Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Odds and Ends

I have been extremely busy lately, but there are a few things that I wanted to touch on. So, here are a few highlights of what has been happening with me.
  • Last Sunday night, my cousin, Alison, and I went to the Red Sox game against the Yankees. As a pastor, I have a pass which allows me to go to any game I want for $10 and I can bring a guest with me. We had a fun time, though it was cold, the game was long, and we had to get there early in the afternoon to get tickets (tickets for those of us with this clergy pass are on a first come, first serve basis. The picture to the right is Alison playing Sudoku during our four hour wait for tickets. We were the first ones in line!). I am getting really fed up with pitchers who cannot throw strikes!
  • This past Sunday morning, with Camille out of town, I attended the First Congregational Church in Woodstock, Vermont. I have some friends who go there so I decided to check it out just out of curiosity. I have always walked by this church as well - set in one of the most beautiful towns in America - and wanted to have a peek. I didn't know what to expect, but found the service very enjoyable. A lot of Congregational churches are very liberal, usually in the United Church of Christ mold, but this one was pretty conservative and very Evangelical. The service was much like a "typical" Adventist one, complete with the hymn "Trust and Obey."
  • The minister at the church, Norm Koop, had a very biblical message with very few bells and whistles. I fear that, were he to listen to one of my sermons, he would think it was full of fluff. It was a good reminder to me to just preach the Word! By the way, he is the son of the former U. S. Surgeon General, C. Everett Koop.
  • There were a lot of young people at the church, something that caught me by surprise. The church service was anything but "contemporary," so it just goes to show that one doesn't need to sell his soul out to pop-Christianity to get young people to come.
  • On Monday morning, my dad and I watched the 112th running of the Boston Marathon at the finish line (click here to see the pictures I took). Growing up, my whole family - as well as another family - went to the Marathon every year, and it was always one of the most enjoyable days of the year. I absolutely love the Boston Marathon, and if you've never had the opportunity to enjoy it, you must sometime. There are so many reasons I love this event, but perhaps the biggest reason is because I feel like it is so uplifting. No matter who you are, where you're from, what language you speak, everyone is cheering for everyone. In a world of winners and losers, everyone is a winner at the Marathon. When runners near the finish line and they stop because they can't make it, everyone in the crowd goes crazy, cheering them on the rest of the way. Usually, this will help give them enough energy to finish the race. It is such an uplifting experience. Sometimes, when a runner is out of strength and can't make it, other runners will put their arms around them and walk with them to the finish line. To me, a Marathon shows the best qualities of humankind.
  • Lance Armstrong ran in the Marathon and I was eagerly anticipating taking some good pictures of him in mid-stride. Well, I kept waiting and waiting and waiting. Finally, I saw a cameraman on a motorcycle coming down the road. Assuming that he was filming Armstrong, I looked a little ways behind him, thinking that Armstrong was a little ways behind. Problem was, the motorcycle was right even with Lance, and by the time I realized this, he was already past us and I was only able to take a picture of him from behind, and the picture is overexposed since he went from being in the shadows (where we were standing) to being in the sunlight. There is probably a sermon illustration in there somewhere!! But, you can see a picture of his back at least, if you look at the picture to the left. He finished in 2:50, by the way, and said that the Newton Hills certainly live up to their billing as being extremely difficult. He also said that the Boston Marathon is a lot harder than the New York Marathon, and that it is a whole different experience since there are so many spectators that are very close to the action.
  • Katie Holmes was supposed to be running in the Marathon, but I certainly didn't see her, or anyone that looked like her.
  • Last night, I attended a debate at Dartmouth College entitled "Can we be good without God?" It featured Christian commentator Dinesh D'Souza - Dartmouth alum and author of What's So Great About Christianity - and Dartmouth professor Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - who is an atheist. It was pretty good, though I don't think that either of the gentlemen are the strongest debaters in the world. D'Souza took a few cheap shots, I thought, and Sinnott-Armstrong had a few good points. Of course, I came down on the side of D'Souza. He will be debating someone at Harvard tonight - an event that my father, along with a few other people will attend.
  • This was the second real event I've attended at Dartmouth, and it was interesting to see how, even at an Ivy League school like Dartmouth, there are all the little quirks and mess-ups that any other school would have: the PA guy charging from the back because the mic wasn't working; the room being too hot because, according to one person I overheard in the audience, "They don't turn the AC on until the middle of July." Just stuff like that. I guess I have a certain image of how a prestigious institution like Dartmouth runs, but when it comes down to it, all human beings are pretty much the same, and every place has its own challenges.

1 comment:

Rondi said...

Wow! You've been busy writing lately! I'm just catching up with you...

I've been to that church in Woodstock. The young version of the Youth Ensemble plays there...and I do love that town. It's quite beautiful.