Hey all. It’s been a while. Summer has been charging along at a gallop. But it has been a grand ride thus far.
My summer has a number of layers to it. I’m a teacher which means I have the gift of summer time, for which I am very grateful. I hope that I might always have at least some part in a school if for only the gift of summer. But of course I really do love the teaching part too! This year, my summer job is an internship with a small church plant in Elk, Washington. In addition to preaching and leading the service each Sunday, I am also teaching a Sunday School class on a hodge-podge of topics. I’ve been preaching through Genesis, and we are in the middle of some of the great passages in Abram’s life; Chapter 17 will be this coming Sunday. We made a few changes to the liturgy at the beginning of the summer, adding a number of traditional spoken responses throughout the service, and a corporate prayer of Confession. The service already followed a basic Covenant Renewal pattern, but these additions add to the congregation’s participation in the ‘work’ of worship. It’s interesting that in so many Protestant churches, worship is done ‘up front’. But of course that’s the very thing the Reformers were so concerned about.
In addition to the internship, I have been doing some work for Veritas Press. Veritas is the East Coast flagship of the ACCS, the East Coast Logos if you will. They’re working on a fabulous project called the ‘Omnibus’. Designed for both homeschool and day school settings, the Omnibus will be a series of books (6 I think) that work through the literature and history of Ancient, Medieval, and Modern eras. The books consist of a thorough introduction and background on the author and historical context of each work, a worldview essay and analysis, as well as a staggeringly detailed series of lesson plans for working through the material. From Homer to Genesis, Beowulf to Chronicles of Narnia, the books are all full color with loads of pictures and suggested activities, and they even come with an interactive CD/DVD of some sort (I haven’t looked at mine to see exactly what it is yet). Check the whole catalogue out here.
Between preaching and writing, we visited my family down in Grants Pass, Oregon. My dad is the pastor of Faith Church (OPC) in Grants Pass. We were there for only a few short days, but our primary purpose was to celebrate my brother, Andy’s graduation from highschool. Andy finished school homeschooling, but he (like several of my other siblings) has been taking classes at the local community college for the last two years. He’s an athletic guy, a strong Christian, and probably the best looking of all the boys. Watch out girls.
And of course if that wasn’t enough, I’m involved in Summer Theater. Jim Nance, an elder at Christ Church and a teacher at Logos School, is directing Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream this year. Apart from the joy of just doing theater, we are putting on shows particularly for the Trinity Fest. I have been assigned the role of Bottom the Weaver, the aptly termed ‘ass of the play’. The part is excessively fun, and the entire cast is a blast to work with, including my other brother, Jesse, who also has a part. I’m also really enjoying the rehearsals for the fresh air, outside on the stage at East City Park where we will be performing in August. You don’t have to go to the Trinity Fest to come to the play, but of course, why would you want to miss any of it?
Another exciting challenge has been my father-in-law’s recent heart surgery. My in-laws just arrived to Moscow (Troy actually) about two months ago after his retirement from 30 some odd years at Westinghouse and Northrup Grummin (sp?) which are big defense contractors with the government. The cardiac specialists in Maryland which he has visited regularly for the last several years have been assuring him that his heart was as solid as a drum. But after a month or so here and reoccuring chest pains, he went in to get checked out in Spokane only to find that four arteries were clogged or nearly clogged. We’re of course very thankful that God was so kind and merciful in giving hints and clues that all was not well, the Maryland doctors notwithstanding. Although they went in to do four bypasses and came out having done five, Dad has pulled through the surgery well and is home (as of Saturday) recovering. We appreciate your continued prayers for a full recovery with no infections or complications.
Yesterday was Independence Day and, like true patriots, we went outside to enjoy our country. I took River down to the fireworks stand in the morning in order to fill up a proper quota of munitions and to procure the necessary barbque supplies at the grocery store. We spent the afternoon down in Lewiston (about 20 miles south) at Hells Gate National Park where several of our friends were camping out through the weekend. We chatted and hung out there, and let the kids run around and find gross things to put in their mouths. We also went down to the beach (read river front with sand) and splashed around a bit. We took the scenic route up highway 12 from Lewiston over to Troy and ended up at Jenny’s parent’s house for dinner. Hamburgers on the grill were followed by fireworks in the backyard. Some of the Jackson’s neighbors had a lot more money than us, and they put on a fantastic show across the street. River took the fireworks fairly well. He really enjoyed the ‘pop its’, the little white bundles that explode when tossed on the ground. The real fire crackers themselves were kind of overwhelming at first, and he cried some. But by the end he was watching with awe and was apparently also too tired to feel threatened.
At any rate that’s what we’ve been up too. We do hope you and yours are having a fantastic summer as well. We’re moving (yes, again) a few blocks over into the Robinson Trailer park at the end of this month. The sad part of this otherwise really great deal, is that we have to give Porter away. So we’re looking for a home for our Australian Shepherd/Boarder Collie. But he’s a great dog, and we’re sure he’ll make another family very happy.
All the Best!