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Pastor's Piece:

Pastor's Piece - From John C. Holliday

Not another rock! That became a standing joke for my kids as we made our way through a visit to the Southwestern United States this past August. The rocks in that part of the country are certainly plentiful, but they also are cast in unique shapes, sizes and colors. Although I would not call myself a "rock hound" I have become captivated by the spectacular beauty of the geography of this region of the country, and the fascinating geological history that seeks to explain the origin of this rich landscape.

While the reds, browns, yellows and oranges of the rocks in the west were awe inspiring and unforgettable, the experience of these formations in stone has also given me a deeper appreciation for the thick green landscape that we enjoy in the east. The rocks of the west provide a rainbow of colors for all seasons, but the trees of the east provide a seasonal autumn celebration that remains one of my favorite times of the year.

At Prince of Peace the last few years we have been celebrating autumn with our annual Fall Festival. The day is marked by worship led by our Band of Peace followed by food and fun for folk all ages. It is time to celebrate the beauty of creation, but it is also a celebration of community and people. Most of all it is a celebration of the loving presence of our Creator who continues to demonstrate His limitless talent by creating constant beauty on countless landscapes.

As we enjoy the food of faith of the Eucharist and the tastes of Oktoberfest that will follow, we are also encouraged to remain diligent in our sharing of food with people near and far away who struggle to receive the needed nutrition to support daily life. A representative from the ELCA's World Hunger Appeal will be visiting with us this day to report on the efforts being made to reduce hunger, and to encourage us in our long tradition of sharing with the poor through food and financial resources. This annual gathering is truly a day to celebrate life, and to share in the work of our loving God who gives us this cherished gift and generously provides the resources for supporting it. The words of a beloved hymn help summarize the sentiment of this day:

"This is my Father's world, and rest me in the thought, of rocks and trees, of skies and seas, His hand the wonders wrought. This is my Father's world, why should my heart be sad? The Lord is King, let heaven ring; God reigns, let earth be glad!"

- Pastor John Holliday

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