I often reflect on the many fun-filled summer vacations I spent with my grandparents in and around that old house with a white wooded fence. Mornings were filled with the sweetness of my grandmother’s home made cinnamon buns and strong black coffee for my railroad engineer grandfather. There was always crisp, browned bacon on a plate near grandmother’s large black iron frying pan. Imprisoned therein were several large eggs floating in hot bacon grease. They had the crispiest turned up brown edges a child would want to eat. It always amazed me how they always slid so perfectly out of that old well-worn pan.
My cousins, Frank and Terry, would often join my brother, Ron, and me in afternoon adventures. There wasn’t any Shepherd Hills housing development and Country Club with an eighteen hole golf course. There were family farms filled with fields of sweet yellow corn and wind-blown wheat. These were perfect sites to make forts, play hide-and-seek, or just create a world of your own dreams or fantasy.
It was always exciting in the fields until the farmers thought we trampled too much of their yearly profit and off we would run to the meadows filled with daffodils, blue bells, and the tiniest velvet pansies I have ever seen. Exhausted from our narrow field escape, all four of us would drop to the soft warm grass and roll until our bellies ached from endless laughter. We played in that rainbow meadow, ran and splashed in the nearby refreshingly cool stream, and shared secrets under the canopy of the weeping willow trees. Every summer day was a new adventure for us. Every day we were a gift to each other.
Recently I drove to my home church, St. Paul’s UCC, in Trexlertown and passed my grandparent’s house. The house was basically the same, but the surrounding area had dramatically changed. There are no more fields to play catch-me-if-you-can, and no more meadows to find the simple joy of rolling in the grass. It was obvious, time had marched on, and things had changed, whether I liked it or whether I didn’t like it.
I give thanks to God for having these wonderful memories with my grandparents, my brother, and my cousins. As I grew up and moved on with my life I have had new adventures with new people forming new memories. Should I have stayed in the past I never would have become a minister, married my late husband, David, flew airplanes, visited Israel, and met all of you at Grace Church. The past is just what it is, the past. It was a wonderful time in my life. But, there is no going back. There is only going forward.
The Pastoral Search Committee here at Grace UCC is working earnestly, each Wednesday night, to finish the Church Profile, and then, to receive Profiles from clergy interested in serving our Lord with you now and into the future. The memories of all your past events and people are the foundation from which this church finds its strength. Yet, let us not be trapped in the past, but let us build upon this strength, and all that is good at Grace Church, to make new memories from this day forward.
In Christ's love,
Rev. Rainelle Kimmel
Rev. Rainelle Anne Kimmel has signed an Interim Ministry Covenant with our congregation, and began her interim ministry with us on Monday, August 20, 2012.
Rev. Kimmel is from the Lehigh Valley. She graduated from Emmaus High School and continued her education earning an Associates in Arts from Lehigh County Community College, a Bachelor of Social Science from Pennsylvania State University, and her Master of Divinity from Moravian Theological Seminary. Her denomination is United Church of Christ, she was ordained on April 4, 1982, and has ordained ministry standing with the Penn Northeast Conference. She is trained and accredited as a Transitional Interim Minister and she also has certificates for “Hospice Grief & Bereavement Programs” and “Resolve Through Sharing Counselor & Coordinator”. She has been a Chaplain for homeless and AIDS persons, a Spiritual Counselor for sexually abused teenage girls, and she has served meals to the homeless at Interfaith Emergency Services. She was the Interim Pastor at Grace UCC in Northampton, PA, First Congregational UCC in Ocala, FL, and also at Pensacola Beach Community UCC in Pensacola Beach, FL. She was the Settled Pastor at Spring Hill UCC in Spring Hill, FL. Her local church membership is with St. Paul’s UCC in Trexlertown, PA.