Settling in to a Place
To dwell means to belong to a given place.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Moving to a new place is disorienting. Things you took for granted, suddenly require more effort. Which direction is east? Where’s the grocery store? What’s my street address again?
Although there are fewer unpacked boxes in my home, I’m still settling in, getting my bearings. I am busy learning the ways FCC Morehead does church together. This past week I learned what it’s like for students to move back into and how that changes the way the community feels. And I have yet to reprogram the radio stations on my car radio. (FYI, right now it’s set on WMKY.)
Learning a new place takes time and intention. Our current social and economic systems make it easy to ignore the places in which we live. My Fred Meyer grocery shopper’s reward card from Washington state works at the Kroger in Morehead, because Kroger owns both. We can travel about the world, yet still eat at the same chain restaurants. Yes, I’ve been in a McDonalds in Athens, Greece and Frankfort, Germany; and perhaps more surprisingly a Krispy Kreme in Oxford, England.
One of those things I’m discovering is that people who live here often name where they live by county. So, not only am I learning new towns and cities around here, but I’m often trying to figure out which direction Harlan county is from here or how far away Clark county is!
I’ve learned we live in the Lower Triplett Creek watershed, and I’m slowing getting my bearings as to the different parts that make up our watershed. My dog Stoney and I have walked the trail around Eagle Lake, and just last week I enjoyed a picnic lunch near Triplett Creek. These are the living waters for those of us who call Rowan county home.
In September our worship services will be rooted in the place where we live. Each Sunday we’ll focus on a different aspect of place: Forest, Land, Wilderness, and River Sundays. Rather than live stream our worship services from inside the church sanctuary, members of our congregation will be recording parts of our worship from around the area. You may hear and see a call to worship from Rodburn Hollow Park, a Scripture reading from the middle of someone’s garden, or special music from a porch front.
This shift in focus of our worship in September gives you an opportunity to participate in a new way and we’ll be able to see the faces of our congregation as we worship together. If you have a phone that records video, that’s all it takes; no fancy equipment needed. Is there a special place you’d love to share with others? You can sign up to record a small piece of our worship from that spot. The more folks who participate, the richer our worship in September will be. To help out, email the church office, let me know, or contact our new worship chair, Alana Scott.
I’m excited to see what we will create together!
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A native of Illinois, Rev. Nancy Gowler lived for 26 years in the Pacific Northwest. She joined the ministry of First Christian Church in Morehead, KY, in July of 2020.