Postcards From the Pastors

Updated: Aug 18

Co-Pastors Megan and Dave Collins are on Sabbatical this summer! Here is where they will share weekly updates about their travels and time away. The newest posts will be listed at the top.

Wednesday, August 17

This week has been our last big event of sabbatical, moving our oldest son out of the house to start college at FSU. We moved here just before his sixth grade year when he was still shorter than Megan! We are so grateful he was able to be here in the youth group at Maitland during such a formative time in his life. We are sure going to miss him, and are eager to see what this next chapter in his life holds.

This Sunday we will be coming to Maitland Pres to worship and say hello before we return to the responsibilities of worship leadership the following Sunday. We can’t wait to see you! Then on Monday we are back in the office and eager to reconnect with the ministry we have missed! So with that, this will be our last “postcard.” See you on Sunday!

Monday, August 8

This week is focused on routine and visioning. Now that we are feeling recovered, we are getting back into our normal routine to prepare to be back at the church. For us this means setting our alarm to exercise every morning (before it gets too hot!) and refocusing our mental energy toward the ministries at Maitland Pres. The time of these remaining days of sabbatical will allow us to continue working on the devotional and also dream about this next season of ministry at the church. When we were at worship in Glasgow, the preacher at asked the congregation “What is God’s dream for you?” What a great question for us as a church. What do you think God wants for our church? What ideas do you have? What can we dream about together? These are the kinds of questions we will be thinking about, and we can’t wait to hear your reflections when we return.

Wednesday, July 27

We have safely made it home! The past few days have been full of rest after a few busy days of travel and some lingering fatigue from being sick. We will now be shifting gears into the last portion of the sabbatical. In these last few weeks we will be doing lots of writing as we work on a devotional based on our “Everything Jesus Taught” materials. Then a few days before our return we will get our younger son started in his junior year of high school and move our older son to FSU for his first year of college.

Saturday, July 16

After two and a half years, our luck has run out, and everyone in our group has tested positive for Covid. It’s not the way we intended to spend our time in Paris, but the rest of the trip has been so wonderful. We are lucky that we will be out of isolation in time to travel home!

Monday, July 11

London was a great city but we were excited to move on to France. It’s been interesting to notice as we travel how some places we have felt at home, and others have felt so different. Yesterday it was really clear we “weren’t in Kansas anymore” when we got off at the train station and everything was in French! We navigated our way through the Paris metro to another train station and a few hours later we arrived at our first stop in France, the southern coastal city of Marseille. Marseille gets a bad wrap as being rough around the edges, but there is food from all over the world and a beach, so we love it! One thing that makes such a difference has been the people along the way who noticed we weren’t from here and made an intentional effort to offer help and a sense of welcome. Last night at dinner a family at the table next to us took time to share their favorite places to visit here. It would have been so easy for them to ignore us as we tried to translate the menu and figure out how to order, but they went out of their way to be kind and help us feel at home.

Friday, July 8

Today we picked up our second bonus son with the arrival of Andrew’s friend from the train station, visited the British Museum, explored London, took the underground and a boat, and got lost. A big first day in London!

Wednesday, July 6

Today we had lots of unexpected challenges and detours. After our first four (uphill) miles through dense grasses with a fair share of stinging nettle, we arrived at the town where we planned to eat dinner. It had one restaurant that only served reservations, and the next closest food store was several more miles away. This meant a detour from the hiking path to the bus stop to wait four hours for the bus to take us to find a meal. With the bus only coming through once a day, and no back up plan if it never arrived, we were so relieved when it appeared! After we found dinner, we hiked a final couple of miles down the road to our lodging. We arrived in the doorstep of the 400 year old farmhouse weary and dirty, but the day turned around when we met Maggie Green. Maggie is the host for the rooms in the farmhouse and was so kind and welcoming to us. She came running outside to greet us as we trudged down the road looking for the home. After some kind words from Maggie and a hot shower, we are ready to rest and be sent back to London tomorrow. But not before we eat Maggie’s full English breakfast.

Tuesday, July 5

Yesterday we took the train from Glasgow to London, then boarded another train to travel to the Cotswolds. Here we are taking a few days to through-hike on the Cotswold Way trail. We carry all of our things with us and hike through the English countryside from one inn to the next. Today we hiked six miles through meadows, sheep fields, forests and hillside to travel from Chipping Campden to Broadway. You can’t use a GPS for the trail, so our written decorations said things like “pass through the opening in the stone wall and go through the field to the kissing gate.” What an adventure! When we talked about home in May at church, we talked about the importance of providing a place of hospitality for others. We are certainly relying on the hospitality of others as we show up on the footsteps of these inns tired and hungry. It’s the small things that seem to make all the difference to us - a clean bed, a warm cup of tea and a friendly greeting.

Saturday, July 2

Since our last update, we did another day of hiking in Skye, then we had to say goodbye to our cabin on this beautiful and wild island. We began our journey to Glasgow with a stop in Oban. Megan was under the weather for a couple of days, but today she is on the mend so we did a walk around an art museum in Glasgow. The caption on this painting made us laugh. Apparently they had not read Song of Solomon? We learned this week that our lodging in Oban was built for a pastor who lived out his final years there, and our apartment in Glasgow is owned by a couple who worked for a mission program in China.

Sunday, June 25

The Isle of Skye is known for its hiking. And we have had lots of time in the fresh air these past two days! We had one beautiful day climbing near the “Old Man of Storr” and a rainy day today exploring the Fairy Pools. We are so grateful for this time of mental rest as we hike and have time with our family.

Friday, June 24

We made it to the Isle of Skye! A huge kudos to Dave for driving us through the mountain roads of Scotland! We saw a castle, skipped rocks by a mountain and now we are settling in to our cottage. Hoping to hike tomorrow and explore this beautiful island!

Thursday, June 23

Nature is such a gift to us. Yesterday we went to Portobello beach outside of Edinburgh. Today after a (somewhat treacherous) drive we made it to Laggan, in the Scottish Highlands! The place where we are staying is the butler’s apartment of a farm where Queen Victoria stayed once! There is something about being out in nature that gives us space to breathe and feel our minds quiet down so we can hear God more clearly. It’s one experience of sabbath rest, to be away from the noise of cities and suburbs. All we can hear on our porch here is the wind in the trees and the noise of two farm kittens playing under our feet. We will drive on to the Isle of Skye tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 21