Long Trip: March 9-21

 

I’m on the road. It’s Friday, and I won’t be home until Monday evening, probably LATE on Monday evening. So far I’ve been in Massachusetts and New Jersey for work, and have yet to do New York on this trip.  It’s long because there are days between engagements and I travel by train anyway.  I left Holland, Mi, on the bus at noon on the 9th.  After arriving in Chicago I killed time for 6 hours waiting for my train east to Boston.  

I arrived there at 7 on Thursday evening.  A Taiwanese friend picked me up at the station in Framingham and took me to Andover Newton Theological School (ANTS), where I’d booked a room and hoped to do research in the library for a couple of days.  The next morning a member of the church that meets at ANTS took me to breakfast.  I spent the day in the library and learned a couple of things. The first was that I hadn’t prepared well enough for the research and library work I had wanted to do. The second was that the ANTS library didn’t have what I was looking for. No big deal. I used the time for retreat and reflection on other things.  That night, the church member who had taken me to breakfast scored a couple of tickets to a presentation of Bach’s St. John Passion at Boston Symphony Hall. It was a wonderful concert, though all in German, I still understood a few words.

The next day I had lunch with some of the “older” Taiwanese members of that church, and spent the afternoon in the library again.  On Sunday I spoke at their church and had another lunch with these kind people. After that, they left me pretty much to my own devices.

Monday morning I took the Boston “T” downtown and changed to the Amtrak to Newark, NJ. Smooth ride. The Amtrak line through Connecticut runs along Long Island Sound for miles and miles. It looks different from the beach lines in California.  In Jersey I switched to NJ Transit for the connection to New Brunswick, where I’ve been this week.

I had booked myself into the Rutgers University Inn for a night. My previous visits to this city had been during term time, when the busses run every 10 minutes or so. This time it was Spring break. There were fewer university busses running around. BUT, empty of undergraduates, this campus and town are really nice! (Much different from when I lived and/or studied here in from 1979 to 1981.) Only bad thing was that I lost my phone the next morning.

On Tuesday I checked in at New Brunswick Theological Seminary, where I had been asked to deliver a talk on Thursday. I also moved from the University Inn to the Seminary’s guest apartment, which is not at the Seminary.

In 2014 New Brunswick ceased to be a residential school. Most of its students were commuters anyway. The seminary campus occupied most of an entire city block in the middle of Rutgers University, so most of it was sold and a new building was put and began to be used in 2014. It is marvelous, but includes no housing. The seminary bought a 1 bedroom apartment in a building about a half mile away. I had two wonderful nights there. The talk, over dinner on Thursday night, was also a positive experience.

My next “date” on this trip will be on Sunday, March 20th, when I’ll preach at a church in Schenectady, NY.  I am chillin at the university inn again (last night in a room, this morning in the lobby) and will move downtown to another hotel for Friday night. I’ll go up to Schenectady by train on Saturday, spend the night at a church member’s home, preach the morning service, then kill time all afternoon waiting for the night train to Chicago.  Depending on connections there, I could either wait all day for the train back to Holland, or take an earlier bus or train to Kalamazoo where Char can come and pick me up.

 

I’m on the road. It’s Friday, and I won’t be home until Monday evening, probably LATE on Monday evening. So far I’ve been in Massachusetts and New Jersey for work, and have yet to do New York on this trip.  It’s long because there are days between engagements and I travel by train anyway.  I left Holland, Mi, on the bus at noon on the 9th.  After arriving in Chicago I killed time for 6 hours waiting for my train east to Boston.  

I arrived there at 7 on Thursday evening.  A Taiwanese friend picked me up at the station in Framingham and took me to Andover Newton Theological School (ANTS), where I’d booked a room and hoped to do research in the library for a couple of days.  The next morning a member of the church that meets at ANTS took me to breakfast.  I spent the day in the library and learned a couple of things. The first was that I hadn’t prepared well enough for the research and library work I had wanted to do. The second was that the ANTS library didn’t have what I was looking for. No big deal. I used the time for retreat and reflection on other things.  That night, the church member who had taken me to breakfast scored a couple of tickets to a presentation of Bach’s St. John Passion at Boston Symphony Hall. It was a wonderful concert, though all in German, I still understood a few words.

The next day I had lunch with some of the “older” Taiwanese members of that church, and spent the afternoon in the library again.  On Sunday I spoke at their church and had another lunch with these kind people. After that, they left me pretty much to my own devices.

Monday morning I took the Boston “T” downtown and changed to the Amtrak to Newark, NJ. Smooth ride. The Amtrak line through Connecticut runs along Long Island Sound for miles and miles. It looks different from the beach lines in California.  In Jersey I switched to NJ Transit for the connection to New Brunswick, where I’ve been this week.

I had booked myself into the Rutgers University Inn for a night. My previous visits to this city had been during term time, when the busses run every 10 minutes or so. This time it was Spring break. There were fewer university busses running around. BUT, empty of undergraduates, this campus and town are really nice! (Much different from when I lived and/or studied here in from 1979 to 1981.) Only bad thing was that I lost my phone the next morning.

On Tuesday I checked in at New Brunswick Theological Seminary, where I had been asked to deliver a talk on Thursday. I also moved from the University Inn to the Seminary’s guest apartment, which is not at the Seminary.

In 2014 New Brunswick ceased to be a residential school. Most of its students were commuters anyway. The seminary campus occupied most of an entire city block in the middle of Rutgers University, so most of it was sold and a new building was put and began to be used in 2014. It is marvelous, but includes no housing. The seminary bought a 1 bedroom apartment in a building about a half mile away. I had two wonderful nights there. The talk, over dinner on Thursday night, was also a positive experience.

My next “date” on this trip will be on Sunday, March 20th, when I’ll preach at a church in Schenectady, NY.  I am chillin at the university inn again (last night in a room, this morning in the lobby) and will move downtown to another hotel for Friday night. I’ll go up to Schenectady by train on Saturday, spend the night at a church member’s home, preach the morning service, then kill time all afternoon waiting for the night train to Chicago.  Depending on connections there, I could either wait all day for the train back to Holland, or take an earlier bus or train to Kalamazoo where Char can come and pick me up.

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