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Old Dec 20, 2010, 3:34 PM   #1
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Default Cragsmoor Stone Church Community

My wife and I met the community at the Cragsmoor Stone Church. We were invited to attend "Lessons & Carols", an hour-long program where speakers delivered messages about Christmas and carols were sung in-between.

There was already a gathering inside the church when we arrived. Everyone was in lively conversation with one another and seemed pleased at each other’s sight. Unsure of where to sit, my wife and I were standing by the door when a man made his way from the front of the church to where we were at the back and handed us a copy of the program as he welcomed us. It was Jeffrey Slade, the church's administrator. (I still don't know what to call him.)

He told us how the community loved my pictures of the church and that he will introduce me to everyone as they all wanted to meet me.

In time, we were surrounded by members of the community giving praises for my pictures. They did this before and after the program. One woman said she was a photographer, too, and asked about the technical aspects of my photography. I said I learned all that I know here at steves-digicams.com. Another woman said they were all of different denominations and that she was wed here in this church.

Earlier on our way there, I told my wife that we will be among people we've never met and so we shouldn’t expect much. “But,” she said, “you never know. Sometimes you meet someone and feel closeness right away.”

Once there, we expected to just sit quietly in the pews and enjoy the program. But instead we were caught unprepared by the reception that we got. Everyone seemed to take pleasure in greeting us and perhaps others didn’t get to because we were quite literally swamped. And Jeffrey Slade’s taking the time to welcome us before the program began and again afterward pretty much summed up the meaning we found for that evening. It was a small community where everyone already knew one another. And feeling right at home especially at this time of year is perhaps the best gift that Christmas can bring.


#1) Christmas carol being sung by five men.



#2) When one speaker spoke about the impermanence of material things, she used the phrase, "golf clubs will rust," as one of the examples. At this, I saw a man near the front pews turn his head and smile for a long time at another churchgoer who I presumed was perhaps into golf.


#3) The church isn't packed. Indeed, I understand from Jeffrey that they use members' homes for regular meets and only use the church for occasions such as this, as just heating the place can be costly.

I remember the Binghamton State Hospital we visited last summer, a gothic structure the size and appearance of a medieval castle. It was abandoned because, according to the cop we spoke to, it was too expensive just to heat up the place during the winter.

I realize that churches in the tropical climes do not have this problem. They are fortunate in that they can stay open all year long.


#4) Lessons and Carols ended with the lights dimming and everyone singing "Silent Night" while we all held candles. It was, to me, a simple yet meaningful celebration of the most joyous of occasions.



Thank you for looking. C&C welcome.
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Old Dec 20, 2010, 4:06 PM   #2
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A beautiful looking service. I have (as others) loved your series of this church. I am so pleased you fit right in to their service and felt welcome. Great story accompaning pictures also. (being a golfer myself, I might have felt a little uncomfortable with the golf club reference, but I am sure it was said with love and perhaps some tongue in cheek). Thanks for sharing Frank
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Old Dec 21, 2010, 7:47 AM   #3
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Thank you, Frank. Funny about your being uncomfortable about the golf club reference. I recall memories when I, too, had the same discomfort when the preacher's example hit home.
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Old Dec 21, 2010, 8:29 AM   #4
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Amazing low light picks! About "golf clubs will rust", well, yes indeed. Talk to Cobra, for instance, and their Trusty Rusty wedges... or my own Mizuno RAW MP series 52° wedge. They rust. Verified.
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Old Dec 21, 2010, 9:18 AM   #5
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Beautiful sanctuary and great images. I'm sure everyone will love these photos too. Wonderful story, I am so glad you received such a nice warm welcome. Thanks for sharing the photos and the experience.

Merry Christmas!
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Old Dec 21, 2010, 2:14 PM   #6
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Super lovely interiors Vv, Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat. love your style.
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Old Dec 21, 2010, 9:39 PM   #7
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Thanks, Ordo, I intended to take a couple at different settings because of the low-light. But on my first attempt, 30 sec @ F/22, I saw on the camera's LCD display that it looked OK so I didn't retake.

Thanks a lot, griffina6. Merry Christmas to you, too.

Thanks, Mark.
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 2:04 AM   #8
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Great shots...!

Thanks for sharing those and the story as well...
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 4:05 AM   #9
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Great shots and great story as always. Thumbs up.

Best regards/Daniel
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 11:34 AM   #10
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What better way to spend an evening out, in good company, some good shots and an interesting story to tell as well
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