Lovely weekend activities. Last year at this time, everyone was still digging out from the storm (Dec 1-2, 2007) with those hurricane-strength winds at 140 + mph. Can’t really know the full strength of those winds because the gadget that measured and registered the winds at 140 mph broke.
This year, no windstorms, some temperate, cool weather, bits of sunshine, some normal rainfall, fog and mist. Just the kind of mix of winter (well, guess technically it is still Autumn) weather to have her on the bay.
One of the ‘new’ neighbors who built their beautiful new home here in BC right on the edge of Willapa Bay held a holiday Open House gathering Saturday. Seemed like most of the people living here in BC attended. I’ve been working to integrate into community activities after the long six years of intense and heightened political activism where we have focused so much of our attention, time and energy with efforts to end Iraq war, get the troops home. It’s been a nice change, quieter, and I’ve had chance to get to know our neighbors on a different level.
Arthur, on the other hand, hasn’t had that kind of time to get better acquainted so it was delightful to be able to introduce him to many of our neighbors he hasn’t yet ‘officially’ met.
At the Edwards holiday open house, (and happily looks like this will be annual gathering here in BC ) we met a few of the newly moved here neighbors who are either building new homes or refurbishing existing homes. Bev Olson was there, and I was happy to get a chance to congratulate her on her upcoming trip to the other Washington (DC). She was invited by Rep. Brian Baird to be his guest at President-Elect Barack Obama inauguration. How exciting for her, and she certainly deserves the opportunity.
I have decided to visit the 2 churches in our community to see what kind of a fit we can find. I’m impressed with the one that is building it’s new church building on the pay as you go system. They have made progress with the building and it is looking modestly beautiful since they broke ground a few years back. We went to the services Sunday, and I was impressed with the warm welcome, the humility of the people and the sense of community amongst them.
I do miss our Episcopal church community at St John’s in South Bend, where we were training to be come licensed lay preachers. We did revisit last year. Not much about it has changed, and we know we are not ready to return to being involved with the level of activities we had given at St John’s. The tug and pull in discerning our passion in ministry we felt was calling to us to challenge the morality of the Iraq war, both as lay preachers in church fellowship and as a military family with loved ones deployed in Iraq.
As the intensity of the war rose, we felt more compelled to put our energies into civic activism, as we were receiving numerous invitations to speak at various events along with our obligations to Sunday services at our church. In discernment meeting within the Bishop’s Committee, we came to decide to follow the passion of what we believed was our ministry calling, notifying our church family we would need to be freed from the weekly Sunday responsibilities.
That was four years ago. We had already moved, began buying our home in Bay Center, but continued to attend services in nearby South Bend. It will be interesting to see if we can adapt to a different church with a different belief set. Thus, we will attend services at both churches in our little Bay Center community to see if there is an adaptable fit.
One church is conservatively evangelical or pentecostal, and I’m surprised we can even begin to consider continuing to attend after these politically charged years of evangelicals inserting their religious philosophy, such as it is, into the political arena and heavily influencing the controversial polarization of the last eight years. I had a talk about this with the pastor after services, and he seemed a bit perplexed at what I was asking, assured me he did not tell his congregants how to think, how to vote, and remained free of politics.
The other church is Methodist, and I really don’t know much about Methodist religious philosophy. I do remember reading that George W. Bush was a member of Methodist church. That, sadly, is enough to put me off right there, but again, somehow these tiny church congregations in our community do not seem to be aware or part of the bigger picture with religious insertion into politics that have led to the election of George W. Bush, and his decision as President and Commander-in-Chief to invade and occupy Iraq, bringing with it the immense carnage on all sides that has marked the last six years in Iraq.
Following my own thoughts, back to this past weekend. It was refreshing to meet with so many of our neighbors in the community in new venues. It was refreshing to just be one among many of the neighbors who make up our community in Bay Center.