Monday, July 14, 2008

Meeting far away from home

Grace and greetings.

This is one of the several welcome signs throughout the Barrow area. It seems strange at the number of people we come half way around to world to meet.

Last week, a visitor came to visit Barrow and walked in for our Sunday morning service. While talking with the person, he said that he was from the Columbus, Ohio area. Upon asking for a further clarification, he was from the area that my wife and I served churches. In fact, the church that he in a member of, the minister serving the church is the husband of the minister who followed me at Condit Presbyterian Church, in Sunbury, Ohio. My wife was called to one of the larger churches in Columbus, while I was called to a small town church. She later ended up leaving the larger church shortly before becoming pregnant with our son who was born at Grant Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

The same week as the visitor, I received an email from a member of another congregation I served in Columbus Junction, Iowa. Like most of Iowa during June, flood waters were rising to take back the flood plains. In the email, I was told that the person who runs the cleaners here in Barrow, is from Columbus Junction. Columbus Junction is a community of less than two thousand as of the last census. When I went over to check it out, it turned out that it was the father of the person who I usually communicate with at the cleaners. As I talked with the daughter, she said that her grandmother still owns property on Main Street.

Of course, one of the best story of people meeting in far away places, I heard during the first wedding I help officiate in Weyauwega, WI. In meeting with the bride and groom we were talking about how they met, and some of the stories there. Me being from Alaska, was interested in hearing that they had met in Alaska the summer before. But what was the story behind the story: the father of the groom came up to visit his son in Alaska and to meet the "new" girlfriend. He was talking to another person who was visiting the State. As they continued to talk, they asked were each other was from. As it turned out, they own adjacent farms to each other in Wisconsin.

Another story is how my wife and I met. Neither of us were suppose to be in Fairbanks, Alaska for a Presbytery meeting, but we were, and we met, and later married. But that is for another post at a later time. Well, it is time for yet another funeral, I think this is number 48 or so since I arrived a year ago last May.

Peace and blessings.

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