Traveling with our EDSP Friends April 14 – 17
Our EDSP visitors spent Tuesday to Friday in Snohomish with hosts Candace McKenna and John First (a once-upon-a-time bed and breakfast had rooms for all of our guests.) The sun came out and the weather warmed much to the delight of our visitors.
We spent Wednesday in the Skagit Valley. We visited St. Paul, Mount Vernon, where we were warmly welcomed. We learned about the Komo Kulshan Cluster and the challenges and blessings of different churches working together. Our visitors were wondering where the young people were and we finally met some in the St. Paul Preschool classroom! We had time for a free ranging conversation about mission, both local and global. Thank you, Rev. McPeak, parishioners, and staff.
We traveled on in our faithful Seafarers van through the fertile fields of the Skagit Valley. No tulips in sight! Fortunately the display gardens of Roozengaarde were still in full bloom. Several of our visitors are especially fond of flowers and had so hoped to see tulips. Wish granted!
Next we traveled up the Chuckanut Drive to Taylor Fish Farms where Irene, the Samish Farm Manager, explained how different varieties of oysters were grown and how climate change and pollution were forcing changes in farming shellfish. She was very interested in our carbon offset project and promised to tell the Taylors about it. Our photo may even be posted on their Facebook page.
We tasted some of those oysters as an appetizer at our evening meal hosted by St. John parishioner Mary Nilsen. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner and time for fellowship.
The next day we followed the St. John Snohomish and Holy Cross Redmond missions to provide wholesome, local food for food banks and the hungry. We visited Chinook Farms where Farmer Eric Fritch introduced us to the different farming activities of the farms. We saw livestock production carried out humanely with permaculture practices and rotational grazing. We saw the CSA greenhouses where many flats of seedlings were being readied tor planting. There were also many flats of winter squash seedlings ready to be planted out in the Holy Cross field where food will be raised for food banks throughout the region. The huge pile of residue from lumber mill and horse facilities was being turned into compost which would be fertilizing the pastures and crops in a few months.
After a farm lunch, we traveled to the Snohomish Food Bank where every effort is made to provide fresh vegetables and fruits and where clients shop for their food choices. The delegation then visited the Snohomish Community Kitchen Dinner (held weekly on Monday and Thursday nights at St. John). Anyone who is hungry for food or companionship is welcome to attend these dinners which are hosted by a number of local churches and organizations.
Dean Johnny and Bishop Dan celebrated a Eucharist for us that evening which reminded us all of the common table we share as Christians. We then enjoyed a potluck dinner with St. John parishioners followed by a presentation on our carbon offset partnership by our EDSP visitors.