2nd October 2018
Yesterday Jane and I went solo. After time with our son and daughter-in-law in Atlanta, friends in Columbus and Lima Ohio, we are now in Pennsylvania on the banks of Lake Erie. With their hospitality, thoughtfulness and advice they have prepared us for the next ten weeks! It is quite nice to be on our own, though no doubt, there will be times when we need them!
On Sunday last we went to church with our friend Judy. The African Methodist and Episcopalian Church of St Paul. It is a big church with a congregation about the size of St Mark’s. It is rather dilapidated but wonderfully welcoming. Its inside architecture was distinctly Methodist, but its liturgy had hints of the Book of Common Prayer and a fabulous “blues, soul, Jazz” swing to its music. It was rather moving, the Pastor Eddie had twin anxieties, his brother Wesley is terminally ill, and he has to make his Church Statement to the Methodist Conference this week. They will decide if he should continue as Pastor there as they do each year. He sought our prayers.
This just emphasises the continual contrasts in this vast country. After driving over the plains of Ohio, vast and totally flat with wheat and corn growing and being harvested, we are on the banks of Lake Erie. On the beach it is like looking out to sea, with no Isle of Wight in the distance. 250 miles by 57 miles: Canada is out of sight. In a strong wind the waves were rolling in, but yes it was a lake because I tasted it!
Another advantage of being alone is that we have escaped the wall to wall coverage of the Brett Kavanaugh hearing. America is taking this situation incredibly seriously. Similarly some of our conversations with strangers have revealed the deep divide concerning the presidency. We try hard to listen without being judgemental.
Today we continue our journey towards Niagara Falls and will report back later in the week.
With every blessing
John and Jane.