It was 5:30 pm on Thursday evening. The White Pigeon Library was having its annual Christmas Open House. The tree was decorated and three young ladies wearing white chef’s coats circulated trays of oven warm tiny quiches and chocolate delights.
A young man played “My soul is filled with joy” on a quiet keyboard. A raffle fundraiser was under way. About thirty people or so dipped into cheese balls and pineapple tidbits, sat, talked and listened and browsed books.
It had been a reflective rural day for me. I spent all morning in my nightgown sitting by the wood stove at home and working on my sermon for Sunday. I made a few phone calls, to the church treasurer and chair and a ministry mentee.
Then I drove
From Goshen I drove
Well, as it turned out, eleven of those thirty people at the White Pigeon Library Christmas Open House were members of my far flung rural congregation,
The musicians were Ben Nofsinger (keyboard) followed by the Bair Lane Christmas Band of Luke Nofsinger and Solomon Fenton Miller (guitar and mandolin). They had driven down from Marcellus,
And how did they get invited to play? One of the librarian’s is Judy Broadworth, also a member of
Soon after I arrived came another carload from Marcellus: mothers of musicians, Christine Nofsinger and Kathy Fenton-Miller, and Luke’s one year old son, Micah.
Are you counting? The last two Florencians to arrive, to make the total eleven, were Jan and Jerry Warstler who had driven
Rural vibrancy looks like this. We go the distance to make connections.
We love our kids. We support them in the arts, in sports, in discovering Christmas with Micah and the next generation. We thrill in seeing them share their gifts with the world.
We love each other. We support our links to our local communities. Chris, who is the librarian in Marcellus could be seen later in the evening comparing notes with Judy about library programming. I had no idea of Judy’s program that connected young teen girls with women working in a variety of professions. In a county with the highest teen pregnancy rate in the state, this is brilliant! I also learned that Micah’s mom, Daniela Zehr, was the invited guest for the next meeting of “Just for Girls” with the title, “So you think you can dance…” Daniela is a sexy salsa dancer who also happens to be at
We love food.
We love parties and celebrations to keep our spirits bright as we go home in the deep dark to our warm, quiet rural homes on county roads and small town lanes.
So, does this warrant all this driving, all this gas, all this time? Heck, at this very moment the U.N. Climate Change meeting it taking place in
Hmmm…in God’s economy I am not sure, but I think perhaps the answer is YES. I just know that as I was leaving the White Pigeon Library Sol and Luke were playing “What child is this” and an older White Pigeon couple was having the most delightful evening of their week. I know that when
I know that this gathering on a cold and bitterly windy night feeds my soul and sparks love and service. It is good.
Marcellus to White Pigeon
Sturgis to White Pigeon
White Pigeon to home