Thursday, June 22, 2017

2017 Tour - Day 2 - Mystic Connecticut (Home of the Mystical Pizza)

IMDb rates “Mystic Pizza” (1988) 3/5 stars but Mystic, CT earned all 5 today as the CWS descended upon the small town. The four hour drive flew by thanks to the breakfast report, weather report, fake news report, real news report, Fork Stories* and a screening of Beauty and the Beast.

While we didn’t see Julia Roberts or Matt Damon today (Mystic Pizza reference), the youth were elated at the opportunity to have some free time around town. They enjoyed ice cream, saw a drawbridge in action, and still found time for a group picture. We enjoyed another great meal, this time prepared by our friends at Union Baptist, and Nick blessed the meal and the evening for us. From there many of the youth returned to the parking lot to finish games of nerf football and basketball.

It was a gorgeous Summer Solstice with a light breeze and a quick shower (once the concert had begun thankfully) and some of us reflected on the last time we were in Mystic in 2009 as the choir sang with the doors and windows to the sanctuary wide open. The little coastal town was particularly alive with the Holy Spirit as “This Is My Word” rang out and was heard by all who passed by one of the busiest intersections in town. I encourage you to speak (or sing) the following excerpt from the piece aloud to fully comprehend the beauty of the words:

“And the Word of My mouth,
it shall not return empty,
it will bless the Earth wherever it is heard.
So be faithful, brave, and true
for I shall go before you,
and when your Earthly journey here is done,
I’ll say well done …
Well Done!"

Tour has always been about spreading the Word and growing Christ’s Kingdom, and when you do those two things, there is no better feeling… except perhaps hearing the words “Well Done” at the end of our Earthly journey.

After the concert the youth were split up into their host homes and one particularly large group of boys cheered at the prospect of a great night because about 10 of them were put together in what will surely turn out to be a great Fork Story environment.

*A (Not-so) Quick Note About Fork Stories*
Fork Stories are an ancient tour tradition. Every morning on the bus there is a period of time after the greeting designated to recount any “interesting” events that may have transpired since the group was together last. The group with the best story walks away with a professionally decorated piece of flatware and is the recipient of cheers and applause aplenty. So what makes a good Fork Story? Well I’m so glad you asked! The best way to delineate the term is to tell you what a Fork Story IS NOT. A fork story is NOT just a sequence of events! That would be a “Spoon Story” because it doesn’t have a point! Stories should be gripping, hilarious, and excite the listener. They should last no more than 4 minutes … otherwise it would be a Fork Narrative which immediately disqualifies the story from winning a fork! We would like to thank Sue Constantinides for providing the most comprehensive collection of forks we have ever seen! If you can think of a theme, there’s a fork for that!

Will New England supply yet another legendary Fork Story? Stay tuned! “And that’s the way the cookie crumbles” … Goodnight everybody.