Ethics of Drilling Excerpt: Effects on Poverty and Social Injustice

One is forbidden from gaining a livelihood at the expense of another’s health.
Rabbi Isaac ben Sheshet, Responsa  #196

We believe that we serve God through establishing justice – and economic gains that come at the expense of harming others are unjust. Many towns in Pennsylvania have already gone through one or more cycles of boom and bust from oil and coal production.  Typically, these cycles have brought riches to few but lasting economic and social problems to many, ranging from depressed economies to scarred and infertile lands.  So far, the Marcellus Shale developments, especially without taxes or impact fees in place, seem more likely to continue this destructive pattern than to break from it.  In addition, illegal or ethically questionable practices by drilling companies have set neighbor against neighbor.

This needs to change.  Strong state or even national level regulation could help prevent a “race to the bottom” by either smaller units of government or private citizens.  It would also help prevent a “not in my backyard” mentality, whereby local groups oppose drilling in their area while still using natural gas extracted from other areas without concern.

A fee or tax system on current and future operations is imperative, and it should take into account not only short-term costs to communities, but the broader, longer-term issues such as mitigating climate change by investing in clean, sustainable energy technologies and long-term sustainable community economic development.  Knowing what we do about the history of extractive industries in Pennsylvania, we believe that it would be unethical to move forward without trying our utmost to ensure that past mistakes are not repeated.

Therefore, PA IPL can support drilling only when a state-level system is in place to prevent the repetition of such “boom and bust” cycles and to encourage long-term, sustainable economic development in communities where drilling takes place.  Furthermore, PA IPL supports efforts to help communities cooperatively resolve conflicts engendered by decisions about drilling.

Distortions to our political system

You shall show no partiality; you shall not take bribes, for bribes blind the eyes of the discerning and upset the plea of the just.
Deuteronomy 16:19

One important reason why our nation has moved so slowly to address the increasingly urgent crisis of global climate change is that fossil fuel companies have spent millions and millions of dollars trying to convince politicians to look the other way.  It is clear that many companies involved in developing the Marcellus Shale are behaving in a similar fashion.  This creates a system that is the exact opposite of what our faith traditions teach.  Instead of valuing the “least of these,” instead of protecting the most vulnerable, instead of listening to the voices of the people, our system is following the lure of money.  While this problem is obviously not limited to Marcellus Shale drilling, it is clear that a difficult situation is made much worse by this abuse of the public trust.

Therefore, we call on elected officials throughout Pennsylvania, whether serving in local, state, or national capacities, to refrain voluntarily from accepting any contributions from companies involved in the exploration, drilling, production, transportation and sale of natural gas.

Leadership in Faith Communities

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
Matthew 5:14-15

Because global climate change is as much a moral challenge as a technical or scientific one, it is imperative that communities of faith take leadership roles in addressing this challenge.  One important way to do so is to lead by example, to demonstrate the choices that can be made right now, without waiting for any additional laws, regulations, or other governmental programs.  Pennsylvania currently gets more than one-half of its electricity from coal-fired power plants and another quarter from natural gas.  If we stop fracking in Pennsylvania but do not switch to buying clean electricity, the overall effect will be to support a coal-based economy and ensure that drilling for natural gas will continue outside of Pennsylvania.  That would not be moral leadership.

Therefore we call on congregations and all faith-based institutions, to reduce their energy usage, switch to sustainable energy sources such as solar and wind energy, and speak with their constituencies about these choices.  We also call on faith-based institutions to refrain from entering into financial agreements with natural gas exploration or extraction companies until the issues highlighted here are adequately addressed.

Selinsgrove: Interfaith Creation Care

On April 19, several members of PA IPL attended an  interfaith workshop put on by the Rivertown Coalition for Clean Air and Water.   There were workshops and a wonderful closing Litany of Dedication, shared below.  Look back next week for Bill Sharp’s remarks, which he kindly scribed so that we can include them on the blog (thanks, Bill!)

As you plan events within your faith communities, think about when words, images, or ideas from other traditions might enrich a discussion in your community.  As you plan interfaith gatherings, consider the balance between appealing to all and sharing differences: what, when, and how best do we gain from interfaith practices, and what, when and how best can we gain from multi-religious opportunities?   

