This morning I preached my final sermon at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Kenai, Alaska. It has been a wonderful several weeks, tinged with sadness at not having Ruth with me. I fly out on Wednesday and arrive home on Thursday.
Without a pastor, this church has been managing quite well. The people have pitched in and helped with set-up and general operations, and Laurinda O’Connell has served as operations manager. There was interest in a Christmas Eve service, but no one had begun to prepare it. I agreed to do it, and I prepared an adaptation of the Lessons and Carols service. The plus to that service is that it can involve many people. The minus is the challenge of coordinating everyone. We had a beautiful evening with only a minor hitch, and ended singing “How Bright Appears the Morning Star.”
Christmas Day in the Cook house was a low-key affair until evening, when Chris’ brothers Phil and Kevin came over, with Phil’s wife and son and Kevin’s dog. Chris fixed an amazing dinner of prime rib, with pumpkin pie for dessert. There was so much food, we ate prime rib and pumpkin pie all week! Phil and Kevin are very interesting and I learned a lot about Alaska and about them. I’m not sure about which I learned more.
The rest of the week I worked on today’s sermon and RUF business. One day a member of the church took me hiking through the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. You can find pictures of the Alaskan scenery on my Facebook page. I visited the housebound gentleman I saw last week. He is looking better, sleeping better, and is in better spirits. He is facing a long recovery to full strength. Pray for him!
My Christmas Eve sermon is here.
Today’s sermon is here.
Here I am all suited up and on a hike into the Alaskan wilderness: