Last Sunday our Minister of Music, Sylvia Coates, choose the anthem “Loving God, Loving Each Other” by Bill Gaither for Morning Worship. The tune and words have been swimming in my mind ever since.
New Harmony, IN, was founded on the principles of loving God, loving each other and loving the planet, earth, which we all share.
Tuesday I enjoyed walking the two labyrinths in this town with a population of only 800. (Makes New Kent seem like a city.) I window shopped in an antique shop. I watched a robin gather grass and bark for her nest and I delighted in two squirrels chasing one another.
Wednesday, I took the official tour of the town and learned it’s history and saw many interesting buildings and artifacts. In the afternoon, there was a severe thunderstorm with damaging winds. Several trees came down but no one was hurt and no building were damaged.
New Harmony was founded by the Harmonists in 1814. They were Lutheran Germans who separted from the Lutheran church because they believed as Baptists do, in the autonomy of the believer. They came to America and purchased 30,000 acres of land beside the Wabash River so they could live and worship freely. Each family was given a 1/4 of an area of land, their own log cabin and a cow. They worked hard but paused three times every day for prayer.
Outside my room is a brick pillar with the Ten Commandments engraved in stone blocks all round. (Pictured above) A reminded that loving God requires us to be obeident to God’s Word.
I like the idea that every oerson was given a equal share of land, the same house and a cow. Of course they all worked. Everyone held everything in common just like the early church did and most monastic communities do today.
I watched Frontline on Tuesday evening. They interviewed Matthew Desmond, a Harvard Profeesor in sociology who has written the book, “Evicted.” It is about the eviction crisis in our American cities. In his book, he tells the stories of eight families that were evicted in Milwaukie, WI. I think we need to pay more attention to the struggle of the working poor. They work hard but are still unable to make ends meet.
Throughout New Harmony there are lovely gardens and gorgous trees and so much to enjoy. There are also poems about the care and protection of nature. The town is beautifully kept and there is a balance between human beings and nature.
While I am relaxing in New Harmony, the words of the song are being made real. Let us strive to love God, love each other and care for all of God’s creation.
I count it all joy,