A quick summary of our journey since Monterey on the 5th November. A wonderful drive down the Pacific Highway. Reminiscent of Cornwall but on a grand scale! So many “vista” opportunities and a whole beach full of basking Elephant Seals. A stop over at a seaside town called Morro Bay. About the size of Swanage, but what they didn’t say was that over it loomed a three stack coal fired power station. It has been decommissioned since 2008, but the authorities still can’t decide what to do with it! Never the less it was still a pretty stop over. We were heading for Santa Barbara but made a diversion because a report that migrating Monarch Butterfly’s had been spotted at Pismo. They had come all the way from the Canadian Rockies. To understand this phenomenon you need to read the novel Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver. Galloping along a bit was Santa Barbara, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Phoenix Tucson and a flight back to Atlanta where we are catching our breath with our family.
The sights and sounds are in many ways indescribable, and I know that our photographs just don’t capture the awe inspiring grandeur that filled the horizon. At the same time the news was full of the reports of terrible forest fires that we were travelling ahead of, but equally made aware of by the lingering evidence of fires earlier in the year.
One highlight to recall was Las Vegas. Not because of the glitz, or that we were meeting some friends there, but because it was Remembrance Sunday, (or Veterans Day in the USA). We found Christ Church Episcopal Church out of town and situated in a shady cloistered campus. They were celebrating Veteran’s Day and we were so pleased, as a great sadness had come over us that we would not be in Swanage for our beautifully ordered services. We had an excellent Sermon, Silence, Tapps (the last post) and all Veterans, including me were asked to stand, and thanked for our service, very moving. We were entertained to a wonderful spread of refreshments after the service, it was hard to leave.
Now we are in our last few days and anticipating our return home. I have one last task, preaching at the Church of the Epiphany, our home church in Atlanta, Jane is reading one of the lessons. It is Christ the King and your readings and ours will be the same. I have asked for the Hymn ‘How great though art’ and I want to reflect on the awesome wonders of our visit, the challenges faced by both our countries and that above all we must place our trust in the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. So please pray for us on Sunday.
With every blessing, John and Jane.