bpkesslerDear brothers and sisters,

Karen and I just returned from a whirlwind trip to the northwest. We had an opportunity to visit the families of four of our priests and minister to several congregation.

We had a wonderful time with Father Jim Wright and his wife Nikki in Hillsboro Oregon. Father Jim stays incredibly busy with a jail ministry, a ministry at a senior citizen home and his own church Holy Cross Community Church in Hillsboro. Jim and Nikki are in every way true servants of God and went out of their way to make a wonderful trip for Karen and I.

On Friday evening we had an opportunity to help them in their ministry at the senior citizen home where we enjoyed dinner and a great movie, that's right, they have their own movie theater.

Saturday morning we left at the crack of dawn for cottage Grove, in southern Oregon where Father Jonathan Landon and his family recently moved. Father David Conroy and his wife Darcy are at the moment living with father Jonathan and his wife Rebecca and their daughter Naomi. Father Jim was gracious enough to drive us down and we had a wonderful day with the two families discussing future ministry for both. Father Jonathan and Becky have a wonderful home embedded in the forest on a couple acres. We are all praying for Fr. Jonathan to secure good employment. He has just retired from the Army where he served as a chaplain, last in Colorado.

 After a wonderful tour of the place, great conversation over a wonderful meal and some planning for the future in the beginning of his CEC work in Cottage Grove area, Jim and Karen and I left for the long drive back to Portland and an even longer day on Sunday. Long drive home to be sure but great fellowship.

It was a great morning as we celebrated all Saints Day with father Jim's congregation. It was great seeing them all again. After a terrific service, and great fellowship over a meal, we had to say goodbye and Jim and Nikki drove us this time all the way to Yelm, Washington for our first service with father David fell in his little church plant which he so diligently has successfully undertaken.

You're probably asking, as I was, where the heck is Yelm, Washington? Well, Yelm Washington while it appears to be in the middle of nowhere is actually pretty close to Olympia, Washington and not that far from Tacoma, Washington. Father David and his wife Ranata currently hold their service in a Lutheran church on Sunday evening at 5:30 PM. This is fortunate for I was able to drive there in time to enjoy being with the people in the service. We had a marvelous service along with fellowship and a bite to eat with the congregation and it was time to go. Jim and Nikki and their adopted daughter Debbie (really Bp. Prakash's daughter), Karen and I jumped back in the car and drove back to the Portland area.

Boy did that turn out to be a long day. Arriving back at our hotel at around midnight Karen and I packed for our trip home. Jim and Nikki drove home after dropping us off, had several things to do before they would see sleep yet were at our door at 7:45 AM to drive us to the airport.

What an amazing trip. In just over a long weekend we were able to cover a lot of ground, visit a lot of people and participate in some fantastic ministry. What made it possible with Fr. Jim and Nikki. It wasn't enough for them to just have us visit them and their ministries in Portland. These two servants of God picked us up on our arrival, took us everywhere, took care of every possible need and made it into the most pleasant and productive time. As well as being great friends and colleagues they have proven once again that their hearts are truly servants of Christ. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your help. And thanks to Frs. Landon, Conroy, and Fell and their wonderful families for all their doing to build the kingdom of God.

Yours and His,

+Bp. Doug

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