Sunday, November 3, 2013

Another Weekend

On Saturday we went up to Wickenburg, a small town about one hour drive north of here.  We understood there was an excellent museum there and other things of interest.  We happened to come on the one day of the year that they were holding the "Tour of Homes" and because of that our entrance fee to the museum was $25 each!  And we didn't even want to tour the homes.  Oh well, that went to help support the museum, so I guess we practiced some "inadvertent charity."

It was a very nice museum/art gallery.  Called the Desert Caballeros Western Museum it was all about the art and history of that area.  Some of the art was really arresting.  The history part was set up very well as a small historic town, various rooms in a home illustrating different periods, a small blacksmith shop, and an adobe ranch house.  The docents were very informative also.  We enjoyed it.

The we visited the "caboose" which is used as a Chamber of Commerce Information Centre with an older couple dressed in costume, talking about how the caboose was used in the days of shipping cattle to market.  Next door was the old train station which is now the Tourist Information Centre.

We had planned to take the self guided walking tour of the town, but in the end decided to skip that and go directly to the Hassayampa River Preserve south of Wickenburg.  This was an interesting area with an informative visitor centre, staffed by a fellow who lives in Vermont part of the year, and works in this Nature Conservancy centre the other part.

Most rivers that we've seen here were, as far as we could tell, rivers of sand.  The Hassayampa River differs from the others in that for a certain distance it flows, not under the surface, but on the surface, the reason being that the bedrock comes up close to the surface, and carries the river up with it.  That creates an oasis of green, year round, surrounded by the usual Arizona/Sonoran Desert.  It was a good place to go for a gentle walk around Palm Lake (actually an artificial lake, created for a spa/resort there in the 60's.)

This Sunday we decided to visit a church nearby and had a rather unsettling experience.  Since it is Reformation Sunday, the celebration/remembrance of Martin Luther's posting the 95 theses on the church door of Wittenberg, the service commemorated that with the singing of A Mighty Fortress, the most well known of Luther's many hymns.  This was a Lutheran church and I found the music slightly different from what we are used to, and the words quite different, and not nearly as majestic and forceful as what we are used to in our hymnal.

The service included communion, so Jim went to ask permission for us to partake and was turned down!  That felt very strange and very much of a rejection to be told we could not take communion with them.  Later I read in the bulletin that their policy is
"that if you are not a [sic] active member of Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod or the Evangelical Lutheran Synod, that you not commune with us."  Well, everyone has the right to make their own rules I guess.  But we found it very offputting to be told that, even though we are believers, we don't qualify to "commune with them."  It won't become our home church here!

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