Tag Archives: offering

canang sari (offering baskets)

It doesn’t take long, in Bali, to come across a ‘canang sari‘ or offering basket. They are everywhere. It is said that these offerings are a way of giving back what has been given…a recognition that what we have is gift, and that the appropriate response is, in return, gift.


canang sari, Ubud (Bali)
© 2012 erin dunigan


offering beauty

This shot was also one that I just happened to walk by, while strolling down the street in Ubud (Bali). It was early morning, so the flowers were fresh, floating on the small pond. What caught my attention was the sheer beauty of the composition. What hadn’t even occurred to me, until one who was with us mentioned it — “Wow, that’s pretty time consuming. I’m not sure I get that.”

Of course it was time consuming, now that he pointed it out. But even more beautiful because of it’s complete lack of usefulness, other than to provide beauty, no?

beauty, Ubud (Bali)
© 2012 erin dunigan


This image is from Bali. We were in Ubud, and could not enter the temple area in the monkey forest because the women were preparing for a ceremony and festival to welcome the new moon. As I stood outside the wrought iron gate and watched the women prepare the woven offerings, I was drawn in by this woman. She had a presence about her that intrigued me. As I watched, she began to speak with one of the other woman and in so doing broke into this beautiful smile. 

“Taking” the offering

Though I’ve been in sort of a dry spell with my ‘musings’ as of late,  I had to share this story from my most recent preaching endeavor at the small, struggling church in Long Beach…

I’ve now preached there 3 times. This time the choir and the congregation were tied, 8-8.  Yes, that’s 8 people in the choir and 8 people in the congregation. The congregation was unfairly stacked with family friends Susan and Robin who came to hear me preach. So, I guess technically, the choir’s ahead by 2.

The sermon was over (you can read a version of it, “The End of Late Fees” in the Sermons section).  The two ushers had taken the offering (from the other 14 people) and had just walked down the center aisle and up to the front chancel area of the church.  All of a sudden a fairly disheveled looking man in a wheelchair came in from outside, wheeling himself up the center aisle, right to the front of the chancel, next to the ushers.  People sort of looked around, wondering what to do about this man—a dilemma between the good Christian ideal of welcoming the stranger and the social awkwardness of the stranger clearly deviating from the social customs.

So we all just kept singing. The man in the wheelchair waited patiently for the song to be over. When it was he leaned over to one of the ushers (still holding the offering plate) and said, “Can I have two bucks for the bus?”

Timing, apparently, is everything.