Church Pew and Garden Bench Followers of The SPIRIT

Joy -the Advent Candle

Dear Reader:

Why is everything done outside in the serenity of rustling leaves, whispering winds and singing birds so more meaningful and heartfelt in worship?

At the outside 9:00 worship service yesterday it was chilly, windy and so melodious that even the wildlife in the woods must have stopped to listen. It is one of my favorite annual services called “Lessons and Carols.” The sermon is composed of scripture readings followed by our talented choir members composing and performing each Christmas song through instrumental numbers, solo’s and orchestras.

I double dare anyone leaving to say that the Christmas ” Spirit ” did not leave with them. It sets the tone every year for me and now since Covid …even more so … for example, being outside with natural greenery surrounding the lighting of the Advent candles each week. ( title photo)

Starting with Covid a couple of years ago…I began realizing that worship can and should take place wherever the Spirit leads us. For me that became my garden where many a morning-Sunday or not-I found myself seeking God on the garden bench listening to the gurgling waters of the fountain and feeling closer to God than ever.

Saturday it was a moment in the courtyard at Charleston Place as we gathered by the ” snow-tipped” trees for photos and refreshments …that I felt a wonderful sense of family , love, and a legacy in the making.

Hope is always interwoven with the Christmas season because, like today, hope is what keeps us going-the thought that just around an unseen bend lies a magnificent new world order unsurpassed by anything we can imagine!

During our service yesterday, sitting in my fold-out beach chair, I felt something brush my face and fall in my lap-a beautiful red leaf! A token of a Christmas gift unparalleled in the beauty of simplicity! Thank you God for my Christmas present!

So until tomorrow… three words keep popping up in my mind right now-my prayer in the moment… “Thank You. Amen.

Today is my favorite day. Winnie the Pooh

My neighbor Vickie stopped by the other day… I was slightly embarrassed for her to still see all my pear tree leaves covering half the front yard-but the first thing out of her mouth was … ” You must have known I was coming! Rolling out the red carpet for me!” I started laughing and said that Jeff was coming Friday to clean up the yard and Vickie looked disappointed-when I looked again, from now a different perspective, I had to laugh-she was right! My own beautiful red carpet!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to Church Pew and Garden Bench Followers of The SPIRIT

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    It does look beautiful…when we went to Suzy and Clyde’s for Thanksgiving there was a carpet of bright yellow leaves and a gorgeous red Japanese maple…the sunlight just made it glistened …I think Suzy had a part in it….❤

  2. Beverly Dufford says:

    I’m sure she did, Gin g! Becky, that service sounds so beautiful! As I walked across your leaves the other day, I thought how beautiful they were. It almost seemed a shame to have to rake them away, even though I know they wouldn’t have stayed those beautiful colors. I also noticed how large Little Red has gotten. She/he is almost as large as her mama/papa and so pretty.

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