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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

September 4, 2009

Full Moon Rising

The temptation is great to say, “Where did the summer go?” I don’t quite understand why the three months of June, July and August go so much faster than the three months of January, February and March, but they do.

Standing in my driveway last night I was delighted by the sight of a full moon. No clouds. There was a haze of moonlight over the neighborhood and farm fields across the road. Every Spring I take a look at the phases of the moon to see if there will be a full moon on the lake when we are on vacation in Michigan in July. No full moon this year. Nothing even close. I miss the sight of the full moon rising in the east over the pines and reflecting on the water of the lake.

But I was rewarded with a full moon during the week I was studying in Berkeley in August.

The class at the seminary met every day during the week for four hours. We had ample time for discussion and to get to know one another. A few of us decided to go out for seafood one evening. There were three of us. One man is a New York City Roman Catholic Priest. One is a retired Methodist Minister from Texas. And myself. So the story begins like this…there was a Priest, Methodist and UCC Clergyman who walked into a bar. Actually it was a seafood restaurant (though they did have a bar) and the story would have a better ring to it if there were also a rabbi with us.

I enjoyed the dinner for several reasons, not the least of which, when we were talking I discovered that I was the youngest of the three. The Priest and the Methodist were only a couple years older than I, yet, I felt like the kid in the group. It was great.

When we were led to our table by the waiter I had the presence of mind to select the seat which looked out directly to the west, across the San Francisco Bay to the Golden Gate Bridge. So between bites of shrimp scampi and wine I kept looking at the Bridge.

In the course of our conversation we asked the Priest about his parish in New York City. His is the closest Roman Catholic Church to the World Trade Center. Just around the corner in fact. We asked him about September 11th and where he was that day. He said that when the first plane hit he then went down the street to see the one tower on fire. He was standing there looking up at that first tower when the second plane hit. I asked him what he did then. He said, “Ran!”

The Methodist and I sat there and quietly reviewed that scene in our minds. The Priest shared a bit more, but like soldiers who do not divulge the intensity of battle, we allowed the Priest to say as much or as little as he cared to on the subject.

Eight years ago. When I heard of the second plane, I, like millions and millions in this country and around the world, put two and two together very quickly and realized that the world was not quite what we thought it was. The cold war, which had ended a few years earlier with the fall of the Berlin Wall, was quickly being replaced with a new reality. It was interesting to talk to a person who literally watched it unfold in a few horrifying minutes.

We ate and I kept watching the sun set in the west over the Golden Gate Bridge. While the evening and conversation continued, I glanced back over my shoulder to the east and realized that a full moon had ascended, casting its light upon the bay behind me.

The three of us finished our meal, paid and walked out into the night.

As I looked at the full moon last night I recalled that conversation with the Priest, Methodist and myself. One of us had been an eyewitness to a pivotal moment in the world’s history. A moment I am still trying to understand.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing

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