When I left for Christmas vacation, I was suffering from fried brain syndrome, as were my fellow seminarians. The time away was filled with renewed mental and physical resources, renewed relationships, and renewed commitment.
We spent Christmas with my daughter and granddaughter (at left). Grace has grown so much in such a short time. A particular highlight for us was seeing Grace in the Christmas pageant at church. She was an angel. There was also a toddler who was one of the shepherds. As he followed the other shepherds up the aisle, he was sucking his thumb and clutching his blanket. He was too cute.
Shortly after arriving in Rochester, I talked with a pastor friend (he married us just over 5 years ago) and he asked me to preach for him. The congregation is small, but delightful. I had a wonderful time.
Since Amity has been with Ray (Sept.), she has not wagged her tail much at all and has sometimes looked rather melancholy. This has changed dramatically and it seems the impetus for the change is SNOW. When we left from Gettysburg it was raining, but by the time we got halfway to Rochester, it had turned to snow. She loved it! There were large snowbanks at my daughter's house and Amity was in seventh heaven playing in the snow. She has found her tail wagging and play buttons.
New Years was spent in RI with Ray's brother and family. We celebrated a belated Christmas with them also. Abby, Ray's retired Seeing Eye dog preceded us to RI and while we were in Rochester, she was on doggie vacation with the two other dogs at my brother-in-law's. Once Amity joined them, they really had a doggie parade. Where one would go, the others followed. Oh, and yes, there was SNOW. Cherokee, our niece's dog and Amity are pictured here.
Our last Sunday away, we worshiped at our home church, Emanuel. It was so good to once again be with our church family. There were some new faces too!
Upon returning to G-burg, that evening we had an ice storm. We gave thanks that our arrival preceded that and our entire trip was without incident despite a variety of weather conditions.
A classmate said she was glad to return to Gettysburg and reunite with classmates. Most people she encountered while away really didn't "get" what she was doing at seminary. That too was my experience, but to a lesser degree. How about those of you in ministry or seminary? One classmate had to keep telling his father that he really needed clerics and albs more than new sweaters. Did you seem like that much of an enigma to your family and friends?
As wonderful as the trip was and as much as I miss everyone, I was ready to return to campus and this community of faith as we together discern God's gracious will. There's no place like home.