The Rev. Casey dunsworth

serves as Associate Campus Pastor to the Belfry, the Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministry to UC Davis

and as Program Director for LEVN, the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network.

Word.

I heard a story this weekend, in a sermon from Pastor Tita Valeriano, that has made me smile a lot of smiles. I've already re-told the story to three people. It goes a little something like this:

Once upon a time, some Protestant missionaries came to the Hmong people. At that time, there was not a written language among the Hmong, but, rather, a rich storytelling tradition. These missionaries, well-intentioned as can be expected, jumped at the chance to "help" the Hmong community collect their stories in written form into a book. [We Western Protestants really like our stories in book form.] The Hmong community laughed it off, saying, "We once had books. A lot of them. But one day they all fell into the rice fields. And so we ate them. And now that we have eaten the words, we can tell the stories."

We ate them. Ate them! This sounds preposterous. But what have we done each Sunday morning? Heard the Word proclaimed...and then eaten it. And then been sent out to tell the story. To be bread -- or maybe rice? -- for the world.

We Western Protestants and the Hmong have a little more in common than you might have thought.

Love Soon

These are the days.