postcards from sabbatical – week 6

postcards from sabbatical – week 6

Dear Faith Friends, After hiking the largest Greek island, Crete, for two weeks, we walked four smaller islands – Santorini, Serifos, Sifnos and Milos.  Each had its own character.  Santorini has dramatic beauty and LOTS of people, especially from Asia.  Serifos was overmined for centuries and looks a bit like deserted deserts of the Wild West; there is little infrastructure and tourists are mostly Greeks from the mainland. Sifnos is well cultivated agriculturally – enough for export – and has produced many great chefs.  Lots of French visitors – maybe because the food is so good!  Milos is still a wealthy mining community and has only recently welcomed tourists; we heard a lot of German. On Sifnos, we took a Greek cooking class on a small family farm.  George and Dina explained how they are returning to traditional seeds, species and methods of planting to use less water and insecticides.  They want to yield diverse and healthy crops.  George learned from his parents, grandparents and other elders in the community. Now, his sons are carrying on the tradition. It is a lot of work, but also a joy, George said.  I know that feeling in ministry.  The Christian life is joy and effort, work and rest, planting and harvesting, and passing on the goodness of our God. I’m looking forward to cooking some of the recipes I learned from George and Dina for you. Blessings on the journey, Charlotte So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity,...
July 2 Sermon by Rev. Dr. Galen Schwarz

July 2 Sermon by Rev. Dr. Galen Schwarz

A Perfect Storm Acts 27 In September 1991, the sword fishing boat, The Andrea Gail, returns to port in Gloucester, Massachusetts, with a poor catch. Desperate for money, Billy Tyne (The Captain), convinces the crew to join him for one more late season fishing expedition. They head out past their usual fishing grounds, leaving a developing thunderstorm, behind them. Initially unsuccessful, they head to the Flemish Cap, where their luck improves. At the height of their fishing the ice machine breaks; the only way to preserve their catch is to hurry back to shore. After debating whether to sail through the building storm or to wait it out, the crew decide to risk the storm. However, between the Andrea Gail and Gloucester is a confluence of 2 powerful weather fronts and a hurricane, which the crew of Andrea Gail underestimate. After repeated warnings from other ships, the Andrea Gail loses her antenna, forcing a fellow ship to call in a Mayday. An Air National Guard rescue helicopter responds, but after failing to perform a midair refuel, the helicopter crew ditch the aircraft before it crashes, and all but one of the crew members are rescued by a Coast Guard Vessel, The Tamaroa. The Andrea Gail endures various problems; with 40-foot/12 meter waves crashing on to the deck, a broken stabilizer ramming the side of the ship, and two men are thrown overboard. The crew decides to turn around to avoid further damage by the storm. After doing so, the vessel encounters an enormous rogue wave. After attempting and failing to ride over the wave, the stricken fishing vessel capsizes...