Sunday, March 27, 2016

Anticipating the Warmth of a Cold Gathering - Tracy Krauss

This month's prompt was "Anticipation" and what better theme to go with the resurrection of our Lord? Today, many of us are gathering together to celebrate this most joyous of occasions.
One of my favourite Easter memories comes from our time living in the Yukon. Each year the ministerial organized an Easter sunrise service, with all five churches participating. Watson Lake, our home at the time, has a small park in the centre of town called 'Wye Lake'. (Not to be confused with the bigger lake for which the town is named.) Wye Lake is a favorite gathering spot for many ministerial functions since it offers a sizable gazebo surrounded by a grassy area for large gatherings. A log cabin outfitted with a kitchen, washrooms, and indoor meeting space is right next to the gazebo. 
It sounds idyllic, right? In the summertime, yes... at the end of March or beginning of April -  not so much!
Remember, this is in the Yukon. There is still a lot of snow on the ground and the temperatures are nowhere near spring-like. In fact, I don't remember a year when it wasn't freezing cold outside. Most people came bundled up in their winter gear, but there were always a few ladies who insisted on wearing their Easter finest. Imagine the flow and flap of a spring print dress next to a pair of oversized, clunky snow boots. (Fashion in the Yukon has its own flair.) They could be seen huddled close to a significant other (or not... nobody is choosy in minus degree weather...) bouncing from foot to foot to keep warm.
In any case, the service was always understandably short. A prayer, two familiar hymns, and a very short message. After that we all trundled to the cabin where hot chocolate, coffee and an array of muffins and other breakfast foods awaited. The warmth of fellowship among believers was welcome, perhaps as much as the warmth of the building itself.
These are precious memories. The ministerial was a vibrant association that did a lot of things together in that community. We anticipated those group gatherings as much as any other events. I am forever grateful for the time we spent in the north. It taught us a lot about what it means to be the family of God.
Tracy Krauss now lives and writes in Tumbler Ridge, BC, considered by some to be 'north'. For her and her husband it is a southern retreat.


Glynis said...

Lessons everywhere, Tracy. Easter sunrise service. A lovely way to focus. Sounds like a fabulous cozy time in that cabin, too! Thanks for sharing that memory.

Peter Black said...

An evocative post for me, Tracy. Thanks. Stirs the warm fuzzies, even though I haven't experienced an Easter Sunrise Service as freezing as your Yukon ones.
Several churches I served were either involved in inter-church Sunrises or held them. After the Sunrise Services convened by my last church all were invited to share a hearty 'pot-blessing' breakfast. Hmm. Memorable times. ~~+~~

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