Perry Congregational Church Annual Spring Meeting

This past Saturday, April 21st, thirty-seven Congregationalists, church & pastors gathered at the Perry Congregational Church for the annual Spring Meeting.  It was a wonderful time of fellowship that included the usual roll-call of the churches (how many pastors, delegates, & visitors), brief reports from each church about what they’ve been doing the past 6 months or year and their future hopes and plans, and other business “to come before the meeting.”  That sounds dull, but it never is, somehow.  The most exciting part of the morning meeting came after the coffee break when we were treated to a superb presentation by Pastor David Gardiner of the Roque Bluffs Community Chapel on his recent trip to Israel and the Palestinian Territories.  His pictures and his descriptions gave a wonderful overview of what is still there or has in recent years been, literally, unearthed, back to the time of Jesus.  Since Jerusalem was completely flattened by the Romans in the late first century, little remains, beside the famous Wailing Wall, of the actual buildings, but one photo, taken in Capernaum where Jesus lived during the years of his ministry, showed the ceramic tiled floor tiles that have been discovered in modern times, under what was layered on top, of the Jewish temple where Jesus would have attended and spoke, walking on those very tiles.  The present olive trees on the Mount of Olives are the likely not the same ones Jesus saw, but they’re in the same place where he retreated for prayer with his disciples on many occasions.  Pastor David’s trip wasn’t a group tour, although he made use of tours in some specific places where they were informative and helpful.  He made his own reservations and his own plans, occasionally having to alter them due to “unrest” in certain areas; however, he had little real difficulty moving about from place to place, and has been most generous in sharing his experiences with several different groups. We’re hoping a longer more complete presentation may be arranged in this area sometime in the future, since this presentation was much less than half of what he has available to share.  It was fascinating and moving, especially to see the old and the new mixed, such as a man carrying an enormous tray of bread on his head, delivering or selling, is unclear, but … he’s talking on his cell phone!

The delicious luncheon that followed was also a wonderful time of visiting and sharing, and the closing Communion service brought all to a perfect close.