I love eastern falls! I experienced my first one when I was stationed at the U.S. Army Intelligence School at Fort Holabird, Baltimore, MD. I arrived from Southern California in September of 1970 (the Orioles won the series that fall) and left in February the following year. Up to that point, I had never lived outside Southern California, a place where “fall weather” is just like any other season, but not as hot. Oh, the nights get colder, of course, and the trees do shed their leaves, but, by-and-large, there isn’t really much change. Not so in Maryland, though. While I was at the school, I sang in the choir at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Baltimore. I’d take the bus in from Ft. Holabird on Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings, get off at the sports arena downtown, and walk up the eight blocks on Madison St. to First Presbyterian. The choir was made up of 16 paid singers from Peabody Conservatory. I was the (unpaid) 17th, and the only Californian! But, they made me feel welcome. James Winship Lewis was the Organist/Choirmaster at the time, and he put us through our paces. It was an exhilarating experience! As the fall progressed and the nights and mornings grew increasingly colder, I questioned the wisdom of singing at First Pres. And, when the first snow hit at the end of November, I really had second thoughts! But, I stuck it out, and I was glad I did. When folks say that “fall is in the air” that’s really true. You do feel it, especially when you’ve never experienced it before. There’s a “crackle” in the air when there’s frost on the ground. There’s an energy, a vibrancy, which is hard to describe to the west coast crowd. I believe that God is shaking us out of our lethargy, and into a new awareness that we live in a world that is constantly changing, constantly evolving. God’s world is dynamic, not static, and the seasons of the year bear witness to God’s work in the world. God invites us to take notice of our surroundings and celebrate the unfolding mystery of God’s handiwork in our midst. So, button up your overcoat and celebrate the fall which is upon us. Let it work its magic on you, and give thanks to God that you are alive!
From Pastor Kent’s Desk
Grace & Peace, Kent