Pals of mine, and whoever may chance into our website this week: Love to you, and greetings, at the end of a rainy Sunday in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
It was our first of two preaching days. First, we needed to say goodbye at 12:30 AM to our grandson John Christian, and then at 8:00 AM - at "Tamsie's House" to John's sister Rachel, leaving with her sweet, effective husband and their two little girls. All heading in rental cars to Logan Airport in Boston, after five short but wonderful days with us.
What joy family gathering can be. How loving grown grandchildren can be - grateful to be here, to rejoice in childhood memories and to pass them on to their children.
And then, for us to jump in our car to drive up and up into the Sandwich Range and the mountain valley along the "Chinook Trail" and the pristine meeting house we know as Wonalancet Chapel.
We sang loved hymns, prayed for the world, offered a beautiful reconciliation word from Mama Molly, and a pilgrim sermon from me. A game pianist and a cellist friend of hers played beautiful music and led us in "O Beautiful for Spacious Skies" and "How Great Thou Art."
A young man darted up to me before service to say he'd driven up from Hopkinton, MA just for this service. He was Brad, oldest son of my prep school roommate, Jerry Fenn. We had coffee together in nearby Tamworth, reminiscing, about Brad's father, my friend, and about life in the world today. What a happy surprise, and particular honor.
Then home for a long summer's nap with 7:30 PM "breakfast" and calls in from traveling young, and from two of our daughters who had helped make the nostalgic week possible.
How dear are those grown up members of our family. How surprising and heartening are the generations. How precious are those "ties that bind." In family love, and Christian love.
We're overwhelmed by it all. We go to bed glad, so glad, for these days with our own - and with others God has sent along. Not only Brad from Massachusetts, but, in Minnesota, our dear colleagues in Rwanda who had shared in the reconciliation work with us for 20 years and now continue under our successor's gifted leadership. They told their story - movingly - to a "Living Reconciliation" crowd Thursday night in St. Paul. And then the appearance, in Minneapolis, of beautiful Patience, pastor to her Church of All Nations in Uganda, and friend, along with her mother and others, of the long years of our Africa sojourn.
Our cup of life is so full tonight. With joy, "Here's to you all, good friends"!
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES