Monday, March 17, 2008

Dispelling a Myth

Before I unapologetically post pictures of Gretchen at her church's Palm Sunday Service, I want to spend a minute or two dispelling the myth that desert living equals less rheumatic pain.

My friend, Linda, and I have been so sure that spending the winter in a warm, dry climate; ie Las Vegas, would eradicate the pain I feel from fibromyalgia and arthritis - Not so!!! I so wanted that to be true, but alas, as wonderful as it is to be here basking in sunshine and relatively warm weather, I still have pain.

Let me be quick to say that this pain is in no way hampering my enjoyment of this trip. Also, in view of the pain and disability inflicted on many sufferers of fibromyalgia, I am really blessed. My pain is, at the most, an annoyance. I have had times of real inability to function, but it has been a long time since I have suffered like that. So, although the desert is no cure-all, I am feeling quite well. On the other hand, I can't be sure I would feel this good were in struggling through the cold, sleet and snow of an Upstate NY winter. I guess it's all relative.

Now on to our wonderful weekend. We knew from the weatherman that we were in for some {yukky} weather for the Palm Sunday weekend. We woke up to rain on Sunday morning. Looking out our patio door, we could see the snow falling on the distant mountains. What an awesome sight.

By the time we left for church the rain had stopped and it was just chilly and very windy. We attended services at Brian and Gretchen's church which is on the other side of Las Vegas from where we are staying. We really like their little church and have made friends with quite a few people there so we were really excited to be worshipping with them.

Gretchen and her friend, Barry, the church's musical director put together a service consisting of scripture, musical numbers and dance to represent Palm Sunday. For a little church they are really blessed with musical and artistic talent.

Musically, one of the highlights of the program was Barry singing "Now that I've Held Him". That song always touches my heart and brings me to tears. Because Barry is such a compassionate and devoted Christian, his singing is especially moving to me.

Of course, I love the dance numbers choreographed by Gretchen and presented by the lovely ladies of Advent UMC.

This is their sign language interpretation of "Down to the River to Pray"

Gretchen did a solo dance to "Broken and Spilled Out" representing the woman who cleansed Jesus' feet.

During the Choir's rendition of "How Beautiful", the dancers prepared the table for communion.

The service ended with the congregation singing "All Glory Laud and Honor" while we waved our palm branches.

We topped off this wonderful time of praise and worship by going to lunch with Brian and Gretchen and their friends Karen and Sue. We ate at a restaurant called "Sweet Tomato" a soup and salad bar. What fun. There was every kind of salad accompaniment possible, the soup was fantastic, the bread yummy and to top it all off, ice cream sundaes. Who could ask for more.

It would have been perfect day had there been a new episode of "Cold Case". Maybe next week?

Okay, my battery is getting low. Tomorrow we're off to Death Valley for two days. We are really excited.

Happy St. Patty's Day to you all. What is this about getting pinched?


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Dagmar said...

Hi Pam;
Thanks so much for your always kind words about my blog..I sure enjoy seeing what you are up to as well. Enjoy you time here in the desert before you head back east, and I know we are enjoying our last few weeks here as well.

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Cheryl Wray said...

This looks like such a BEAUTIFUL Palm Sunday service! It is always one of my very favorite services of the year as well!

The dances look wonderful. Our youth did one of "Down to the River to Pray" and I loved it!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Pam! Love your photos of the cool (just love signed poems and performances). Also, I hope you have an awesome time in Death Valley (I grew up north of there near Mono Lake HWY 395).

Tracy said...

The Palm Sunday Service sounds lovely. I feel really guilty, but we missed church that day to help strike costumes and the set of Cats.

Mississippi Songbird said...

Thanks for sharing your Pam Sunday with us. God Bless you.. Have a Happy Easter.