Interfaith Creation Care Symposium
Closing Ritual
Litany of Dedication
(Editor’s notes: this Litany uses a notation common to many denominations: leaders read the regular text, the congregation joins or responds with the bold. The full prayer comes to under 1.5 pages of 12-point font.)

Creator G-d, in the beginning your Spirit, your Wind, your Breath hovered over the formless earth, and with your Word, you created all that exists.  You breathed life into your creation.  you created green plats to produce oxygen so that your creatures might breathe fresh air.  To keeping the air pure and fresh for all creatures,
I dedicate myself.

Holy G-d, you separated the waters from the dry land and made rippling brooks, flowing streams,  rushing rivers, and immense oceans and seas.  You gave us the cycle of the seasons, the rain and the snow and the giant glaciers.  To keeping the water clean and pristine,
I dedicate myself.

Lord, you made the dry land that it might produce plants of all kinds and be a home to your creatures.  You formed mountains and valleys, small hills and great plains.  To the proper, sustainable, and healthy use of the land for growing crops — planting seed, growth, and harvest, for building homes, shelter, and other structures,
I dedicate myself.

G-d of beauty, you created plants to purify the air, to feed your creatures with nuts, fruit, berries, vegetables, roots; to provide shade from the heat of the sun; to make a beautiful world with all its variety for us to live in.  Help us to use the resource of wood wisely and to plant and renew these wonderful gifts.  Thereto,
I dedicate myself.

Most marvelous G-d, in your almighty goodness you created all the members of the animal kingdom, each to its purpose, interdependent, each doing its part — the animals of the sea, the air, and the land, co-existing with us.  Such wonders you have created: the ultraviolet light-seeing bees to pollinate the flowers, the goldfish with its eyesight superior to all other creaturs, the dog with its super sense of smell, the horse with its strength, beauty, and speed, the birds with brilliant plumage, the ffogs wiht their spring chorus.  Mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates you created them.  To preserve their habitat, to avoid and overcome threats to their extinction, to provide them with a pollution-free existence,
I dedicate myself.

Last, but not least, Holy Lord, you created us —created in your image to have relationship with you.  Out of love we were created, for you, Holy G-d, are love.  We were placed on the earth for a purpose.  For that purpose you, over time, gave us intelligence, the use of our hands to create, the desire to discover and invent, the ability to use tools to control our environment and to bring about bigger and better things.  you gave us fire to cook our food, to build community, to warm our homes and to cleanse.  To carry out the purpose for which you made us,
I dedicate myself.

Lord G-d, the first command you gave to us, your creatures, was to shamar the earth, a word with many meanings — not just to care for or have dominion over but to treasure, celebrate, protect, keep watch over, secure, defend, preserve, and keep in all its original pristine beauty. you have made us the protectors, the custodians, the defenders, stewards and guardians of your creation.  To these ends,
We dedicate ourselves.

Let us pray together,
Holy Lord G-d, help us to find ways to live lives that are simpler, that will use fewer resources, and to seek to use renewable resources.  Help us to share with others who do not have.  Give us the fortitude, courage and will to stand up for what is right and against injustice against your creation, the poor, and those who have no voice.  To those who would pollute the air and water; risk the health and welfare of your people; destroy the streams with runoff, spills, and mine waste; who strip the land; all for profit, help us say “No.”  To politicians who turn a blind eye to toxic waste and pollution in exchange for kickbacks and to those who issue gag orders not to discuss health issues caused by industry’s pollution, give us a voice to say, “No.”  To those who operate in darkness and secrecy to deceive the public, knowing that what they are doing is destructive and wrong, give us the strength to shout, “NO.”  To all who indiscriminately kill and destroy your creation, make us declare a resounding “NO”!  Enable us to carry out our task to be about the care and redemption of all that you have made and to carry out the mandate to speak publicly to the world in solidarity with the poor and oppressed, calling for justice and proclaiming God’s love for the world.  We ask this in your holy name.  AMEN

PA IPL in the papers!

From the June 17, 2012 Williamsport Sun-Gazette: 
Like many people, I struggle to reconcile the idealism of my moral beliefs and the practical demands of daily life. While I grew up in Montoursville, I’ve spent the last two years studying theology in Claremont, California. In order to apply this education at the practical level, I’ve returned home to serve as an AmeriCorps member with Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light (PA IPL), a religious response to climate change.

