Thursday, November 03, 2005

Trees, Donut Holes, and a Bible Study

Some thoughts on Day Six of The Plunge:

The New England fall colors are the richest and most glorious I've ever seen. Davies keeps pulling over on the side of the road (or in the middle of a bridge) to take photos. His photos are so good that he could go into the postcard business.

There are entirely too many Dunkin' Donuts in western Massachusetts. We thought there were lots of Starbucks in Chicago, but this is over the top. Our first glimpse of Domenic (rector at our church here) was with Dunkin' Donuts cup in hand.

We've spent the week interviewing parishioners and staff at Good Shepherd Church. The parish has experienced three waves of members leaving, and the finances look very bleak. There's fierce hope on the part of those who work to keep the church going, and the lay leadership is strong among those who remain. But their ability to support a full-time rector looks unlikely for the coming year, so we're hearing stories of pain and betrayal, personal histories that they offer us gradually. The New England sense of reserve is strong, but those who initially seemed reluctant to say much have opened up when we see them more informally a second time. The trust level at this point in the week is much stronger than when we began, and that is rewarding for us.

Last night's Bible study focused on Ephesians. Nine parishioners (including two teens) gathered with us to work toward understanding what Paul's letter is saying to the church and to them personally. Domenic did a fantastic job of making the scripture accessible to those who said they never can understand the Bible. We tried to lay low and not act like stuffy seminarians.

My host family has three active children, ages 14 and 12-yr.-old twins with ADHD, so the energy and noise in the household is a bit different than I'm accustomed to. One of the twins has invited me to her cheerleading competition on Saturday, and I think it's important for me to go.

Please continue to shower the Plunge teams with your prayers. Your support and care matter to us.


Blogger Jane Ellen+ said...

Prayers every day, sis. (^_^)

7:54 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Sounds like a powerful Plunge experience.

Peace and prayers.

9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ah... dunkin'donuts: "d.d.'s" or "dunk's" in the local tongue. i forgot to tell you about that. try the number two special.

be safe.

9:06 PM  

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