DCC News


Weekly e-newsletter for members and friends of the Dublin Community Church


October 10, 2006

From our Minister….          


Still Calling to Me


So, what’s that loon all about on the top of your email article?


Good question.


One of the sweetest surprises when I arrived at Dublin Community Church was that Jeff Shaffer (Church Growth and Rolls Committee) had a huge listing of email addresses and that he sends out a monthly calendar. Great idea. I have wanted to do that for years at previous churches. But like so much of this technology that saves us all sorts of time; it takes a lot of time to accumulate and administer the email addresses. Here at Dublin Community Church it is done and so I arrive and find things in place for the email announcements. Jeff asked if I would like to send an article in each month. I said I would like to send an article in each week.


And so it is.


I wanted to use a picture, symbol or something recognizable each week, so that you would know that I was the writer even before you read the article. I thought about my pencil sketch that is used in the monthly newsletter that comes through the mail, but then again I wanted something that indicated that this was the email edition. It only took a second to think of my favorite symbol…a loon.


Don’t attach any special significance to linking “Tussing” and “loon”, though I imagine that a few have already done so. I used the loon last week for the first time on the “Stewardship” article and then I thought I better fill you in on my connection with loons. Stop by my office and you will find numerous loon carvings including a huge loon decoy that some man carved in Michigan. (A cautionary note here: the decoy is merely a carving it is NOT used for loon hunting, nor is there such a thing as “loon season” as there is for “duck season.” Loons are protected by all kinds of state and federal laws.)


The loon is beautiful and its life is a good symbol for family life too. I am fascinated by loons. When we vacation in Michigan there is always a loon family each summer on the lake. The loons mate for life. The babies, when born, immediately swim with the parents all over the lake. Early on the babies are fed by mom and dad, but as the weeks go by you will see the maturing babies begin to dive themselves for food. If there are two chicks, it often happens that one of the kids gets a bit spoiled and you’ll see one chick diving and the other just waiting for mom and dad to feed them. Thank God our kids don’t ever exhibit such behavior.


Loons aren’t good at walking on land like a duck or goose and so they spend most waking hours on the lake. Often one will watch the kids and the other adult will go off to other parts of the lake. For some reason, the roar of boats and water skiers hardly faze the loons as they bob on the water in the wake of a big, fast boat. How the loons avoid being run over by boats, I am not certain. We boaters much watch out for the loons.


I keep my sanity in the winter by remembering what it is like in the early mornings of summer on the lake when I am in my kayak, with a cup of coffee and Sinatra on my iPod. The loons seem to accept a kayaker who is not too close or loud. The result is that I have been able to float for hours watching loons…who are probably floating there for hours watching me. 


Loons have four basic calls and each means something special with variations within their “calls.” You haven’t lived until you’ve heard a loon calling across the lake at night. I still can’t categorize those “calls” real well but have seen and heard loons call out to other passing loons and then seen those passing loons fly in for some sort of “dance” on the lake.



My point? There is no point, I guess. Life zips by you fast and there are few things that capture our attention and hold it before we rush to the next thing. For me, the loon captures my attention and gives me something other than work to consider. Perhaps I am getting a closer look at God’s world. I am always amazed at those biologists and anthropologists who spend years and years sitting in a clump of trees observing gorillas, lions, groundhogs or…loons. I don’t have the time and have yet to find a church that would support me for 50 weeks out of the year to just watch loons. But if there is a God, I’ll find that church.


Somewhere in my unpacked boxes is a large plush-toy loon that was given to me. If you squeeze its tail you hear a rather authentic loon-call. One older gentleman from my previous church was named John. He was a kind, elderly gentleman who was a dedicated church worker and Christian. He was a good friend.


Every week John would come in to count the weekly offering and then stick his head in my door. Every week he would spot the toy loon on my shelf and go and squeeze it for the loon-call. Every week he would give a W.C. Fields laugh and say to me, “Hey Bob, the loon is calling to you!”


And every week I would respond. “Yep, John the loon is calling to me!”


Last October, John died.


But every week, the loon is still calling to me.




Rev. Bob Tussing