Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Neither rain nor snow nor sleet....

We have had drizzly rain on and off all day today but it wasn't enough to dampen the spirits of our walkabout crew.  After piling all of our luggage in Chris Harpster's van as well as in the back of the two big white vans, we left the Doubletree in Chattanooga and headed for Athens.  The folks at St. Paul's Athens greeted us warmly and were more than happy to show us their church, tell us the story of how they decided to turn the back of the nave into the front (and vice versa) and then send us on up Route 11 to Loudon.

Resurrection Loudon fed us three great soups - I am getting the recipe for the golden chicken for our own soup suppers - and then sent us on up the road to Knoxville, where we took the nominees to see The Church of the Ascencion, site of the new bishop's ordination in June.  After a few wrong turns - I swear two thirds of the drivers simply decided it was time to go home to Kingsport! - we all made it to our hotel and out of the vans long enough to check emails and/or take a nap.

And then we headed to Episcopal School of Knoxville where faculty, students and staff made us feel like we were part of their family.  I hadn't been to ESK in several years and was really impressed with the size of the campus but mostly with its beauty.  These are buildings that invite you to be engaged in learning.  At Evening Prayer, the middle school singers sang two songs for us and we all sang Lord, make me a Sanctuary together.  Then the presentations and question and answer portion of the evening took place with perhaps a little more chaos than the previous evening but within the time frame we had set for the whole event, always a good thing.

I continue to be impressed by our nominees.  That's about all I can honestly say, though, since I do not want to be swaying anyone else's minds and hearts.  Having heard them all twice has been a great gift, though, one I wish everyone could have.  Still, I bellieve if you all read what has been published on the website and come to one of the walkabouts, you will get a good idea of who each of the nominees is.

So tomorrow, we hope the snow will be very mild and might even decide to skip us entirely.  We will take our time getting from one place to another even if it means blowing the schedule sky high.  Better to keep everyone safe than to make all the deadlines.  That said, the snow may slow us down but it will not stay us from our appointed rounds!

You are in my prayers as I travel outside of the parish and I know that you are praying for all of us making this journey around the Diocese.

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