The Passing Parson

A monthly blog by Rev. Dr George J. Koch, Holy Trinity’s Intentional Interim Pastor during our time of transition.  Pastor Koch will provide spiritual leadership for Holy Trinity until the new regularly called Pastor takes office.  In his weekly blog, Pastor Koch will discuss his thoughts on the Church Year and upcoming events at Holy Trinity.

Hog Reeves, Buggy Whips and Violins

Posted by Mark Edwards on Friday, January 29, 2016 @ 6:54 AM

A Post from Pastor Koch

This Saturday, at the Hampton Falls Town Deliberating Session, my son and I give up our one year appointment as Hog Reeves of Hampton Falls.

An ancient position in town dating before the town's incorporation in 1722, the Hog Reeve was responsible for rounding up any hogs left on the Town Common at dusk. They would then pen the hog and charge the owner $1 a day fine (a vast sum back then).  Today the position is honorary; a signal from the town that "for newcomers, you're not so bad."

Also in 1722, every town in New England had saddle workers who, in addition to making saddles, made harnesses, bridles and buggy whips. Nowadays the only buggy whip makers are the Amish who need them for their Amish Buggies.

And in 1721, Antonio Stradivari, during his "golden period of violin building, created his "Lady Blunt" violin (one of 244 violins made by him), which in pristine condition, was sold in London for $15.9 million recently. Today, not only are there violin restorers to take care of every single Stradivari in the world; there are new makers like  Kanichi Nagahara who also make quality violins. The violin will not go out of business any time soon.

Hog Reeves, Buggy Whips and Violins

When we look at these three items, the first is only ceremonial, the second has limited use and the third is going strong.

In the church we face similar issues. Some of procedures, "products" and programs of the church are only good for ceremony, some have limited use and some are going strong.

As part of the interim process at Holy Trinity, we will be looking at which things are ceremonial, which have limited use and which are still strong.

Sometimes this task can feel overwhelming. Fortunately we have a God who says: "I will never leave you or forsake you." So we can say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?" [ Hebrews 13:5b-6] God is with us during this interim period; God is with us always. So we can face the future with hope, looking at what God is calling us to do now and knowing that it is God who is leading us into the future.


George Koch

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