Sunday, June 12, 2011

What we've been up to...

I know that I have talked about our church before. It is a small, and, as The Shepherd puts it. blue collar, Unitarian-Universalist church in Blaine, WA - - Established by Icelandic fishermen in the late 1920's - in fact for many years, the service was even given in Icelandic!

Well this spring, our minister (Rev. Nan) , who has been there for 20 years (!) announced her retirement. Although only paid half time, her ministry has been much more -

Here she is with The Shepherd, who is also known as "The Minister of Music" -

They have worked very closely over the years.

For several months he has been planning a service to celebrate her ministry with our church. A couple of weeks ago, he decided to make a small "garden" on the table that holds our chalice.

Isn't it pretty? (If you click on the pictures, they will biggify - and you can see the details - so cute)

He put plants that he will re-purpose into Nan's garden at home and interspersed them with some button mums and freesia for color spots.

He used moss and little pieces (maybe 2 x 3 inch) of slate for a little path.

It made a lovely centerpiece for the front of the church.

He spoke and did some readings - we had several church members volunteer to write about how her ministry had affected them.

Nan's daughter came up from Seattle. She spoke about how her mom had influenced her life and she sang two songs, one "Wild Mountain Thyme" needed my guitar accompaniment

And our choir sang several songs

And it was not all serious business though - Remember I spoke of the church's Icelandic roots? - one member proclaimed Nan and her husband Queen & King of the Vikings - including the fancy "hats" -

One of the gifts we gave Nan was a lap quilt (that I made) - (don't ask - it was the first of quilts, it was the last of quilts)

I can really see, though, how quilters are seduced into the craft - it was kind of fun (except for the midnight work by flashlight) , and the materials - oh my, it just made me drool to walk through the aisles of fabric in that quilt store -

I used four panels of photos printed on material - just used my old ink jet printer - worked like a charm and they were very good reproductions. I was impressed.

As people came in the door of the church, we had them sign the back of the quilt as the "Guest Book" so she could see the names of everyone who was there

Here is our Board President Vikki presenting Rev. Nan with a picture of another gift - a wonderful slate garden bench - (to be delivered at a later date to her home)

Some of you also know that I also do the newsletter for our little church - Here were my thoughts from my last column as our church looks for a new minister -

"Holy cow! Loosing Rev. Nan AND Oprah at the same time? What ever will we do?

Over the past 20-25 years, both of these fine ladies have nurtured and taught us new ways to deal with the events and issues in our lives.

It will be a brave new world out there for millions worldwide (on a grand scale) and oh, 40 or 50 of us here in Whatcom County (on a much smaller scale) - but soon, it will be summer and we will be distracted by (hopefully) warm sunny days - until reality hits - the re-runs are over - wait a minute - what do you mean, there are no new episodes?

Both Nan and Oprah have encouraged us to be the best that we can be. They have encouraged us to take responsibility for our own actions and to share, lovingly, and sometimes outrageously, with others who are not as blessed as we might be."

So, we'll use those lessons to do our best - we'll be OK - and sooner or later, they'll be back.


I need orange said...

What a gorgeous little garden. :-)

It sounds like the service was just lovely.

Good work, all around!

Michelle said...

John's garden is exquisite, and your quilt is beautiful, too!

ms. kitty said...

Tina, what a great tribute to Nan's long ministry with Blaine Free Church! You all are creative and loving and I know you are deep in her heart.