I was hoping to sleep in just a wee bit this morning but noooo.....the phone rang at 7:37. Apparently our chef forgot to change the phones over (again)when he came in at 6 a.m. so they would ring in the manager's apartment and not ours. After Linda tried to explain that it was 7:30 and not 8:30, as the resident thought it was, she told her that her breakfast would be delivered in just a few minutes. At that point sleeping in was out of the question because we needed to go check the phones so we wouldn't get calls the rest of the day....The day began.
A few days ago I had searched, on the internet, for Universalist churches in the area. I found one 4 miles from us so we decided to go today. I have never been to one but Linda has. It was very interesting and thought provoking. The mission statement of this church is as follows: The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Winston-Salem is an inclusive, supportive community of spiritual freedom, evolving wisdom and ethical action. Today's talk was on "How Do You Like Yourself Best, in Solitude or with Companions" It was very interesting. There were readings from Henry David Thoreau and Lennon/McCartney (With a little help from my friends) although it turned into a great songfest with the entire group singing. Today's guest speaker was the Reverend Dick Weston-Jones, a retired minister from Ventura, California. He reminded me of the minister at my church, growing up. He was an older man with a pony tail in a suit and tie although my childhood minister wore the traditional black robe....which concealed his blue jeans and cowboy boots. He spoke of his time with monks in Greece and the solitude he felt being there. Mediation five times a day...a world of silence and reflection. It was a life altering experience for him that expanded his consciousness. It became even more rewarding to him when he returned to his hectic life of schedules and commitments.
It was refreshing to go to a service that was respectful of everyone's beliefs (or absence of any), their gender, ethnicity, sexuality and to see people free to express their views freely and without judgment. During the time for "Joys and Concerns" there were many people who lined up, at the microphone, to share information with the congregation. Many of them had stories related to "D" day....Linda and I forgetting that today is the anniversary of that important date during WWII. There were many moving stories that people spoke of.
The other thing that struck me was the simplicity of this "church". Folding chairs in a large room with a podium of sorts at the front. No stained glass...well, there was the small sun catcher piece that hug in the window. No ornate, over the top elevated pulpit or gilded fixtures. The place was packed with people in their "come as you are" attire. Jeans, shorts, some dressed up.....anything was a possibility. Prior to the service at 10:30, they hold a Sunday morning forum from 9 until 10. Although we didn't go to that, they sound very interesting. Today's discussion was on Steven Feldman's book, "Compartments". Steven Feldman is a professor of medicine at nearby Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.
After we left there, Linda and I returned to Creekside and had lunch with the residents. We ate with Flo..she is from Brooklyn, NY and her deceased husband was in the Marines for 30+ years. He passed away four years ago. She is a spunky woman, having raised two boys on her own while her husband traveled the world in the service. She said that they typically were transferred, to a new base, every 18 months. It was very interesting to get to know Flo....lunch was great too. Home made coconut creme pie for dessert. Yum !!
Tomorrow we are going to go our and drive around to check out campgrounds in the area. We'd like to find some, within a reasonable distance, that we can take our rig to on our days off and relax. We'll let you know what we find.