1004.6 miles, actually. In 36 hours!
I set out on Saturday morning for Athens, Ohio, where I spent the afternoon visiting W and C, both of whom formerly served as priests in the (apparently all-but-defunct) Ordo Arcanorum Gradalis. We had a great chat in front of the fire, in their lovely home in the woods, designed by C. W was a huge help in my dissertation research, but we had never met in person. It was an honor and a delight to finally do so. Y’all are Real Priests, forever. The day only got better as we headed into Athens for dinner with H, also a wonderful priest (of the Leadbeaterian variety) who is briefly on our continent for his day job. I wish I could have stayed longer, but worsening weather and dropping temperatures dictated a quick departure.
When the driving got too rough, I stopped overnight in Richmond, Indiana. This brought back fond memories of a retreat at Earlham College, some years ago. (Yeah, Quakers!) Yesterday morning, I woke up to a half an inch of snow and 17 degrees. An exchange with the attendant at the local gas station:
Me: So how are the roads this morning?
Gas Station Guy: Are you from around here?
Me: No, I’m from Tennessee
Gas Station Guy: Then, for you, they are bad!
I gritted my teeth and drove on to Indianapolis. As the sun came up, the driving improved a lot. I met up with my friend R and his wife-to-be K, and their insanely cute dog F. R and K have been attending the local Evangelical Orthodox parish – these are the EOC folks who did not join the Antiochians or the OCA. A (somewhat simplified) Eastern liturgy with Western hymns, space for spontaneous/charismatic worship, and preaching that combines Orthodox theology and evangelical delivery. Yes, you can have all that in one church – I am surprised that the emergent, “generous orthodoxy” people have not paid more attention to the EOC. http://www.evangelicalorthodox.org/ I have worshipped with the EOC before, but this was my first visit to the Indianapolis congregation – truly a warm and welcoming community.
Let this be a warning to pastors of indie churches everywhere – you never know when I might turn up in your congregation! 🙂 As Sister Mary Sue (http://orderofsantaignora.wordpress.com/) says, I’m in your church, worshipping your God!
After a very nice lunch with R and K, I hopped on I-65 and headed back to Nashville. Needless to say, I’m exhausted. Thanks to everyone along the way for the hospitality. More when I recover….