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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
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April 17, 2012     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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Wednesday, April 18, 2012 PAGE bpirit of JEFFERSON and FARMER'SADVOCATE The journey into the mountains Psalm 121 was the first psalm I read, Psalm 121, I was seven and that journey in my grandmother's King James ver- through the mountains was still fresh in sion of the Bible. I sat on the prickly my mind. carpet by the bookcase in my parents' The idea that help might come from bedroom, turning the thin pages with the hills seemed very possible. They care. I had opened the .............................................................. seemed closer to God -- more delicate book, its leather like heavenly beings than fea- cover cracked with age, to these words: "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help." Much later, I would learn that this psalm is the second of the po- tures of geography. Later trans- lations of the Bible have made the statement into a question: "... from where is my help to come?" However, it made sense to me to state that help comes from moun- tains and later readings of the psalms confirmed that sense. An- ems known as Psalms of other says, "I call aloud upon the Ascent, numbered 120 Lord, and he answers me from through 134 likely the ................. his holy hill." (Psalm 3, verse words that pilgrims sang as they trav- 4) In my studies for the priesthood, I eled up to Jerusalem on Mt. Zion. The Illinois prairie where I grew up on was flat and abounded in corn, soy- beans and corn. When I was nearly six, our family had taken a long car trip to Alberta, where my Canadian mother and her siblings had grown up, and to Brit- ish Columbia, where one of my aunts lived. We traveled through fiat corn and wheat fields to the Black Hills and on to the West. For the first time, I saw mountains, and for the first time, I fell in love -- or perhaps "in awe" would be more accurate -- as we passed though the U.S. Rockies and into Canada and the Canadian Rockies. When I first read learned that "Lord God Almighty" is a paraphrase of the Hebrew words "El Shaddai," which means literally, "God of the Mountains." The Hebrew scriptures are full of references to mountains: Noah's ark comes to safety on Mount Ararat; Mo- ses goes to the mountains to speak with God and receives the Law there: Jerusa- lem, the Holy City, is built on Mt. Zion. Not long after Jesus begins his minis- try, surrounded by great crowds of peo- ple, he goes up a mountain to a more secluded place, where his disciples come to hear what he has to say to them about living lives fully connected with the Divine and ful- ly respectful of God and one anoth- er. This unworldly wisdom, known as the Sermon on the Mount, is found in the Gospel of Mat- thew, chapters five through seven. It has become a tradition that each year, after the in- tensity of prepara- tion and devotion that leads through Holy Week to Eas- ter, my husband and I go away to the mountains to spend some very quiet time. The computer stays at home. We bring books, writing materials, oil pas- tels for drawings, a staff for walking ("mature" ankles and knees need some assistance in the mountains) and some music and a CD player. We find a qui- et little cabin or lodge in the Potomac Highlands somewhere, and for three days all we do is wonder at, and wander in, the marvelous heights, now gentled by time and wind and rain and ice and sun and flowing water, of the Appala- chian mountains. Once these mountains were high as the Rockies are today; they were formed by vast upheavals during the Ordo- vician period, 480 million years ago. Now, the awe these mountains inspire comes, not from their great heights, but from the sense that they were there long ago when the world was a very differ- ent place, when fish and invertebrates filled the oceans, and there was little animal life on the land. To stand at the top of Spruce Knob, the tallest moun- tain in West Virginia, or Bickle Knob, at 4,008 feet only 800 feet lower in ele- vation, allows some perspective. To see Route 33 from that height, with the cars moving along like ants, gives one a dif- ferent, detached view of humans and all their various busy purposes. To find a rock with an ancient fossil is to see the vast range of creation. In the mountains, we sit quietly and absorb the sorrows and joys of Holy Week and Easter We look closely at plants, trees, rocks, water and sky. We follow unfamiliar paths and look at the world from a different point of view. At bedtime, as we pray the daily office of Compline, the prayers to "complete" the day, we say, in the words of Psalm 31, "Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe, for you are my crag, and my stronghold; for the sake of your Name, lead me and guide me." We soak up the quiet peace and we return to our busy lives, refreshed --The Rev. Georgia DuBose is the priest at St. John's Episcopal Church in Harpers Ferry. Bulletin :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Bulletin ::;::;.,: Dul c u . Bulletin Feeding students: The Caring Cupboard, begun in August to provide needy Jefferson Coun- ty schoolchildren with shelf- stable foods on weekends, op- erates from the back entryway '~ of Shepherdstown Lutheran Church's parish house. The church is seeking food and " monetary donations, which may be dropped off at the Par- .... ish House, 110 N. King St, .... 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Thursday or mailed tO P.O. ..... Box 2008 Shepherdstown, WV- 25443. To volunteer, call Kar- ra Cubellis at 304-870-7266_ f~ Free food forthe needy: A ~7 free soup kitchen wiII-i6e held i~i at the Mt. Zion Methodist Church, 305 S. Charles St., ev- il. ery third Saturday of the month from I 1 a.m.- 1 p.m. Free clothing giveaway: The Charles Town Church of Christ, 1587 Old Country Club Rd., Charles Town, will be having a free clothes give- away on April 28. The doors will be open from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. For details, 304-725- 4 7730 or allanhornbuckle@ gmail.com. Yard sale and kids fair: A combined yard sale and kids fair will be happening at the First Baptist Church of Ran- son (614 Lone .Oak Road on ' Old Leetown Pike) on April 28. The fun begins at 8 a.m. Yard sale rental spots will be available at $10 per table or $10 for an 8 ft. by l0 ft. sale area. Call 304-725:8078 for reservations. For other ques- tions, call 304-886-6192. Pancake brunch: New Street United Methodist Church, corner of New and Church Street in Shepherd- stown, will be having their annual pancake breakfast/ brunch on April 28 from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Pancakes. sau- sage gravy, bacon, sausage, applesauce, juice, coffee and tea will be on the menu. The meal will cost $7 for adults and $4 for children 3 - 12. Carryout will be available. Youth rally to feature for- mer NFL player: The Youth Ministry of Asbury United Methodist Cfiurch in Charles Town will be having a youth rally starting at 7 p.m. on May 5. The featured speaker will be former Denver Bron- co safety Steve Fitzhugh. Known as "The chaplain of the pros," Fitzhugh speaks to thousands of youth each year throughout the country and abroad. His talks help young people make positive choices in life. His message challenges the students on critical issues of today: from dropping out to academic leadership; from peer pres- sure to positive values; from alcohol abuse to freedom from the chemical culture. This event is open to all 6th through 12th grade youths of all denominations. RSVP is requested, as space will be limited. To RSVP, con- tact the church at 304-725- 5513. If leaving a voicemail, please leave church's name and number attending. Fit- zhugh will also speak at the 10 a.m. Sunday, May 6 ser- vice at the church. Brown to speak of experi- ences abroad: Evangelist Marie Brown will be speak- ing at Middleway United Methodist Church on Sun- day, May 6 at both the 8 and 10:30 a.m. services. Brown has traveled to China, Myan- mar, Vietnam, New Zealand, and Malaysia. The communi- ty is invited to come and hear her message of hope. For de- tails, contact the church of- fice at 304-728-4770. 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