The highlight of summer was our trip to Switzerland where I officiated at the wedding of Laura Macdonald, who grew up in our congregation. Her husband, Eric, is from Lausanne, where they had their ceremony, outside, overlooking Lake Geneva with the Jura mountains in the distance.
Tim and Karen Macdonald, long-time members, made certain that Lory and I felt appreciated for being there with them to celebrate the occasion. In truth, it was we who felt appreciation for the opportunity they afforded us. Isn’t that the way of things – giving and receiving are dance partners, changing places with the steps.
Following the wedding we traveled north, making a day-long trip up the Swiss Alps to the Jungfrau – the 11,333 feet summit onto the glacier. We chose the option that allowed us to hike in the Alps for a couple of hours before ascending by rail. What a magnificent view – what an exhilarating experience.
We ended our Swiss visit in the city of Luzern, beautifully situated on Lake Luzern with the Swiss Alps in the distance. We spent a memorable afternoon cruising the lake.
In a wonderful coincidence, Carlyn was taking a master class in Manchester, England, at the same time we were in Switzerland. The class usually takes place in London, but was nudged out of London by the Olympics. We flew from Zurich to Manchester, spending three days with Carlyn, attending one of her master classes and having the extraordinary opportunity to see all thirty musicians from around the world perform in three evening concerts. Carlyn was one of the three musicians from the U.S.A. to be invited – she performed brilliantly. We felt even higher than the 11,333 Jungfrau!
Following Carlyn’s master class performances we drove to Edinburg, Scotland, for a two-day visit, which was Carlyn’s choice. One of her college friends is from Edinburg and told Carlyn about it, so she wanted to see the City. We had a great time.
One of the best things about traveling is coming home! We had a spectacular homecoming service on Sunday, welcoming our three new staff members: Mary Collins, our new D.R.E.; Mary Curtsmith, our Youth Program Director, and our new sexton, Mike Roman.
The night before Homecoming we had the Parkinson’s fund raiser, organized by Jim Keenan – a good way to ease into the new church year. Jim presented me with a duck – it’s a featherless specimen, carved from mahogany. “I like the little duck. He doesn’t know much, but he’s got religion!”
The same day as our auction for Parkinson’s, my son Jonathan did a 100 mile bike ride in Maine to raise money for Parkinson’s research – another nice coincidence.
So, we’re off and running for this very special year in which I’ll conclude a twenty-nine year ministry. I look forward to seeing you, soon. Take good care.