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Sunday, June 25th, 2006

Time Event
8:07a
Well, here goes
I'm getting ready to leave in a few minutes to go to the church for my last Sunday there. Gotta get through Sunday School, then worship, then a reception/luncheon/something afterwards. Gonna be on emotional overload.

My days and nights are still screwed up from jet lag, so I'm going to need an energy boost mid-morning.

Tonight is our Venture Crew's "Last Hurrah" photo party. And that will be sweet and sentimental and (I hope) a beautiful ending to saying good-bye.

Meanwhile, we went over to Yonder UMC yesterday. Had a monstrous long meeting, but don't have the problem with housing resolved yet. It may (please, God!) get resolved by tonight. If not, Plan B goes into the works, in all its weirdness.
3:01p
Habemus domum!
The Trustees Chair at Yonder UMC just called. We have a house! A nicer one that we looked at yesterday, with a chain-link fenced yard for our dog!

We can't get into it until July 10, so I've got to call the mover tomorrow and there'll be some adjustments and hassles getting things squared away, but I'm no longer "homeless."

I guess I can put my sign away and quit begging at the street corner now. (Though it did pay well. Darn.)
8:44p
Last Sunday at Tanner Valley UMC
Sunday School was a leisurely affair. I said good-bye to the kids in my current class (junior high youth). Then came worship.

The Christian Education chair presented me with a walking stick on behalf of the children and youth of the church. Then four senior high girls sang a special song for me that about broke me up. Deanne and Nikki gave a missions report on our trip to Africa. The Venturers (led by that_guy_zach and Nikki) presented me with the Cross and Flame award for local church scouting ministries. I preached my farewell sermon. It was all good, but emotionally draining.

Afterwards, there was much hugging and so on, and then we had a luncheon, followed by more hugging. I felt very loved but totally exhausted by the time I got home.

Then this evening, the Venturers had their photo party. It was very good. And we did, indeed, end the event with the singing of Auld Lang Syne, followed by "The Scoutmaster's Benediction" --
And now may the Great Master of all good Scouts
be with us until we meet again,
and may we follow the trail that leads to Him. Amen."

Amusing highlight of the day:

For my children's lesson, I used as props some of the souvenirs I brought home from Africa. One was a cane made of dark, polished wood with beautiful copper inlay work (I collect canes and walking sticks). I pointed out, though, that this cane would also help you in dealing with lions or bad men -- and I pulled it apart to reveal that it was a wicked-looking sword cane, to the shock of the whole congregation. The little boys in front of me got eyes as big as saucers. I looked up at the stunned congregation and said, "Oh come on -- you know you want one, too," whereat they all broke into laughter. Asking around later, I confirmed that most of them did want one. (The coolness factor of a sword cane is just off the charts.)

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