- Published Date
I am looking forward to celebrating Easter Sunday with you. We have three services that morning, 7:00 am (Sun Rising Service, held outside), 9:15 am and 11:00.
On April 6th (a week from Saturday), I will be departing for Iraq, where I will spend 18 days on the ground assessing the current situation ten years after the US invasion, visiting key Sunni and Shiite Islamic holy sites, and visiting Babylonian, Assyrian and Sumerian archeological sites. I’ll have an opportunity to meet and talk with ordinary Iraqis, and come to understand what life is like in that volatile region. As you may know, I have developed a deep interest in the Middle East, and after my travels to the Palestinian West Bank (twice) and Afghanistan, the war-torn country Iraq seemed an important next place to view first hand. We will be traveling with armed security under the auspices of the Iraqi Government. Our guide is experienced in navigating throughout the country. I am especially excited to visit Ur, which is the oldest city in the world and the (mythological) home of the biblical patriarch Abraham.
I’ve arranged for strong pastoral presence in my absence. Betsy Tabor, our Intern Minister, will be the key pastoral care contact in case of an emergency (603-521-2844 cell phone). If the situation involves serious illness or death, the Rev. Maddie Sifantus (from our sister church in Wakefield) is also on standby to provide experienced pastoral care. Our Pastoral Care Team will also continue their visits and calls to members of the congregation who have asked for pastoral support. Iris Hardin, a member of our congregation who is finishing up her intensive pastoral care and chaplaincy training will also be able to provide resources and advice to Betsy and the Pastoral Care Team. If you are facing a pastoral emergency, illness, impending death, or are having a personal crisis and would like ministerial support, call Betsy Tabor, our Intern Minister at (603-521-2844 cell phone).
I will miss you while I’m gone, and look forward to returning with stories and experiences from Iraq.