With two other members of PA IPL, I recently took a four-day bicycle trip from State College to Washington, D.C. Throughout, I often found myself lingering behind my friends, at times overwhelmed by the beauty (and mystery) of my native state. I’ve been familiar with these kinds of scenes all my life, but I’m used to racing past them in a car. At a meager 10 miles per hour, though, the glory of Pennsylvania’s forests and mountains is unavoidable.

During one of these reflective moments, I asked myself: How many people in this world feel this sort of connection to their homes, their surroundings? How many are fortunate enough to witness what is given to us? Of course, this is a loaded question. We know that the world’s climate is undergoing dramatic changes. With our millions of vehicles and our coal-fired power plants, Pennsylvanians are responsible for one percent of the world’s total carbon dioxide emissions (more than 101 countries combined). We cannot deny that our daily actions have a detrimental influence on the lives of others throughout the world, including both present and future generations.

While the scientific community attests to the certainty of this information, they don’t tell us how we should react to these claims. Science only gives us information. Religion, on the other hand, teaches us that we have a duty to those whom are touched by our actions. This sentiment is expressed in the following two commandments: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself'” (Matthew 22:37-40). We should notice that loving our neighbors is similar to loving God. In a global economy, though, we must admit that our neighbors are spread throughout the world.

I understand that some may see these religious values as hopeless idealism. From a practical perspective, I recognize that, taken seriously, religious duties of caring for our neighbors may require limitations on industry. For me, this hits home. During recent visits with my family, I’ve witnessed the thriving economy of the Williamsport area due to investments by the natural gas industry. My friends and family have benefited a great deal, whether through employment, gas leases, or increased business activity.

While I offer thanks for the success of my friends and family, I also want to work for a future in which Pennsylvanians (including my nieces and nephews) will enjoy an economy that can thrive beyond the lifespan of non-renewable resources. A Pennsylvania with jobs and clean air, with economic success in the present and the possibility of the same in the future. The two do not have to be mutually exclusive.

This is not to ignore the fact that difficult choices have to be made. The transition from an economy based on non-renewable resources (whether coal or natural gas) to one based on sustainable resources would require sacrifice. The mere thought of such a transition can be daunting, even overwhelming. However, we can meet this challenge with incremental changes in the way we produce and consume energy. The EPA’s new rules to limit carbon pollution from any new power plant are a good example of this kind of change. We can also make immediate and simple changes in our daily lives: Drive less, use compact fluorescent light bulbs, turn off the air conditioner.

From a practical perspective, these changes are an important step in the right direction, but ultimately I look at this problem from a religious point of view. From this perspective, I recognize that what I have called a “sacrifice” is, in fact, a religious duty. According to this duty, our goal must be to ensure the best possible future for our neighbors and future generations.

Klotz is a Montoursville High School graduate who has returned to the area and works as an AmeriCorps member for Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light.

Help Reduce Industrial Carbon Pollution
Published on Patch on June 14, 2012 
 On Tuesday, June 19th, a hearing will be held in the Philadelphia City Council Chambers from 5-8 pm, regarding a proposed EPA rule that, if allowed to be implemented, could save jobs, lives, and avoid painful, long-term debilitating breathing issues for millions of people in our state and across the nation.

This rule would do one simple thing. It would establish a standard for new (only plants built after the rule goes into effect – “fair play”) power plants for their industrial carbon emissions. Many of the other pollutants emitted by power plants have long been regulated but carbon pollution has not.

In Delaware and Montgomery Counties over 300,000 people are at higher risk of developing asthma for a variety of environmental reasons.

Fossil-fuel burning power plants currently emit more than two billion tons of carbon pollution and other toxic pollutants into the air each year. This pollution fuels global warming and increases the number of unhealthy air days, resulting in more respiratory ailments, heart attacks, heat-related deaths, and other harmful health effects. Power plants are the largest source of global warming pollution in the country, and there are currently no limits on the amount of greenhouse gases like the industrial carbon they can emit.

As a member of the clergy, someone at risk for asthma, someone with a wife and friends who suffer with asthma, and someone who, along with you, will face the need to adapt to increasing climate change, I urge you to:

— Take part in the hearing in the Philadelphia City Council Chambers from 5 to 8 next Tuesday

— go to http://bit.ly/epa_carbonrule and send a comment directly to Lisa Jackson at the EPA

Your voice is needed now to support the proposed protections and to counter big polluters who are spending millions to get Congress to block the EPA’s action.

