On Thanksgiving Day, full of turkey and dressing and sweet potato pie, Jeff and I piled into the car and drove to Charlotte, where we spent most of the weekend with our daughter and son-in-law. We did all of things most of you probably did – we gave our iPads a workout ordering gifts, we hit the local shopping center, and we ate wonderful food (that we didn’t have to cook!). Jennifer decorated their house with a Christmas tree and twinkling lights along the porch rail and a snowy village that my mother made years ago. We listened to Christmas music, we told stories, we relaxed – even though the calendar pointed out that we had only four weeks until Christmas Day.
All of our busy-ness created a sense of anticipation in me, an energy that was somehow different from how I had felt just days before. All of the gifts we had bought, all of the decorations that had been so carefully placed, all pointed to the joy of the real gift of Christmas. (read more)
strengthen us in prayer
that we may lift up the brokenness of this world
for your healing,
and share in the saving love
of Jesus Christ. Amen.
It has been more than a year since I stood on the floor of Foothills Presbytery to preach and be examined for ordination in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). The sermon I preached that day spoke to feelings of sorrow and anguish at the news around us – shootings in Ferguson, Missouri, and Charleston – and overflowed in words of repentance and a call to actions of love and reconciliation in our community of faith.
Now, a year later, the shootings continue, the protests continue, the conflict between races and religions and ethnicities continues. And I ask, how long?
Yes, you heard correctly. October 22nd, let’s all go to Flat Rock NC for some apple pickin’ at Sky Top Orchards. The leaves should be beautiful and apples will be delicious. Oh, and we can’t forget the apple cider doughnuts!
After we’ve done our share of apple picking, we can finish out the autumn day by touring the grounds of the Carl Sandburg Home and pet some of the prize winning goats still raised on the grounds.
Carl Sandburg was a famous writer, folk singer, social activist and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and biographer. After his death, his wife Lilian determined that his legacy and home in Flat Rock, NC should be preserved forever. The Carl Sandburg Home was made a National Park. The property was sold with its contents and cultural resources donated to the park service. The park's vast historical and cultural resources include 264 acres of pastures, ponds, small mountains and hiking trails, as well as a total of fifty structures, including the Sandburg's residence and goat barn. The museum and archival collection housed in the 4,000 square foot Museum Preservation center is also an important resource. It is the one of the biggest collections of its kind in the Southeast Region, containing 325,298 items that includes letters, telegrams, maps, photographs, motion pictures, sound recordings and 12,000 volumes of the Sandburg's books.
It will be a beautiful day to enjoy the many gifts of the outdoors our Father has provided to us.
Our church fellowship hall may be rented for special occasions such as wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, day-time retreats, family reunions, meetings, anniversary dinners, etc.