L.A. – final day in the United States – January 15, 2011

As those in Brisbane, Ipswich and other areas in Queensland begin the clean-up, we continue to remember those who have died, and those who mourn their loss. We also continue to remember those in Victoria, Australia and in Brazil who face flooding and mudslides.

The Beatrice Robinson Scholarship trip is coming to an end.  We are on our final day in L.A. and in the United States; our bags are packed and shortly we are to checkout of our hotel.

The last couple of days we have been blessed to visit two Episcopal churches here in LA: St Mike’s http://www.stmikessc.org/ and Holy Nativity http://www.holynativityparish.org/.

Thanks to Betsy who met us at St Mike’s and took us to the roof to see the solar panel installation.  About one third of their energy is now produced by these panels.  Perhaps the most exciting thing is that this project has facilitated links to other organisations, particularly MEND http://www.mendpoverty.org.  St Mike’s are now making other solar installations possible.

Holy Nativity are equally amazing and quite diverse.  They have set-up a substantial church garden which produces fruit and vegetables for disadvantaged people in the area.  They also participate in a “home harvesting” program which allows otherwise wasted fruit from backyard fruit trees to be donated to the local food bank.

Both parishes have taken their environmental projects and branched out, having separate websites for their unique outreach projects, demonstrating that environmental and sustainability projects IN THEMSELVES create mission and social outreach.  See http://www.stmikessolar.org/ and http://www.envirochangemakers.org/

This will be my last post about my trip so it is fitting that I extend my thanks to all those who have made it possible.  First to the family of Beatrice Robinson who make the scholarship possible, and to Tom Frame the Director of St Mark’s.

My dearest thanks to my wife, Julia.  She has been patient with me for the six weeks of our trip as we have travelled around and visited so much.  Thank you for your love and enthusiasm for God’s work and mission.  It inspires me to continue to be open and hopeful.

Thank you also to all those who have welcomed me on this trip, church leaders and community groups.  Members of Cathedrals and parish churches, gardens and farms.  You have made our learning possible and facilitated an amazing amount of fresh growth within us.

Thank you also for all who have read this blog, my family and friends back home, but also those who have joined me on the way.  Thank you for your prayer and support and for looking after us before and after our trip overseas.

We arrive back in Australia, landing in Sydney at 6:05am on Monday and then back to Canberra shortly after this.  We move to Young, NSW later in the week to prepare for our new work and ministry.

All Glory to God, the Creator and Origin of all things, and the very life of our souls.

Published by Christopher Golding

Australian ex-pat, vegan priest, spouse, and parent of two | School Chaplain of Seabury Hall, Maui, Hawai'i (All opinions my own)

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