Winding Down . . . Ramping Up

It has been my great privilege to be on a Sabbatical leave for three months during the summer of 2018.  I want to thank the First Baptist Church of Columbus, and the Lilly endowed Clergy Renewal Program for Indiana Congregations for making this time possible.

The theme of my time away has been “Framing a New Picture for Ministry” with one area of focus being photography.  So, I thought I would share a few of my favorite pictures from the travels and discoveries of the summer.  If you click on the picture you will often find a caption.

The first collage are photos taken in Scotland. 

Photos from Ireland

London Days

Canadian Rockies & Family Time

On My Own

It’s been a great summer with a couple of adventures yet to go.  Thanks for taking some time to look at my photography.

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Making Memories while Making Friends

Today while riding the park shuttle at Glacier my family and I experienced two Sabbatical encounters that reminded me of the fellowship inherent in the body of Christ.  The first came on our early morning trip up “Going to the Sun Road” as we chatted with our driver, Bruce.  We were part of a quiet and sleepy group of fifteen passengers that dwindled to nine (seven of them in our party) as persons departed the shuttle along the way.  Since we were going all the way to East Glacier to start our day, and since you never wake a sleeping baby (grandson Oliver having succumbed to the movement of the trip), we stayed in Bruce’s shuttle for the duration.  He was interested in our family and easy to talk with, so soon the facts came out: a pastor, on Sabbatical, with his family (yes, all of them), planning to do a short hike and enjoy the majesty of the scenery.  “Welcome to my office,” Bruce said as we rounded the corner to an especially awesome view.  “This never gets old” (the view that is  – and would I agree!).   Continue reading

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Planes, Trains . . . . and Bikes

I realize that many who may read this post have traveled internationally, but outside of a handful of mission trip experiences, our recent trip to the British Isles was a new adventure in international travel for our trio.  One of the recurring observations I made as we traveled had to do with logistics.   I find the nuts and bolts of the traveling experience, with it’s many mediums of transportation, interesting – and something that we tend to take to for granted.

Just consider in our three week jaunt we experienced transportation through six different airplanes, three tour buses (coaches being the preferred UK term), two shuttle vans, two rental cars (was I ever glad to say good-bye to them!), two ferries, a taxi, two overground trains, innumerable underground trains, and our own six feet!  Each of these transportation mediums required advance planning, check in and security procedures, coordination of on and off-boarding (mind the gap!), financial commitments (sign here!), guides/drivers/pilots, en-route services (some better than others), and fellow travelers. Continue reading

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Framing a New Picture – Part 3 (Church Visits)

We have seen many churches on our tour of the British Isles. These have ranged from the impressive Westminster Abbey to the ancient Iona Abbey and its ruins. But by far the church visits that I have enjoyed the most are the three Baptist congregations we’ve worshipped with on Sunday mornings.  These living and vibrant communities of faith warmly welcomed us as guests in their midst, and reminded me of some important lessons. Continue reading

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Framing a New Picture – Part 2 (Passage Ways)

4B8C31C8-CB8E-478A-8F14-3E70BDBF2385One of the things that continues to catch my eye as we traverse the lands of Scotland and Ireland are the many photogenic passage ways that come into view. I’ve included a few pictures in this post to illustrate what we’ve seen.

Initially these registered as scenic paths or walkways leading us toward a new destination or discovery.  But in time I came to see the deeper passage ways pilgrims

of faith have followed in their pursuit of hope, answers and reassurance in life’s challenges. Truly we are not so different today as we continue to seek paths to God and our own faithful discipleship.

These moments in time are helping me reframe my thinking along the way as to how  to articulate the One who is “The Way” to others in our world filled with round-abouts (something Europe loves) and dead end choices.

I invite you to identify the everyday passage ways you see before you today and consider the paths you are choosing.

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