Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall Adventure

We live in one of the single most beautiful places in the United States, and often we remind ourselves that what we lack in urban attractions we more than gain in mountain magnificence. This was the weekend I was to preach at the little mountain church in Silverton, and they were kind enough to offer to let our family stay overnight in their unoccupied parsonage next the church. So we packed up the crew (and yes, it was everything but the kitchen sink, or at least it felt like it) and off we went. Silverton is really not all that far from us, just a mere 60 miles, but it is over some windy mountain roads so it takes longer than you'd expect to get there. We stopped for a few photos along the way, which I am sharing here, and to check out a possible campground for next summer. Here is a sample of our fall color, with aspens all ablaze in golden fire amidst the evergreens.

The camping area we checked out is awesome, and the silt in the creek is colored from the minerals left over from old mining activity.  Hues of greens and rusty orange made a very interesting effect, and the kids just had to try and skip a few rocks.

The parsonage and church were directly across the street from the library/school/park so they all headed over  to burn off a little energy.

Silverton's population during late fall and winter is only about 450 people or so, and during the summer swells to about 2500 with tourists checking out the real Old West and the narrow gauge railroad that travels from Durango and back each day. We have never had the pleasure of taking that trip as it is fairly expensive, but I can only imagine how beautiful it must be, especially right now in the fall. Many of the original buildings are still standing from the mid to late 1800's.

The church in Silverton...and in fact the entire designated as a National Historic site. The sanctuary recently underwent a renovation of several hundred thousand dollars, of which the congregation raised over $80,000. Sounds fairly significant, right? Now consider that on a good summer day during their high season they have attendance of about 30 people and during the winter between 8 and 10. Now that $80,000 sounds a lot more impressive to have been raised, doesn't it?

Walking into the sanctuary is a uniquely sacred experience, it really feels that way. You feel a connection to the faith of the hundreds of miners who lived and often died right there in this little town. The renovation was tastefully done, and it still reflects an old town church feel but with an added warmth that lends itself to allowing one to pause and reflect.

I bet you can not guess what our music accompaniment was...a marimba and a guitar! And extremely talented musicians manned them. It was so unique, and made the morning quite special. The sermon was OK, I am not a gifted public speaker so I hope only that the message overall came through despite my lack of skill. I will say it was quite a privilege to preach from the pulpit of this remarkable little church, something I never imagined myself doing in a million years. We had a great time visiting with the warm members of the congregation afterwards and Kenny talked the ears off one of the men who politely listened and feigned interest :-)

Then it was on to home, where we are relaxing a bit this afternoon before readying ourselves for the week ahead.

Hope your weekend was as nice as ours was!


Lenore said...

What a lovely little church! So glad you had a good don't have to go far to get away for a night! Loved the pictures you shared, as always! Thanks for posting them!

Anonymous said...

Feigned interest with Kenny--never! I bet he was captivated by Kenny's charm and delight. And I am so sorry that I will not get to hear you in the coming weeks. You are a spiritual mentor and guide to me.

Thank you,

Dee said...

Great photos! You really do live in a gorgeous part of the USA. I hope we can come out and visit you one day..

4texans said...

Beautiful! What a lovely little church, is it UCC?

Anonymous said...

For some reason I read "burn a little energy" as "burn a little effigy". Don't know what is going on inside my head today....