Notes from the leadership journey!

Category Archives: Travel

A Tennessee Thanksgiving

In recent years, our holiday tradition has been to travel to Tennessee to visit my family for Thanksgiving, and to stay home, near Joleen’s family, for Christmas. Going to Tennessee gives the kids a great opportunity to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa Willis and other family members!

On Wednesday, we picked Ethan up from school and began the lengthy drive to Cleveland, Tennessee. After making a pit stop overnight, we arrived at my family’s place at 12:45 p.m., just in time for Thanksgiving dinner.

On Friday, we went to the Ocoee River, which was used for the canoe slalom during the 1996 Olympics. The water was pretty low where the visitor’s center is located. There are also a couple of bridges connecting paths on both sides of the river. We spent a lot of time walking on the rocks in the middle of the river. (We enjoy rocks; that’s one of the reasons we like going to Maine.)

On Saturday, we went to the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga. It was a nice—and tiring—afternoon, seeing all kinds of (mostly underwater) creatures!

This morning, we visited the New Covenant Church of God where Joleen and I attended while we were in seminary. It was good to see a few people we knew, especially Jackie and Cheryl Johns, pastors and seminary professors. They also officiated at our wedding at New Covenant.

The family got together this afternoon and exchanged Christmas gifts.

This has been a quick trip due to the school schedule (living with a school schedule is new to us, now that Ethan is in kindergarten). Tomorrow, we head back home.

Maine Vacation 2012

It’s been a slow-blogging summer, but as summer comes to an end, I thought I’d post some photos from our summer vacation in York Beach, Maine. Back in July, we returned to the same place as last year. Our time there was very relaxing, and the weather was great. It was hot the day weContinue →

Lovely Lane

Our local United Methodist churches sponsored a two-day confirmation bus trip, hitting some prominent regional sites and ministries within our tradition. Yesterday, I wrote about our visit to Strawbridge Shrine in Maryland. From Strawbridge Shrine, we visited the historic Lovely Lane United Methodist Church and Lovely Lane Museum in Baltimore. Lovely Lane UMC, listed onContinue →

Strawbridge Shrine

Earlier this month, the Clearfield Cluster of United Methodist Churches (churches from the Clearfield area) conducted a two-day confirmation bus trip for youth who are either preparing for confirmation, or have been confirmed since the last bus trip a few years ago. The trip, with 30-something people, included stops in the Harrisburg area (the PennsylvaniaContinue →

Surviving the Storm

A few days ago while in New York City, I wrote, Bracing for the Storm. A monster storm, which moved across the country, went through New York City dumping snow and ice. There were concerns about how the weather would impact the final day of our seminar, but we were, in act, able to completeContinue →

Connecting the Church in Mission

We just returned from New York City where we participated in a seminar at the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM), whose motto is “Connecting the Church in mission.” We survived the storm; more on that in the next post. The three days were pretty intense, including two days at GBGM and one day visitingContinue →

Bracing for a Storm

The storm that’s headed this way has been a popular topic of discussion for our group ever since we met in Harrisburg on Sunday for our orientation; in fact, the intensity seems to be increasing as the hours go by. As we go to sleep Monday night, there is a winter storm watch here inContinue →

A Glimpse of New York City

Today was our first full day in New York City. We are here for the Global Ministries seminar. We spent most of the day at the General Board of Global Ministries learning about what the UMC does around the world. It was a great day (we’ll reflect on what we’re learning later when we haveContinue →

New York, New York!

Yesterday, I wrote 4 Details About Our Trip to New York. Earlier today, we drove to Harrisburg to meet up with the group from our conference going to the General Board of Global Ministries seminar. We arrived in New York City this evening, walked to the subway station to get passes for our time here,Continue →

West Virginia Vacation, Day 6

Ethan was the first to spot a deer during a picnic lunch today. It stuck around long enough for a few photos, including this one …