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Rain, Sleet, Ice, Snow… Enough Already!

This was another doozy of a week weather-wise starting with normal temperatures, rising up into the 50-degree range, then receding back to below freezing while treating us to a range of weather events that went from sunshine & a gentle breeze to a strong winter snowstorm with high gale-force winds.

By many standards, it was just an average winter storm like the ones I used to experience while growing up in Northwestern Pennsylvania in my hometown of Warren that had a sign declaring it had “15,000 friendly people” as you drove in on U.S. Route 60; yep, the same Route 60 just north of Valparaiso. Warren’s population has shrunk to around 10,000 people who I am not sure remain all that friendly, but probably are. {Little known fact: Deacon Nancy Porter is also from Warren, PA and her mother, the late Georgia Coyle was our town Librarian for years and she once (maybe twice) had to “shush” me for talking too loud in the library.}

Storms off of Lake Erie were common in Warren just like ‘lake effect snow’ is here in NW Indiana.

When a storm hit Warren, everyone hung together and helped out anyone who had damage or needed a place to be safe. That same sense of hanging together and helping each other out prevails here at First Presbyterian Church Valpo, something that we as members can be proud of. The sense of ‘family’ seems to pervade the members of this church and we do our best to rally in support of any ‘family member’ in need of comfort, caring and compassion. It is what we as Christians are called to do. The mission work of this congregation carries that same caring and compassion to others outside of our own church family, something we also can appreciate.

You heard reference by Lou Ann Karabel last week in her sermon to this church having a ‘big table’ with room for people with differing opinions and differing viewpoints on a variety of topics/subjects. We have also described our church as being a ‘big tent’ with room for all people, an inclusive approach, not an exclusive attitude.

I really liked the ‘big tent’ description that recently appeared in Linda Long’s blog…

“Big Tent” names a roomy, welcoming, inclusive church of people with differing political opinions, shifting definitions of family, diverse theological histories, eclectic tastes in worship music, contrasting preferences for God’s Word comprised of multiple generations with differing values and experiences with poverty or race or war, and so much more. Having a tent open to everyone, those in the midst of a storm or just seeking some cover from the world-at-large makes us different. It is shared faith that unites us in gratitude for the gifts of God, noticing the presence of God.

Storm or no storm, being under this tent at FPCV with all of you is something I greatly cherish.

Jim Hubbard


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