I had a great time preaching at First United in Truro. I always feel a bit clumbsy when I am in a highly structured service, but someone had placed a huge quilt (one that is touring Canada) so that it obstructed view from the guest preacher's chair. I was happy to not be the centre of attention for the whole service. I couldn't have put together a better service - the music and prayers were all themes that have become so close to my heart: unity, justice and faithfulness. But two things overwhelmed me. First, this is the church I spent my youngest years in. I was shocked to realize how commanding a view the preacher (and choir) get of the balcony seats where I used to hide out - Doh! But more than that I was flooded with memories and the memories triggered smells (or maybe vice versa, but as it is a scent free (practice) church I'm not sure). I could smell the pine of the great Christmas trees that the young people always used to gather beside before being dismissed for the children's programmes. I could smell the wood of the pews that was an anchoring presence in my early life. I even met with the couple who'se house always made me think of a shade tree - and they still sparkled.
As we were greeting folks leaving the church, a number of ladies told me they had had me for Sunday school - I apologized to them all. But one lady actually thanked me for apologizing, she said I would never do anything I was told. But she was very proud of me, I could see that in her eyes. For me that was worth the whole trip.
Well I'm back to Ottawa today, and back to the daily grind of my studies. Oh, I called this Smells and Bells because they had a wonderful bell choir playing throughout the service, when I realized this I was thinking my daughter (my oldest came with me) would just love how beautiful they sounded. It was quite something.