A little more than halfway through my New Hampshire adventure, and during a two-week visit home, now seems like a good time to reflect on what I’ve been doing for the past three and a half months.
Thanks to all who have been following and encouraging me in this venture, an undertaking unlike anything I’ve ever done before. Your comments on my blog and Facebook page have been a hoot. My life has not been in danger in the great frozen Northland. Some people actually live in New England and survive. However, Monday, April 25, when I flew home for two weddings and a two-week break was a study in contrasts. It was 27 degrees and snowing in Hanover, New Hampshire. It was a beautiful 63 degrees in Columbia, South Carolina. Color has not yet arrived in New Hampshire, but our South Carolina garden was an explosion of flamboyant fertility—greens, reds, yellows and purples. On the front porch was a Clemson flag which rounded out the color spectrum with a bright orange. I haven’t seen that in New Hampshire.
Trinity Baptist Church of Hanover called me to serve as an Interim Pastor and Baptist Campus Minister to Dartmouth after the retirement of Ken (Pastor) and Sandy (Campus Minister) Hale. Our goal is to have a new Pastor/Campus Minister in place when I leave in late June, after six months. We have made strides, receiving excellent resumes, and having a few fine interviews, in spite of being able to offer only a part-time salary of $25,000 per year.
The furnace at the church is on its last leg, and I’m trying to raise $18,000 to replace an over thirty-year old antique before I leave. Otherwise, the church facility is in good shape. If you want to participate in this fund-raising effort, send your check to
Trinity Baptist Church of Hanover
Hanover, New Hampshire 03755
Any help will be appreciated. And tax-deductible.
The church, being small (an average of ten people in worship every Sunday), has not required my full-time attention. As those who’ve read my Facebook and blog posts know, I’ve had fun.
- I’ve been able to see my Boston-based daughter Julie and her husband Tom about ever other week. That has been a great gift for me.
- I’ve taken two writing classes Dartmouth provides for senior adults in the area. As surprising as it may be, I qualify as old enough.
- I’ve taken walks throughout Vermont and New Hampshire in some beautiful villages. My favorites are Walpole and Orford, NH, and Woodstock and Norwich, VT.
- I drove up to Montreal, Canada, for two days and two nights, a lot of walking (ten miles each day) and some world-class meals. I might as well admit that I’ve eaten a lot of amazing food on this adventure (including local cheeses) and gained some weight.
- My cousin Yvonne, who lives in Vermont, along with her husband Hal and daughter Stormie, picked me up and drove us to Portland, Maine, for a two-day and two-night mini-vacation there. I ate lobster.
- Gerald and Kari Aldridge and Frank and Susan Broome came to visit on occasions when it was important to see familiar faces. Speaking of friends and family, I am grateful for the phone calls of folks who checked up on me. Sally and I talked almost every day.
- I haven’t watched much TV, but I’ve read a lot. I’ve written less than I’ve read.
- I’m enjoying preaching every Sunday and doing the tasks necessary to help this congregation move to its next chapter. That is why I went to New England. It has been fulfilling to watch the church transition after the Hale’s leadership there for 32 years.
After two weeks in my South Carolina comfort zone, which I’m loving (though it is also filled with doctor, dentist, and other appointments), I’ll head back to Trinity and New Hampshire for my final two months there.
In June, Sally will fly up to visit Julie and Tom in Boston, then come over and see where I’ve been living, preaching, walking, and eating. She will meet the good folks at Trinity. Then, we’ll drive back to South Carolina.
That’s the plan. Keep the church and me in your prayers. Thanks again for your interest. If you’ve read this through to this last paragraph, you are a friend indeed.