Tag Archives: mug

photo: #rethinkchurch day 6 – world


the world in my cup                                                         Baja California, Mexico
© erin dunigan 2013

Day 6 of the #rethinkchurch lenten photo challenge – the theme is ‘world.’ It has been interesting to see how people – most of whom I do not know – have been representing the various themes thus far – who am I, see, injustice, etc. I have been surprised at the range of images – from somewhat literal (a pair of glasses for ‘see’ for instance) to more abstract (a spring blossom for ‘return’).

So, as I sat pondering the theme this morning, and looked down at the cup of tea I was holding, wondering how I might convey today’s theme ‘world’ it struck me that it was there right in front of me. The world in my cup, so to speak.

For it happened that the Oolong tea I was drinking was a gift given to me in Taiwan. The cup in which I was holding it came from a potter working near the slums in Nairobi, Kenya. It was sitting upon a pillow, covered with a beautiful woven tapestry that I found in Chiang Mai Thailand last year. I, an American of Irish descent, was sitting drinking and observing all of this in Baja California Mexico.

Lest this seem only like an excuse to brag about my many travels, what struck me about the realization was that the world is, of course, vast and big and ‘out there’ but that very vast world is also ‘right here’ – reminding me of new friendships made in each one of the places represented by my image – friendships that are able to continue through technology such as facebook, so that friends in Kenya are replying to comments made by friends half a world a way in Thailand, to photos I am posting from Mexico.

It is a reminder to me that the world, though vast, is also beautiful and full of experiences, encounters, strangers, and new friends.

This world, our home for a time.


photo: coffee, kenya, and community

This mug was made by hand at the Eastleigh Community Center, a ministry of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa, seeking to serve, train, educate and empower those living in the Mathare Slum, one of Nairobi’s largest.

The Eastleigh Community Center provides a school as well as job retraining for young adults and work in the community in areas of health and clean water.

As I drink my morning coffee back here in Baja California, Mexico, I’m reminded of and thankful for their work and their tangible actions to ‘love thy neighbor as thyself.’


© erin dunigan 2013


Backstory:  In early February I accompanied a delegation from the PCUSA’s Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) to visit a partner church, the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA). The purpose of this trip was to see the work that the PCEA is doing to reach out to those in need with the love of God – sometimes in the form of drilling boreholes (wells), providing education, offering food relief from drought and famine, as well as planting churches and building schools. The week spent with the PCEA was an inspiration and a gift.