The morning was cold. Brrr. I succumbed and wore a winter coat for the first time. The cat water wasn't frozen and we had no snow that I know of. Just north of Meadville I began to see traces of the white stuff mostly on unheated roofs. The sun was in and out. The drive to Trinity Memorial Episcopal Church in Warren, PA included some very narrow roads which required getting onto the berm slightly to pass. I only saw one Amish buggy tho there are many families along that back country route. It's a beautiful drive whichever roads you take.
I seem to have saved the best congregation for last in my year long wandering among mostly Diocese of NW PA Episcopal churches. Yes, you will remember that I was greeted by name at St Mark's in Erie but that was prepared, not spontaneous. Today nobody knew me, not even the priest, but everyone acknowledged my presence with smiles, greetings or long distance nods. They knew I was a visitor and they did their best to be welcoming. After the eucharist many people said they were happy to see me and started short conversations. At coffee hour I had an extended one with a gentleman with whom I have mutual friends. I left with warm feelings about that congregation. Of course it is 2 hours from home so I probably won't be back, especially since I plan to settle somewhere in January.
I regret not taking more photos so people who may never get there can see more of the beautiful building. I was preoccupied by people.
The front of the chancel is really light and didn't photograph well. Had thought about it I would have tried to take a photo with flash to see if it was more visible. I was surprised to see green on All Saints but it is an option. The boxes under the altar are "shoeboxes" for children for Christmas.
The organ was not used today and was dark. This photo of it was from 2010, I believe at the priest's installation. I took a photo of the pianist and the opposite alcove but it is one of those mistakes that aren't worth publishing. Speaking of the pianist, he is pretty good. He played and sang during the offering. He seemed to be too close to the mic so I couldn't understand the words. His voice was ok otherwise. There was no choir. The congregation sang pretty well.
No, the priest is not holding up that blue ball. Ha.
I took the long way home, choosing to follow the Allegheny River to Tidioute before wandering thru more back county to Titusville then on to Meadville. It was a beautiful afternoon.
This is probably the last visitation I will make to a "new" parish. There are others I would like to see and meet but most are farther than I care to travel in winter. There are several I would love to join but they are too far to really get involved. I plan to revisit the churches I have learned to care about before January. I hope to settle somewhere after the first of the year but I'm not making promises.
Thank you to all those who have greeted me, embraced me, ignored me, endured me, advised me these last dozen months. I'll see many of you next week at convention.
The list of churches I've visited with links to my photos and thoughts follows this post.