All My Bags are Packed....

Posted by Stephen Shepherd on

Well not quite packed yet. On Monday June 25th I will fly to Tanzania and begin that part of the sabbatical adventure. Today I am finishing up my first sermon which I will be preaching on July 1st. I need to email it early to them so my translator will have an idea what I will be preaching on. It is interesting trying to develop a sermon without really knowing the audience. I am reminded how much preaching is about relationship and trust between preacher, congregation, and God. This week has felt a bit overwhelming as I am doing all the little and big things to prepare for my travels. It is a weird mixture of excitement and anxiety.

Last weekend Tami and I spent a few days in Gettysburg. We have lived in Virginia for twenty years but this was our first trip those sacred grounds. Weather was good and the private guided tour was spectacular. The incredible numbers of dead and wounded on both sides didn't really seem to register with me until we went to a special program at Christ Church. The Christ Church program mixed the music of the Civil War with read accounts of people who served in the church when it was being used as a hospital. The program began with a young lady playing violin in the balcony and the piece of music was the theme music from the famous Civil War series on PBS. In that moment, I felt the weight of Gettysburg and the enormous sacrifice that had been made for the sake of a government "of the people, by the people and for the people".

I stopped by the church to pick up my vestments for the Tanzania trip and saw the colors that have been selected for the exterior paint. The brown and cream combination is very good and blends will with the natural surroundings.

I continue to pray for St. Dunstan's and especially for Anna. I hope you will continue to hold Tami and me in your prayers.