Michael Zeman age, 67, the dynamic and beloved Minister Emeritus of Talmadge Hill Community Church in Darien, died on July 18 in the loving embrace of his family. The son of Inez and Erwin Zeman, Mich was born in Ogden Utah (1950) and raised in Lincoln Nebraska where he co-founded the infamous Rubber Band. A graduate of Colorado College (1972), he married Mary Tidball (1971) and together they moved to East Africa to teach and lead the construction of a village school and water pipeline in northern Kenya. Mich earned a Master of Education from the University of Nebraska (1977) and a Master of Divinity from Yale University (1982) after which, he served as Associate Pastor and led for many years the youth ministry at Norfield Church in Weston. He received a degree from the Westchester Center for the Study of Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis Institute (1990). As the Pastor of Talmadge Hill from 1995 until his retirement in 2018, Mich and his colleagues transformed a very small congregation into a thriving, service-focused community with a mission, "To Know the Love of God and Share It". Pastoral counselor and psychoanalyst, Mich was also a devoted lover of poetry and music, a keen observer of human nature, and a wonderful conversationalist with a gift for going straight to the heart. He is survived by his sister, Zoya Zeman of Lincoln, Nebraska, his brother and sister-in-law, Dr. William F. and Ann Zeman of Eugene, Oregon, and brother Albert Zeman of Maui, Hawaii. He is also survived by his wife, Mary; his son and daughter, Benjamin and Joanna, their spouses, Fiona Zeman and Brian Lane, and four exceptionally devoted grandchildren, Maximus (7) and Theodora Zeman (5), Sawyer (5) and Oscar Lane (3). In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Zeman Legacy Fund at Talmadge Hill Community Church, 870 Hollow Tree Ridge Road, Darien, CT 06820. A celebration of Mich's life will be held at 11:00 a.m. at Talmadge Hill Church on Saturday, September 8, 2018.
September 14-15 at The Mariandale Center, Ossining, NY 914-941-4455
Facilitators: Danny Martin, STL, PhD and Diane J. Abatemarco, PhD, MSW
How we can deal with all the stress and negativity that we encounter and not let it overwhelm or depress us? How can we meet the inevitable struggles that are part of every life, at home and at work, and allow these struggles to be our teachers? Research has shown that we can indeed learn to work with the challenging aspects of llife by training our minds to expand, through the practice of Mindfulness and Dialogue. Only a mind that is expanded will know how to live creatively in the face of life's challenges, and relate with others in ways that promote justice and compassion.
Join us for a 1.5 day retreat on Mindfulness and Dialogue for Life - Healing the Healer - that is designed for healers, including but not limited to therapists, counselors, nurses, social workers, teachers, physicians, clergy, and social service staff. Diane and Danny will introduce you to practices that will enable you to use brief meditation practices and dialogue skills to enhance your ability to befriend yourself and improve your interactions with clients, patients, and co-workers.
1. Develop Stress Management
2. Develop Mindfulness Practices
3. Develop Dialogue Practices
4. Develop a Mindfulness-Dialogue Practice
The cost of the complete program, including full board (single room) at Mariandale, NY is $335.00. For more information contact The Mariandale Center at 914-941-4455
Jesus tapped me on the shoulder and said, Bob, why are you resisting me?
I said, I'm not resisting you!
He said, You gonna follow me?
I said, I've never thought about that before!
He said, When you're not following me, you're resisting me.
Richard Niebuhr has coined a powerful quote:
Redemption is about the co-existence and interplay of fate and destiny. Fate is what happens to us beyond our control – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Destiny is an opening through which our choices and commitments have agency and impact.
Fate can be lovely or tragic. After arriving home from Kenya on this Wednesday afternoon, I was on the phone with Rob. He shared with me the latest fateful news. Mich fell again resulting in multiple breaks and fractures. Yesterday, I sat with him at the Stamford Hospital. He is hurting, literally and otherwise. Why so many setbacks and so much hardship for one man and his family? I don’t know. Fate has no mind for fair and unfair. It is both lovely and tragic.
Before I left the hospital, the other side of the coin reared its head. Mich wanted to share one of his recent poems. Fate would not deny him this creative outlet. His destiny as a lover and maker of poetry was still intact. I was moved. In the beginning was the Word. The Word was made flesh. The Word is energy. The Word is inspiration. The Word is love.
The Word does not defeat the reality of fate, no more than fate can defeat the presence of destiny.
We make poetry. We sit at the bedside of our friends and loved ones. We build schools in Africa.
The Word is love.
This summer I’ll be highlighting some Biblical Storytelling, my favorite way to approach the texts. Allowing imagination to breathe life back into the stories has some interesting consequences. I can’t always tell, when I get started, where the story will end up. Often, once I have the characters in my imagination, they start showing me things I never expected, or asking me to research things that I haven’t yet considered. For example, this Sunday I will be sharing the story of Peter as he dares to walk on water. I haven’t written the story yet, but Peter is suggesting to me that I need a little more information about the size and depth of the sea, the kind of fish that tend to be found there, the color of the water, what stars might be seen overhead. I am not sure if any of that will end up part of the story; still Peter needs me to be more familiar with his surroundings if he is going to tell me what was in his heart that moment when he asked Jesus to bid him to walk on the waves.
Storytelling also implies a living relationship with the texts for me. The story I might cook up today may be nothing like the one I discovered 5 years ago. And it has an implicit invitation for you to allow your imagination to scan these texts as well. Together we make space for the texts to show us something rather than expecting a granular and bounded declaration of what the texts “mean.” When people ask me what the bible says, I always think: What the bible says to who? And in what circumstance? And does it say anything at all if you don’t demonstrate a willingness to enter it’s domain and stay a little while?
So come for some stories (and a Sunday of singing old hymns).
In the meanwhile, may you enjoy the story of your life, and be blessed by the music of your spirit.
Subject to change, here is a look at what I’ll be up to this summer from the pulpit:
June 24: Peter walks on Water; Matthew 14:22-33
July 1: The hemorrhaging woman; Mark 5:25-34
July 22: Hymn Sunday; we can sing whatever you want to, plus I’ll share a few of my favorites and why
Aug 12: Feeding the 5,000; Matthew 14:13-21
Aug 19: The woman at the well; John 4:1-42