April 14, 2019 — Connecticut and Vermont

Last Sunday was a delightful day with no responsibilities. I worshiped at Christ the Redeemer church in Portland, Maine, and heard a solid sermon from David Richter, guest preacher. Afterward Sean Roberts, pastor of the church, invited me to join his and David’s families at lunch. After lunch I parted ways and went in search of some coffee. The Old Port section of Portland is charming and is filled with shops and restaurants. I found coffee and sat in the sun reading a book I had brought along. Afterward I toured both campuses of the University of Southern Maine, and ended the day with a light supper.

I woke up Monday morning to a snowstorm! It was coming down rapidly and accumulating on the ground, but I managed to get to my breakfast meeting with Sean. Sean is chairman of the committee of the Northern New England Presbytery which supervises RUF ministries. We discussed a likely new RUF in New Hampshire, a future possibility in Portland, and concerns about our work in Burlington.

After noon I headed toward Connecticut to visit Lucas and Maggie Dourado at the University of Connecticut. The snow turned to rain in New Hamshire and stopped by mid-afternoon. I arrived in Manchester, CT in time for a bit of exercise and dinner with Lucas and Maggie. On Tuesday I met with Lucas’ interns and spent mid-day with Lucas. I attended the Bible study at 5:00 and joined the students for dinner in the dining hall afterward. It had begun raining and I had not thought to bring an umbrella, but I decided to take my chances. The dining hall was about 15 minutes away, so I was quite wet by the time we arrived. I had a hasty dinner, then had a 10 minute walk in the rain to my car. The evenining event was a meeting with the elders of the church near UConn. The church just called a new pastor, so it was good to meet him and I always enjoy interacting with those men.

Wednesday I drove to Burlington, Vermont to see John and Megan Meinen. I arrived in time for the Large Group Meeting during which John preached a fine sermon on our stewardship of creation. John, Megan, and I had dinner afterwards. I spent most of Thursday with John, also squeezing in time with his intern, a student, and a local pastor.

Friday morning I got an early start on the trip to Grove City, PA where Benjamin was performing in a stage production of the musical “Madagascar.” I tried, with limited success, to hold a couple of phone conversations in the morning as I drove through the Adirondack mountains. By afternoon I was in the Mowhawk Valley and got a consistent signal. Ruth drove from home, and we arrived in Grove City at the same time, with enough time to get a quick dinner before the performance. Benjamin was Melman, a hypochondriac giraffe. It was a very enjoyable evening. Ruth and I drove home Saturday morning.

It’s been very nice to be home for a day and a half after two weeks away. Tomorrow I am meeting students at Westminster Seminary, and then I should be home through Easter. We are looking forward to Daniel’s and Peter’s families and Benjamin joining us.

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