Swiss emigrants helped settle Midway in the 1860s and the Beautiful Wife, you’ll recall, is half-Swiss. Which half I can’t say, but it’s a fact that she’s petite, avoids wars, and loves chocolate. And she loves sleeping with the window open while snowflakes blow in and I shiver under the down comforter.

There’s a local paper called the Wasatch Wave. Given the independent nature of the people here, and Laguna’s seven miles of surfline, I’ve been thinking the two papers could switch names. We would have the Laguna Wave, and Midway the Wasatch Indy. I’m going to suggest it to our editor Allison Jarrell as soon as I find the suggestion box.

They’ve had a hard winter in Midway; the snow is deep on the surrounding mountains. The deer have come down into town and fertilized my lawn, thank you. Now there are signs of spring. Yesterday the first daffodil bloomed and today there are four more. The peonies are poking out of the ground, the tulips are standing up, and buds are forming on the lilacs. It’s going to be a wondrous spring.

I wrote about the Templeton Prize a few weeks ago, a sort of Nobel award for contributions in the spiritual dimension. It seemed a fine idea that Laguna have such an award, considering all the good that people do in our town. The 2019 Templeton was recently awarded to Brazilian physicist and astronomer, Marcelo Gleiser. The Dartmouth College professor won the $1.4 million for his work in blending science and spirituality. He sees science as a spiritual quest to understand the origins of how we and the universe came to be. Though not a believer, he affirms that the possibility of God can’t be disproven. It’s a stand-off; we all get to believe what we believe.

Laguna’s Interfaith Council took an interest in the idea of a local version and a committee was formed. The committee has reported back supporting the idea, with the suggestion it be awarded at the annual Interfaith Thanksgiving service of Laguna’s churches. A name was proposed: the Laguna Beach Interfaith Thanksgiving Award. You could polish your halo in the time it takes to say it, but you get the message. We’ll put the winner’s picture in the Indy, in lieu of the $1.4 million.

It’s Palm Sunday in two days and we’ll be back in Laguna to cover the local services. If I catch the 7:30 mass at St. Catherine of Siena, hurry over to Laguna Presbyterian for their early 8:30 service, then arrive a bit late for the 9 a.m. program at Little Church by the Sea, trot around the corner to catch the end of tiny St. Francis by the Sea’s 9:30 service, walk next door for the 10:30 service at St Mary’s Episcopal, dash over to Neighborhood Congregational for some after-service treats and Pastor Rod’s good cheer, then saunter back to St. Catherine’s for the 1:30 Spanish mass to catch the spirit of ‘Semana Santa,’ I’ll have celebrated the Palm Sunday marathon. I think I’ll try it. There’s meaning in that.

Skip fell in love with Laguna on a ‘50s surfing trip. He’s a student of Laguna history and the author of “Loving Laguna: A Local’s Guide to Laguna Beach.” Email: [email protected]

Places to worship (all on Sunday, unless noted):

Baha’i’s of Laguna Beach—contact [email protected] for events and meetings.

Calvary Chapel Seaside, 21540 Wesley Drive (Lang Park Community Center), 10:30 a.m.

Chabad Jewish Center, 30804 S. Coast Hwy, Fri. 7 p.m., Sat. 10:30 a.m., Sun. 8 a.m.

Church by the Sea, 468 Legion St., 9 & 10:45 a.m.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 682 Park Ave., 10 a.m.

First Church of Christ, Scientist, 635 High Dr., 10 a.m.

ISKCON (Hare Krishna), 285 Legion St., 5 p.m., with 6:45 feast.

Jehovah’s Witnesses, 20912 Laguna Canyon Rd., 1:00 p.m.

Laguna Beach Net-Works, 286 St. Ann’s Dr., 10 a.m.

Laguna Presbyterian, 415 Forest Ave., 8:30 & 10 a.m.

Neighborhood Congregational Church (UCC), 340 St. Ann’s Drive, 10 a.m.

United Methodist Church, 21632 Wesley, 10 a.m.

St. Catherine of Siena (Catholic), 1042 Temple Terrace, 7:30, 9, 11, 1:30 p.m. (Spanish), 5:30 p.m. There are 8 a.m. masses on other days and Saturday 5:30 p.m. vigils.

St. Francis by the Sea (American Catholic), 430 Park, 9:30 a.m.

St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 428 Park Ave., 8:00 & 10:30 a.m.

Unitarian Universalist, 429 Cypress St., 10:30 a.m.

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  1. For us:

    The Conductor

    What a timeless beauty
    In his face, tenderness
    Life conducted by Him
    Is pure candor

    His prayer tames the Earth
    It is happy with kindness
    Eases the war pains
    And teaches charity

    It is excellence in love
    It is a friend and protector
    It is great in humanity
    It is our Conductor

    His life was an example
    Gave Life with eagerness
    Was elected King
    In a land of love and pain

    Enlightens the conscience
    In reason and science
    It is the shortest path
    It is the synthesis in essence

    It elevates us in humility
    Does not matter the evil
    What receives is Love
    From the meek and the Creator
    (Sergio Antonio Meneghetti – Brazil)


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