Monday, October 9, 2017

Catching up yet again

I can't quite believe it has been two weeks since my last post. It has been a full two weeks. Dominating this time was preparation for yesterday's service at the Guilford church. It was not an ordinary service. It is a momentous time both for the church and for me personally. This month is the 60th anniversary of my ordination as a minister. An occasion not only to look back, but look ahead. And in the same month, the Guilford Church is reaching the climax of its 250th anniversary with the release of the new history of the church, And Grace Shall Lead Us, a 120-page narrative of the past 18 years or so, and a sequel to my Safe Thus Far, which covered the history from 1767 to 1999 when it was published. That is happening next Saturday. And my ordination took place on Reformation Sunday which this year will be the 500th anniversary of the Reformation - Luther posting his  95 theses on the church door in Wittenberg.
So all of that, and more, was woven into yesterday's service. 

One very special moment was a reunion of Raggedy Ann and Backpack Patty, two dolls who played a very important role in many children's stories back in the 1980s and 1990s when Shirley and I were pastors. They hadn't seen each other since we retired in 1997 - 20 years! It was an emotional reunion! 

Telling the story with Backpack Patty and Raggedy Ann (and with Fred Breunig holding the mike)

By the way, the full service is on YouTube!
Just go to YouTube and enter "Guilford Church service" and look for 10/8/17.

These weeks have also seen the start of the Osher Lectures. This fall, they are on Japanese art and culture in the morning , and local authors in the afternoon. Archer Mayor, local author of a long series of mystery novels featuring Detective Joe Gunther held forth for two hours in an extremely entertaining way, taking numerous questions. 

Archer Mayor, displaying a brochure on his novels

And then yesterday afternoon was a performance of Bach's B-Minor Mass by the Blanche Moyse Chorale. Normally I would have been singing, but this time I was in the audience. It was held in the Brattleboro Music Center's brand new auditorium. A new feather in Brattleboro's already well-adorned cultural cap . A very "live" hall, as it turns out. I missed being on-stage,  but it was great to hear it too. 

The Chorale, and Bach Festival orchestra in the new hall. What an amazing little town we live in! How many towns of 12,000 people in the U.S. could produce a world-class performance of the B-Minor Mass, using mostly local musicians? 

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