Monthly Archives: July 2010

new pastor!


That’s right–we have a new Head of Staff!

Yesterday afternoon at the congregational meeting, we unanimously elected Rev. John Dillon to be our next head of staff. John and his family (wife Louise, kids Colum, Oran, Neil, and Iona) will join the RCLPC community September 1, and John’s first day preaching will be Kick-Off Sunday, September 12.

This doesn’t mean that we’re not the church until September 12, so we hope we’ll see you in worship, at fellowship events, and at Team Night as we plan our ministries for fall! 🙂

Big Weekend!


It’s an exciting time to be a Ricklepickle!  The church has done amazing ministry for over 171 years, we’ve gone through all kinds of craziness, we’ve learned and grown and served together, the Spirit has been alive and active and moving through our community…and now she’s at it again!

This weekend we have the opportunity to meet the pastor that the PNC has discerned God is calling to minister with, in, and through our community.  His name is John, and he and most of his family will be here all weekend long.  Together we will discern whether the Spirit is calling us to work together for the Kingdom in this place and in this time.  I hope you’ll join us!

Saturday, 9-11am: social event in the lounge–drop in (open house style) to meet John and his family! (child care is available)

Saturday, noon: deacons and session have lunch with John. (child care is available)

Sunday, 8.30, 9.30, 11: John preaches (and does the children’s time) at all 3 services. (nursery available)

Sunday, noon-ish: after the third service, we will hold a congregational meeting to vote on whether John is called to be our next pastor and on his terms of call (“contract”).  A copy of his terms of call has been sent (snail mail) to everyone in the church, so you should have that any minute.

Please come out for this exciting weekend as we determine what new thing God is doing in our midst!



we had a great week, working hard, sweating a lot, growing together, and meeting people.

But even good trips involve looking forward to sleeping in your own bed….especially when you’ve been sleeping on a camp cot in a barely air conditioned plastic box. 🙂

We headed home and had a remarkably smooth travel day–everything happened on time, pretty stress-free, and we felt pretty laid back about it.  We got to O’Hare safely, were picked up by Bill and Eric in their big cars, and were deposited back at church mid-afternoon…just in time for a nice nap.

Our last night in Houma was spent at the Jolly Inn, meeting local people and learning some Cajun dances.  The music was awesome and a fun night was had!

I can’t upload video to the blog, apparently, so I’ll try to put some videos on the facebook page later this week (when I can plug into the hardwired internet at church so it will go faster!).

A few random photos that didn’t make it into the week’s blogs are below…enjoy!

the drawbridge we drove over every day on the way to work…how cool is that?  Look at those chains!!

It took four days of trying, but they finally caught one!

car dancing!

“can you feel the love tonight….”

who said painting ceilings was boring?

you don’t want to know what was written on the other car.  Let’s just say: thank goodness it rained the next day.

but while we’re on the subject of cars, I’ll just note that the car I was driving (a slightly newer version of what you see here) was SO MUCH NICER than my car. wow. it even had a back-up camera in the rearview mirror! so cool.

all the gorgeous swamp photography was taken by Mack, aspiring photographer.

Want to hear more stories and see more pictures?  Join us for the post-trip luncheon–a Cajun Lunch!–on August 8th!

Photo Finish


This morning when we walked into our house, it was all texturized and waiting for us.  First up: prime. Then: paint! Then: add trim, paint trim, clean up, and…GO!

It was like being in the final minutes of Trading Spaces…for 8 hours.

But at 430pm, when we had Barbra, her daughter and son-in-law, and her son walk into a finished (well…except for the floor) room, it was all worth it.  The long hours in the crazy heat and humidity, the muscles tired from mudding/sanding/painting, the bodies covered in all kinds of substances from dust to sweat to paint…all finished!

And it was a photo finish, as we literally worked down to the wire putting up trim around doors and windows, painting trim and screwing in door pulls. The breaks we took today were pretty much just to wait for paint to dry so we could put up…more paint.

At the end of the day, with Barbra’s family and our whole team, we stood around the room and dedicated it.

We could tell we were in the presence of Africa-American Southerners during the prayer, as they “AMEN-ed” and “hallelujah”-ed and “yes, oh yes!”-ed along with my prayer.  We pulled into the camp 5 minutes before dinnertime, dirty, tired, and happy.

Tonight we are headed to the Jolly Inn, a local place well known for Zydeco music and Cajun dancing.  Tomorrow morning we leave Houma at 730am to head back to the airport.  See you in the afternoon!

The Secret Garden: swamp edition


(sorry for the weird formatting–I can’t fix it while I’m at Starbucks for my half hour of internet access…)
Today was marked by both frustration and fun.  In the morning one team had another not-the-right-equipment moment (as well as an “oops we forgot the housekey” moment), and the other team found we had to mud more when we thought we were nearing the end of the drywall sanding.

But by the end of our half-day of work, there was texturizer

going on the walls in our room, and the other team had the baseboards installed throughout their house.

We stopped at lunchtime to go on a swamp tour for the afternoon…and it was fabulous!

We started our swamp tour by arriving about 2 minutes after 2pm (the start time of the tour)…and watching the boat pull away.  They were able to call the boat back for us and we got on the tour after all—hallelujah!

The tour was fantastic, with stories and music (including an authentic Cajun Accordion!), cool plants, and, of course, ALLIGATORS!

We got to see Ron (“A Cajun Man”) call some of “his” alligators over—animals he’s known for a long time—and feed them raw chicken legs on a long stick.  PeeWee and Mo both swam right up to the side of the boat and jumped out of the water to get the chicken—really really close to us!

It was very cool.  Mo even came when he was called—we spotted him off to the right of the boat, and Ron called him and he swam over!  When Ron said “HURRY UP, MO!” Mo even swam faster!!

We also saw crude oil tanks and pipeline, tanker barges, and natural gas pipeline caps.  In the middle of an environment that, for the most part, looked as if it had never seen a human being it was so pristine, these were a reminder that the modern world has intruded on this beautiful corner of creation in a lot of ways.  In the midst of all this, we saw blue herons, egrets, cranes, alligators, swimming grasshoppers (those huge black ones can swim!!!!!),

the bald cypress (whose roots curve up and poke above the water for better breathing), tons of Spanish moss, and the invasive water hydrangea.

It was a very interesting afternoon!

When we arrived back at the camp, around 4pm, we happened to notice the thermometer at the front of the camp….and it was H-O-T!!!