Last Tuesday we landed at our new house in Camas Washington. I came by car with our good friend James LaCroix, and Emily and L arrived by airplane. Fortunately enough, all our things transported by ABF U-Pack It also arrived on Tuesday mostly undamaged. We spent the week unpacking, getting to know Camas and the greater Portland area and enjoying the company of James and Rachel (who he proposed to while he was up here).
The road trip up was really great. On Sunday, James and I stopped in San Francisco and stayed with Chad and his wife, Quaker friends of mine. On Monday morning we went into the mission district of San Francisco and saw the newly built Friends School there, one of the coolest buildings I’ve ever seen. It’s inside an old Levi-Strauss building. Then we drove for 8 hours and stopped in Eugene to stay with friends from Fuller. The trip was fun and made better by having a companion along the way.
This past Sunday was our first with the church and it was wonderful. The clerk of the meeting suggested that since it was our first we could do more a of “get to know you” type service so I took about 15 min and answered the question “How did you get here?” I talked about a little of my upbringing, some of my faith journey, and some of the passions I have. Then I asked the congregation to answer this question as well. It was wonderful to have so many people respond – I think this part of the service went almost 25 min. A number of people talked about how they found Camas Friends and the love and support they received there, others discussed their deep committment to the Quaker tradition and desire to be a part of a community that’s not simply “generic Evangelical,” and everyone seemed to be genuinuely happy to be a part of this church. We felt really welcomed and and glad to finally be here.
I’ve moved most of my stuff into the office here and have unpacked my books and setup shop (though I do need some serious organization to still take place). This is only my second full day in the office so I’m still learning a ton. I had a great conversation today with the previous pastor of the congregation, Caryl Menkhaus, we (http://twitter.com/camasfriends), cable internet was installed yesterday, I’ve had many wondeful cups of coffee in the past 8 days, we’re training a new secretary for the office (who will also be doing some online things for us) and I’m working on my first teaching for Sunday. We definitely miss all our friends back home (Pasadena and Ohio) but feel the transition is going well so far.