At the invitation of Pastor Phil Bauman, pastor of United Church of Christ Medfield MA, Kris and I spent last weekend on Cape Cod — and loved it! I’d like to start mentioning names, but just can’t. Too many to name. But to one and all — our blessings and gratitude.
My first observation about UCC Medfield: the church group with whom we met, and to whom I spoke, and with whom we conversed for two days, is in every sense of the expression “beyond categories.” These folks are Christians — emerging before emerging, ecumenical and evangelical, exploring, thinking, creating, and serving. We felt like we were at home with these folks — well, yes, we could have had some disagreements but who needs it?
We met with some of the pastors and leaders of UCC Medfield, including Liz Aguilar — a North Park grad — and Susan Holbrook and Wendy Ludwig. Perceptive, solid folk. I really liked the senior pastor, Phil Bauman — the guy was a linebacker at the Air Force Academy and reads voraciously. We also got to meet his wife, Beth, and their two daughters. (I’d like to say more, but I’ve already said to Phil.)
Before I say another word, read this: I was part of the team that was the Charades Champs. Saturday night, at the leadership of Mark, we had a riot playing charades. I was with a group held together by two young men — about 13 — Ben was one and I think Steve the other. After the first round of competition, we solved every clue. Most of them within 15 seconds!
Our retreat was at Ocean’s Edge, just west from Paraclete (my publisher) and Community of Jesus, the community behind Paraclete. We were on the beach, where we encountered ice salt for the first time, and where we encountered Cape Cod Cold … penetrating cold, chill, to the bone.
It was our first time on the Cape so, of course, we had to ask where Chappaquiddick was — which wasn’t near us. The Cape is lonelier at this time of year, but we heard enough stories about traffic to know our next visit will be in the off season — maybe next September!
UCC Medfield showed us a generous hospitality and intelligent conversation, wrapped up in Boston humor and — oh don’t forget this — the chowda. Out of this world.
Hey Shubh: I know business well — “Buy low, sell high!”