An Ordinary Day in La Villa Real

Staff_McDermott, TomI am sitting on a tiny patio outside a small adobe casita which is nestled in a series of tiny adobe casitas on top of one another. It’s about 7:00 am and already the narrow streets of this oldest state capital in the U.S. are bustling with people walking to work, artists stretching canvases to capture some previously unseen mystery, and tourists in search of the best burrito de desayuno or huevos rancheros (locals ask for both red and green chile, saying “Christmas, por favor” . . . And it’s rude to return it if it’s too hot — just ask for more sour cream!). Others are just returning from their early morning cycling in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The temperature this morning is a crisp 56 F. And for a brief moment in early August, I’ve forgotten I live in Texas! But here in La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asís (“The Royal Town of the Holy Faith of St. Francis of Assisi”), it’s easy to forget a lot of things!


Linda and I are here in Santa Fe participating in a series of workshops with Image Journal at St. John’s College. Professional and amateur artists, writers, journalists, musicians, teachers (and, curiously, only a very few clergy) have gathered from all over the U.S., Canada, and even England, to reflect on the ways art and creativity speak life and hope to fear, prejudice, and hatred. We are discovering new ways of connecting our sense of faith and spirit through community, deep contemplation, and creative engagement. It continues to be an exciting week of discoveries which we look forward to sharing with you in the near future!

This Sunday, in nine:thirty-nine | eleven:eleven celebration, Linda will speak on the extraordinary possibilities in an ordinary life. I’ll join with some stories and special music along with offerings from Brad Thompson and the Revolution Band.

Here are Linda’s thoughts to get you thinking ahead.

See you Sunday!


“Your Everyday, Ordinary Life”

Linda McDermott2Romans, Chapter 12, has become one of my favorite scripture readings, especially when reading the interpretation by Eugene Peterson in The Message because of its down-to-earth expression of the way God would have us live out our individual, precious lives. Some have called the second half of that chapter Paul’s own version of the Sermon on the Mount. Paul was writing to the Christians in Rome, a church that was splitting apart by contentious relationships within the church and hostilities with non-Christian Romans outside the church.

Here’s how Barbara Brown Taylor describes it:

“There were black eyes and bad feelings all over the place. Marcus went to the midweek service so he would not have to sit in the same room with Clovis on Sunday; Lucius was so mad at both of them that he had quit coming to church at all; and Chloe had just bought herself a pit bull to keep her pagan neighbors from cutting through her yard. It was a mess, all the way around.”

So, in the same manner that he addressed with the fractured church in Corinth, Paul emphasizes Jesus’ one commandment: Love. Here are a few of Paul’s directives:

  • Run from evil, hold on to good
  • Bless your enemies
  • Don’t hit back
  • Discover beauty in everyone
  • Don’t let evil take away your best self
  • Get the best of evil by doing good

As our community, our nation, and our world continues to be haunted by violence and threat, how do we make any real difference to the fierce power of anger and hatred? Paul says it’s time we “walked the talk.”

See you this Sunday at the nine:thirty-nine or eleven:eleven celebration!


Rev. Linda McDermott
Senior Associate Pastor &
Associate Pastor of Worship


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