Upper Valley church of Christ Mission
The Gardner Report, April, 2023
Greetings from the Green Mountains,
As I started writing this, it was 58 degrees in the house and the temperature was dropping. The power had been out for 12 hours and we were just one out of 51,000 customers without electricity. That day and through the night we got 20” of heavy, wet snow. By the next afternoon—still without power—we booked the next to last room in the motel. We hadn’t even unpacked when we got word that the power was back on at our house. We checked out and our room wasalmost immediately rebooked by one of the many “de-powered” residents looking for a warm place to stay.
It has been an interesting month. At long last the church building’s 50-year-old oil furnace was shut down as we switched over to our new, very efficient gas system. In the process the thermostats were undependable and we had a few chilly starts to our Sunday mornings. With the heat not coming on in our fellowship hall we had no choice but to have a cozy study up in the library where there was heat. We still had a really good study in Joshua. A little like sardines,but at least we were warm! I called this our Wednesday Night "Thermostat" Class.
Nursing home ministries had been completely off limits to anyone during Covid. I don’t know about other ministers, but I remember the call, “Until further notice, don’t come!” But finally, at long last, I called Westboro House Assisted Living and they said yes! So, on a Wednesday night we gathered into their tiny living room for what I call, "Singing with the Seniors!" Before Covid this was something we did with them every year! We sang Christmas Carols with them for an hour and as usual, we left them with a big batch of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies for their post-sing party. We, however, went back to the building and had a meal and fellowship timetogether. It was a wonderful evening!
In the pictures below: Sharon meets a sweet little lady named Sally. Dottie recognized an old friend, Molly, that she had not seen since they were girls. She used to walk down to visit Dottie when she was completely laid up after back surgery over 60 years ago. They had not seen each other in all that time! Jim was a barber up in Hanover for 35 years and had a wonderful singing voice as we all joined in singing praise to God that evening. Molly and I got to be friends because her married name is Gardner. She is quite the joyful extrovert and I thoroughly enjoyed her positive personality. It was all just an excellent evening. Sharon and I were the last ones out the door and we got into a great conversation with Tina, the attendant. She wanted to know about the church, our location, and the times of our services and expressed an interest in coming for worship. I am trying to set up to begin my weekly Thursday morning Bible study again. Before Covid it was one of my favorite parts of ministry to sing some hymns with them and study with the seniors in their living room there at Westboro. I am looking forward to it for the delight of getting to know them and share God’s Word, but I also want to follow up with Tina that Sharon and I got to know that evening.
Thank you all for your love and support here in the Upper Valley. Winter is here with an attitude but God’s Work goes on. Your fellow servant in Christ,
Randy and Sharon Gardner