Today I am writing from Monterey on the west coast, about 100 miles south of San Francisco, after a deviation through the Yosemite National Park. It is Sunday 4th November, and the end of daylight saving on the west Coast. We had decided that as we had so little time on this stop that we would (I don’t know how to say this) skip church this one Sunday. After half a day in the resort town yesterday we had our usual desire to “escape to the country” which happened to be the little nearby community of Carmel by the Sea. It is a curious place which prides itself on having no street lights, no house numbers only names and although it didn’t say so, some of the most expensive Real Estate hereabouts. It is quaint, and unlike many places we have been through has a real pride in its yards (gardens).
Significantly it has a Roman Catholic Basilica dedicated to Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo. This was the second Mission founded by Saint Junipero Serra. He made Carmel his home and HQ for the founding of his 9 missions. It is a sanctuary of quiet and meditation and looked glorious in the morning sun. Remember we said we would skip church? Well we just had a peep, and immediately entered a conversation with two ladies setting up a display outside about the Week of Prayer for Vocations to ministry in the RC Church. People were peeping through the open church door and taking photos and I commented that it was unseemly whilst the service was in progress. “Well why not go in” was their comment. We protested our shorts and tee shirts....and found ourselves on the back row of a full nave! Communion had finished and we joined the Post Communion Prayer and listened to the inevitable notices, especially concerning vocations. The final hymn was ‘Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me’, one of our favourites. We were blessed and sent out in the Peace of Christ. Have you noticed how God always finds a way of meeting our needs? Skip church? “No way,” says the Lord, “but today I will make it easy for you!” He made our day.
With love and blessings to you all.
John and Jane