Thanks, Rev. Douglas B. Hunt
Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light  – http://paipl.org

From the Centre Daily Times on June 2, 2012
(Here is what it looked like in the physical paper, pictures and all.)
We were nervous about our first meeting with a congressional staffer. Why should they listen to regular folks like us?

But Sarah Wolf was welcoming, and we had a good conversation about climate change, energy efficiency and the EPA.

As we were saying goodbye she asked, “Aren’t you the people who rode your bicycles down here from Pennsylvania?”

Yes, we said. Three of us had ridden our bikes more than 200 miles in four days. Along the way we spoke at colleges and churches, and we stayed overnight in homes and community centers.
In the jaded world of Washington, that action — and the conviction that drove us to do it — impressed Rep. Thomas Marino’s staffer more than anything we had to say.

This is why our organization, Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light, believes that people of faith must take the lead in responding to the threat of climate change.

Throughout our four-day bike trip, we often found ourselves lingering, at times overwhelmed by the beauty (and mystery) of the Tussey Ridge, Shade Gap and Wolfsburg Mountain. Of course, we’ve seen these kinds of scenes all our lives, but usually when racing past them in a car. At a meager 10 miles per hour, though, the glory of Pennsylvania’s forests and mountains is undeniable.

People everywhere feel similarly about their homes and their surroundings. We are creatures of the land, bound intimately to the fate of our environment. Yet we know that the Earth’s climate is undergoing dramatic changes, that our daily actions have a detrimental influence on the lives of others throughout the world.

Scientific experts attest to the certainty of this information. They tell us that Pennsylvanians, for example, are responsible for 1 percent of the world’s total carbon dioxide emissions (more than 101 countries combined). But science cannot tell us how we should react to these claims.

Religion, on the other hand, teaches us to look beyond our self-centered actions, to see the broader implications of our acts and to sacrifice present pleasure for future gain.

In ancient Judaism, the people took sacrifices from the harvest to the Temple. Christianity sees Jesus’ actions as the ultimate sacrifice to redeem the whole creation. When Muslims fast during Ramadan, they sacrifice daily food and drink to focus on ultimate dependence upon God.

Transitioning away from our current wasteful practices, getting out of our cars and onto our bikes for example, is a kind of sacrifice. It is a sacred act that transforms daily actions into a means of ensuring the best possible future for our neighbors and for future generations.

At PA IPL our primary task is to help congregations and individuals see energy efficiency and the purchase of alternative energy as sacred acts. We know sacrifices now — doing without air conditioning, driving less, biking more — can help stave off the worst effects of a warming world.
These individual actions are important, but as we said to our congressional representatives, we need our government to make changes, too.

Legislation in Congress right now can lead the way in making government buildings more energy efficient, and new rules from the EPA can ensure that future power plants are held to high standards in reducing dangerous carbon pollution.

Climate change is a civilization-challenging crisis; scientists have been warning us for decades. It is time to follow what our faiths have taught us: a little sacrifice now can mean a better future for everyone.

Kris Klotz is an Americorps volunteer and Jonathan Brockopp is a board member of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light. Both are from State College and can be reached at info@paipl.org.

Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/2012/06/02/3215535/peddling-climate-concerns-in-washington.html#storylink=cpy

Cycling days 5&6

I’m writing this now from home in State College – hard to believe this adventure is over, it was such a whirlwind. We are so grateful to those of you who helped make it possible – we felt buoyed by your good thoughts and prayers and gratified by your continued outpouring of donations: we beat our goal of $3,000 for PA Interfaith Power and Light! That means 6,000 dollars, thanks to our matching grant from IPL national.

Our last day on the road was very pleasant – Joyce made a cyclist’s dream breakfast of eggs Benedict and asparagus, and we looked over maps while planning our final 35 miles into Washington. Just as we prepared to leave for our lunch meeting in Poolesville, though, Peter discovered his tire was flat again. Taking the tire apart he found, much to the surprise of his thumb, a small wire sticking through the tire. Good thing he has nine other fingers to play piano for Bernadette Peters tonight …

We had a great lunch meeting with representatives from local Presbyterian, Lutheran and Reform Jewish congregations, and afterwards, Peter quickly dashed over to the Presbyterian Church to have a look at their buildings. We are going to miss Peter and his readiness to share his knowledge and expertise so freely with others, but our loss is Maine’s gain.

