Marie West Johnson
As a young girl growing up in Olympia, it wasn't unusual to experience Indian Summers, those warm days that would linger into September and October. The autumns of my childhood hold precious memories—hot cocoa with marshmallows, harvest moons, migrating birds in the yard, my dad building a fire in the fireplace, hayrides at the Mima Mounds with the church youth group. Life was fairly simple then, at least that is how it seemed for this tomboy who much preferred a baseball mitt to a Barbie doll. And now Craig has taught me that Fall means FOOTBALL!
During those extended times of seasonal warm temperatures, you could usually find me perched high in the top of the large cherry tree that was in our backyard. My mom always complained that the cherries were "wormy", but I thought they were delicious as I sat high in the tree and ate till my stomach ached.
From the Session
I took a little trip with my mom and a friend recently. I was taking them for a visit they had arranged which didn’t quite turn out the way we had planned it. The visit didn’t happen. A sick day for the host. But what emerged was extraordinary. A trip up another mountain and down memory lane. A visit to old homes and haunts for my mom that I had heard about, but never seen. A homestead now flooded, not just with memories, but with the water of Riffe Lake. Locations and images to tether stories I’d long heard that existed only in the ether of my imagination. It was a truly rich, and unexpected day I will treasure.
It got me thinking that this is the way of this journey of ours anyway. Despite our plans—good ones, flawed ones (usually a bit of both)—the Spirit of life comes to us where we least expect it and summons us (thank you John Bell, GTG 726) to destinations we “don’t know” finding we will “never be the same.” Abram becomes Abraham, and Sarai, Sarah, the parents of a sky-full of promise because they sat out on a journey with no assurances, no visible end. Let’s face it, in wilderness and in promised territory alike, Israel wanders. In Luke, Jesus sets his face to Jerusalem, but then travels this circuitous journey that is anything but a straight line geographically, or existentially, most surprising of all through death to new life. I don’t know if we’ll ever get comfortable with this one.
The following was a presentation made at a recent NPH fundraiser. Rafa Llamoga is a 2018-19 leadership student who has been staying with the Andersons since September, 2018 and studying English. He returns to his Peruvian home in San Vicente de Cañete at the beginning of July. NPH is Nuestro Pequeños Hermanos (our little brother's and sisters). St. Andrew has made three trips since 2012 to the NPH home in Honduras which you can read about here.
Good evening! My name is Rafael Llamoga. I am from Peru, and I have been a part of the NPH family for 14 years.
MIRACLES – Do you believe in miracles? I do.
I was 11 when one of my miracles happened, I arrived at NPH.
Because of this miracle I am here today a happy person and I am proud of the many accomplishments that NPH has helped me achieve.
I have a few thoughts on miracles: I believe they can be found not only in the best of situations, but in the worst of situations. The bad things that happen to us in life bring meaning, a greater purpose, and they can even transform and become the good we see in our lives. Watching this happen is nothing short of incredible.
Julie kae sigars
If memory serves, it was the summer of 1995…I went to the Presbyterian Association of Musicians Summer conference in Albuquerque. I was kind of fearful, but I had spent a year as a choir director. And I knew I was missing something. Maybe these people could help me.
One of my classes was The Theology of Worship. It stopped me in my tracks. "You mean,” I said, “All the things we do in worship actually MEAN SOMETHING? We do them for a REASON?”
Confirmation begins at St Andrew on January 8th. This year we will have four youth who will take part in the confirmation journey for the first time. As the process begins we will help these youth indentify a St. Andrew adult whom they would like to invite to journey with them as part of this process. In addition, all of the youth who took part over the last two years are also planning to take part again this year. These returning youth have said that they want to be part of the process again as part of their own faith journey, as well as be present as a support to their younger friends.