See how inculturated I am? hahaha
Amazingly, a month has now passed since my arrival here in Eufaula. It really is a charming town. And the people are even better. I never thought I would be so busy in such a small Southern Catholic parish!
Really if you have a chance to visit you really ought to. And if you do...I have the place for you to stay--The Candlelight Inn.
It is literally about 50 meters from Holy Redeemer where I am living. The owners, George and JoAnn, are parishioners here and the nicest of people. My first week here they kindly invited me down for coffee and muffins and to see their place. I was immediately charmed by their beautiful home...and more so by them. Since then, we have been regularly having coffee in the mornings, sitting on the front of their wrap-around porch. There is no better porch in town..and no better way to come and imbibe all that is Eufaula.
Here is a front shot of their place that I stole from their website.
And here is their website so you can go ahead and plan your trip!!!
It is the only B&B in town and the only place where you will wake up and eat Banana Nut Pancakes while a retired trucker serenades you with your favorite Johnny Cash songs! Remember George strumming his guitar at the Talent Show???
You should hear him in his dining room!
Soooo...other than drinking Coffee with JoAnn and George, last week was largely filled by VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL! It was an intense four days to say the least. But I am sure they will also be some of the most memorable.
Father Shoemaker developed the whole idea and planned the whole thing....which as you will see gives us only more insight into the Creative and UNIQUE mind of this priest. The Teens of the Youth Group showed up every day to help put it on. About 18 kids came...and as best as I could deduce...they had a great time.
The overall theme for the week was “The Great Detective Vacation Bible School: Come and Solve the Mystery.” You can see the flyer Father made below to catch the kids interest.
Father divided his time for the week between two personalities--Father David and Friar Mutt. Friar Mutt served as the Special Agent for the week. He really had a “nose” for the job as he is a third German Shepherd, a third Blood Hound, and a third Chihuahua. Friar Mutt teamed up with the Chief of Police--Big Vic--in an effort to transform the kids into real Detectives, equipped to search through and find answers to the mysteries of the Bible. Thankfully, to take on such a big task, Fr. Mutt and Big Vic were joined by a team of F.B.I. (Faith and Bible Investigators) Agents to help with this whole process.
After taking the official “Detective’s Pledge,” the new recruits were equipped with Detective Badges, Notepads, and Pens with which they would be able to do their Detective Work. Quickly they learned the 5 essential questions any detective must be read to ask: Who? What? When? Where? and Why?
With this in mind, Day 1 was spent discovering WHO are the Friends of Jesus? After much detective work, they became familiar with the names of the 12 apostles as well as Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. Also they realized, Jesus wanted THEM to be his friends too!!! Shockingly, they then discovered that Jesus wants EVERYONE to be his friends! Pretty incredible discovery!
Once we had discovered WHO Jesus’ friends were, Day 2 was spent discovering WHAT the friends of Jesus’ do. The kids were shocked again to discover that Jesus’ friends had to love everyone---EVEN the kid who smelled bad in class, EVEN the kid who made fun of them, EVEN the kid who wiped his boogers on their backpack! But don’t worry...Jesus gives us his Spirit so we have the power to do this!
Day 3, we asked WHEN and WHERE Jesus’ friends are called to Love and Serve. Pretty much ANYTIME and ANYWHERE were the answers they found. Also on Day 3, the kids were given a Secret Mission which they first had to decode. Once the kids had decoded their Mission, Father led them down to the Church’s food pantry where they helped prepare food bags to be given out to the poor later on. The kids loved it!
Day 4, the detectives closed the case by asking WHY Jesus’ friends are called to Love and Serve Anytime and Anywhere. The answer seemed almost too simple--Because HE first loved us in this way! Because this is what we are created to do!
Here are some shots from through their week of investigating:
Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished,
one of his disciples said to him,
"Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples."
He said to them, "When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread
and forgive us our sins
for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us,
and do not subject us to the final test."
And he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend
to whom he goes at midnight and says,
'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey
and I have nothing to offer him,'
and he says in reply from within,
'Do not bother me; the door has already been locked
and my children and I are already in bed.
I cannot get up to give you anything.'
I tell you,
if he does not get up to give the visitor the loaves
because of their friendship,
he will get up to give him whatever he needs
because of his persistence.
"And I tell you, ask and you will receive;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives;
and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
What father among you would hand his son a snake
when he asks for a fish?
Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will the Father in heaven
give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"
As always, a pleasure to share with you.
May God give us the eyes of FAITH...so that we may DISCOVER him more richly this week.
Let's pray for one another.
And as always. Feel free to shoot me an email with a specific intention:
Peace, Prayers, Love, Joy, and 3 D's