The day turned quite warm (an amazing contrast to the freezing weather we had only a few days earlier), and we rode through some beautiful country on our last leg to Washington. The concentration of wealth was palpable, however, and the comparison with the poverty of Central PA couldn’t be more striking. As the roads got busier and traffic more annoying, we hit the old C&O; canal towpath once again for our ride in to DC. The going was slow, but seeing the Potomac river and the old canal locks was pretty cool.

We rounded one bend and could see the Washington monument, then a little farther on we glimpsed the Lincoln Center and passed the Watergate hotel. Soon we were riding up Independence Avenue and knew we had really arrived! We stopped briefly at the King memorial and then rode by the Smithsonian, around the Capitol building and to Reformation Lutheran Church, where Pastor Mike Wilker was waiting for us with cold water and a warm embrace. We didn’t stay for long, however, as we needed to connect up with Cricket (PA IPL executive director) who had our “meeting clothes” for us and our marching orders for the next day. Cricket was attending the Interfaith Power and Light national conference at Gallaudet University, and as people got wind of our arrival, they came out to greet us (see a short video clip linked from the national IPL Facebook page). Finally, Rev. Canon Sally Bingham, founder of IPL, came out and gave us a real hero’s welcome, beckoning us to bring our bikes right into the conference center where about 100 IPL folks gave us a standing ovation!

Peter and I stayed that night with Mavis and Rev. Phil Anderson, members of Reformation Lutheran and wise in all things political, who helped prepare us for our visit to Capitol Hill on Wednesday. We then joined Cricket and Rev. Cheryl Pyrch (board member of PA IPL) and split into two teams to cover as many offices as possible. Because Congress was in recess we didn’t meet any actual members, but we were able to talk at length with staffers in (so I am told) a much less hectic environment. Many of our meetings lasted 30 minutes or more as we urged them to support specific bills on energy efficiency (the U.S. government is a huge landlord – let’s start by making these buildings energy efficient: good for the budget, good for the environment!) and support new EPA Clean Air rules. We spoke to Republicans and Democrats, seeking common ground and trying to break the deadlock in DC.

Thanks to Cricket’s great work, all of them had heard about our bike trip and asked us about it. One staffer said to Peter: “we get a lot of people talking to us about the environment, but they fly their planes here to do it – you rode your bike in.” I think we really made an impression as we spoke passionately about the many people in Pennsylvania choosing between food and fuel, and about the people everywhere already suffering the effects of climate change.

After a long day, we tied our bikes to the rack of the car that Cricket drove down, piled in and headed for home (watching all those hills whiz by with amazing speed). We have a lot of experiences to process, many things to think through and much work ahead of us. Without doubt it was a successful, transformative experience and one that I hope we can repeat year after year. Thanks for being a part of it!

Jon, Kris and Peter

Cycling trip, day 4

Well, our longest day is behind us and we are waking up to find ourselves a mere 30 miles from our nation’s capital. Most of these days we have been on a 50 mile per day pace but yesterday we pushed the envelope a bit by riding 70 miles so that we could enjoy the wonderful hospitality of  Joyce Breiner (who is the executive director of Poolesville Green and a member of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Gaithersburg) her husband Dave Yaney and their son Alex. Kris and I can’t seem to pull Jon from his bottle of Advil long enough to update the blog so I’ll be the guest-blogger in this update of our trip (only kidding about Jon’s Advil… in fact, it’s much stronger stuff I can’t mention here for legal reasons).

Yesterday morning, we left the home of Pastor Dennis and Linda Beaver in Fayetteville, PA for a 12 mile morning ride to breakfast at the home of the Hersch family of Waynesboro Heights, PA who are members of Pastor Dennis’ church. They were very generous hosts and we were very thankful for their wonderful food and great stories. Jon, Kris and I were hoping they might adopt us so that we could enjoy more of their company and avoid the long journey ahead of us.
Once on our bikes we made our way over the Maryland border and discovered the lovely farm country and rolling hills of northern Maryland. The day was overcast and we had read that there was a chance of showers but in fact we avoided any rain and the temperature was cool and comfortable for the long ride.

