On Saturday, August 30th, we went to Jim Thorpe. We'd often talked of taking Nick and Sophie on the train. For some reason, when we woke, we both had the feeling that they wanted to take the trip we'd told them so much about. So, we did it! We got up and got dressed, drove nearly an hour, and then took the hour ride down the Lehigh Gorge. The trees had just started turning and it was beautiful. We plan on returning in 2 or so weeks, so that we can see fall in full swing. We ate an unmemorable late lunch/early dinner at the Emerald Restaraunt, then attended a Mass at Immaculate Conception. (It made us grateful for the services we have at St. Maria Goretti! Whether because of a lack of interest and volunteerism or just a lack of spirit, it wasn't enjoyable. The Gloria was omitted, the Holy wasn't sung, there was no cantor, and my husband said that it felt like, "They feel obligated to be here and they want you to feel obligated, too." We were disappointed and will visit the other Catholic Church, St. Joseph's, when we return.) We'd talked about catching a musical show at the Opera House, but were tired after eating and decided to just come home instead. But, we had a lovely time.
On Sunday, August 31st, we visited the church of the Fire Chaplain, who baptized Nicholas and prayed over Sophia in-utero. He is the pastor of Christ Lutheran in Harleysville and was so gracious and welcoming when we visited. They were doing an outdoor service and the entire congregation welcomed us (I guess they recognize visitors right away!). In some of the language, it was similar to a Catholic Mass, but the layout was very different (because they were only having one service that day, they based the layout on their laity-led service; traditional services are traditional Lutheran). There were some things we liked (the introduction to each of the readings was nice) and some that we didn't (the prayer of Confession wasn't our style), but it wasn't as uncomfortable as I'd feared. We were able to spend a few moments talking with the Chaplain and, most of all, were able to really say Thank You. He invited us back and we plan on visiting again, when we aren't serving at SMG (which may mean another few months!). :-)