Rustlings (September 6, 2016)

Several people have recently asked, “What do you do when you’re on vacation?”

Chasity sat next to me on the plane from Greenville-Spartanburg Airport to Atlanta. Just before takeoff, she asked if Greenville was home or if I was headed home. I told her Greenville was home. She quickly picked up the pace of her conversation and informed me she and her husband were considering moving to Greenville. They were coming back in a few weeks for an interview. I told her I loved the city. After a short pause, she asked, “Do you know of any good churches in town?” I responded, “As a matter of fact, I do.” I’m taking them to dinner on their return trip.

Bruce dealt the cards for the first hand of the invitational poker tournament. As is the custom, several players at the table started asking where other players lived. When asked, I said Greenville, South Carolina. Immediately the young lady to my left exclaimed, “I graduated from Furman!” I told her who I was. She told me she had attended FBG off and on during her collegiate career and really enjoyed the services. She got knocked out pretty quickly. I’m sure she was an excellent student…not that great at poker.

On Sunday morning, I had the privilege of leading worship with Erin Spengeman Hutchison at Christ Episcopal Church in Las Vegas where Erin serves. She was the proclaimer for both morning services. I assisted with the serving of communion and the speaking of the final blessing and benediction. It was a joy to see one of our own serving so compassionately and competently in Christ’s church. We grabbed lunch after the services and enjoyed some conversation and mutual pastoral care.

In between Furman poker players and Episcopal services, I called home to touch base with some families in grief and turmoil. They were on my mind and heart. I wanted to call. I’m not sure I ever completely leave Greenville or the church when I’m on the road…but who would want to. This is a wonderful place to live and worship. I’m glad you’re here. I’m glad I’m here…

— Jim