There were a number of possible routes that we could choose to make our way to Poolesville. Originally we were following the suggestions provided by googlemaps which now has a handy bike option. Jon also had suggestions emailed to him by his high school buddy named Bill who is an avid bicycle enthusiast in the DC area. We opted to split the difference and start with the former and switch to Bill’s directions as we moved closer to our destination. As we started to encounter more frequent and increasingly larger hills Kris and I became skeptical of Bill’s motives.  On some of the worst hills, Kris and I began to wonder just what harm Jon had done to his friend Bill to deserve this level of punishment.

Our late breakfast kept us energized until we were finally ready for a lunch break at 2:30 in the village of Middletown. We opted for the Main Street Café in Middletown which we all thoroughly enjoyed and recommend to anyone who happens to be travelling through those parts. After our meals… and desserts… and coffee, we asked the staff the best way to Poolesville and made our way south.

That afternoon’s ride took us through more beautiful countryside on back roads until we found an entrance to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal trail at Point of Rocks, MD. The C and O was a great break from the traffic of roadside touring and led us within 6 miles of our final destination in Poolesville.

Joyce and Dave have been wonderful hosts to us; holding dinner until our 8 pm arrival, providing a much needed shower, entertaining us with their wonderful stories and treating us to the best sleep of our trip so far. This morning we are enjoying another hearty breakfast and relaxing before we give a noontime talk at an interfaith gathering Joyce has arranged. After that, we have a mere 30 miles to Washington DC. With the end of our journey just around the corner, it’s hard to believe that we’re almost there.

Cycling trip, Day 3

Organizing a bike trip like this at the end of a semester is a bit of a stressor – it would be easier if I were on my own, but being responsible for two others and for making various arrangements has been tough. Don’t get me wrong – Peter and Kris are great companions, and so many friends and relatives have sent in good thoughts and prayers and donations that it has been overwhelming, but it really is a lot of work.
In fact, I had not realized the burden I was carrying until I let it go – this morning right in church. Toward the end of the service, Pastor Ed called for people to come forward to receive healing prayer. One member did, and folks surrounded her, putting their hands on her shoulders while the pastor anointed her forehead and prayed over her. It was a touching scene of support, and then he turned to us and asked us to come down to the front of the church.
And so the three of us did – stood in front of the pastor while all these people, perfect strangers, placed their hands on us while pastor prayed: for a safe journey, for our message of caring for God’s creation to be successful, for us to light up the hearts and souls of people we would meet along the way. I wept and embraced these complete strangers who were now to me like members of my own family.
The Methodist church of Orbisonia is a small church in a small town, like so many throughout Pennsylvania and the country. People are struggling, skeptical of outsiders and of politicians. Yet they are reaching out. They have acquired the old High School gym and converted part of it into an outreach center – they’re looking for $400,000 to complete the job.  It’s a beautiful dream, and I hope in a small way that PA IPL can help. Already Peter, in his matter-of-fact engineer way, has identified several ways that they can save hundreds of dollars a year in electrical costs (and carbon).  Just taking out the air conditioners during the winter, for example, would save a tremendous amount.
We arrived there as strangers and left as more than friends – that is what this trip is all about. Of course, the weather agreed, turning sunny and warm. Our ride out of Orbisonia was breathtakingly beautiful – through Shade Gap and Cowan’s Gap. Easy grades and gorgeous scenery – nothing better. We ate our lunch under the maple trees of Mountain View elementary school, even took a nap midday.  Somehow, though, the first 25 miles seemed so much easier than the second 25 miles. By 4, we were hallucinating about ice cream and finding the uphills so much longer than the downhills.
Peter and I were sure that Kris was underestimating the mileage…  But his directions held true and we finally arrived at the beautiful home of our hosts, Rev. Dennis and Linda Beaver, to a warm welcome, a hot shower and a cold beer!
Pastor Dennis is at the Evangelical Lutheran church in Waynesboro, but lives north of town. We’ll see the church tomorrow and visit with some members over breakfast. Already, we have shared many stories and many laughs – made all the more pleasant by Linda’s excellent lasagna. I feel full, well-fed, both physically and spiritually. I went on this trip to help others, but find that I’m the one who is being given so very much.
I wish for all of you a goodly measure of the grace that has surrounded us during this trip.
Jon (Kris and Peter)