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  • Pastor Nancy Switzler

Vacation reflections

Hello Everyone,

Scott, Lucy (the dog) and I had a wonderful time visiting three beautiful National Parks: Bryce Canyon, Zion, and Grand Canyon. We also spent a couple of nights at Lake Powell and rented a pontoon boat for an afternoon on the lake. All together we drove about 1,700 miles; walked (or hiked or ran) an average of 8 miles a day; and had a fabulous bike ride up and down Zion Canyon.

In my spare time I enjoyed reading but did not get around to reading any more of the book that I am sharing with you (so this message instead!). I also worked on a little painting of the view from our campsite at Zion. I was not able to complete the painting because the air was so dry it made painting difficult.

Scott and I have a tradition of purchasing Christmas ornaments when we visit new places. This year we purchased a beautiful butterfly that was made in the area (Dos Damas Designs). The wonderful thing about collecting Christmas ornaments is that we can then remember and share stories as we decorated the tree each year.

I also enjoyed much of the art from local indigenous peoples. One display had figurines identified as “storytellers.” I purchased a small figurine by artist, Marilyn Atson, of the Navajo people. The description:

The tradition of working with clay and telling stories had merged into a modern art form of “STORYTELLER” pottery dolls. The art of making clay effigies is as ancient as the Anasazi people who inhabited the deserts of the southwest many centuries ago. The Storyteller figurine most often depicts a grandparent who gathers his/her grandchildren around him/her to play the drums, sing songs, and tell stories of the Indian heritage and traditions.

I loved this description because it so much reminds me of what our worship services are meant to do…to gather and play musical instruments and sing and tell stories. Each week as we gather, we participate in the story of Jesus, who loves and cares for us. Jesus also loves and cares for the indigenous peoples here and everywhere even though these people have suffered from the actions of Christians. May we be a people who see the beauty of all people God created. And may we make love and respect and dignity for all key to our own stories.

I look forward to seeing you all on Sunday.

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