Each day, we have biked or walked to the Ampitheater at 9:15 for a short church service and sermon by the same minister, Rev. James Walters of the London School of Economics and an Anglican. He has been weaving in thoughts about Europe and religion with good humor and insightful preaching. They play a couple of songs on the organ and have a choir, too. Nice way to start the day. About 200-300 people are in attendance in a place that seats 5,000-6,000.
Right after that, the people start pouring in for the 10:45 speaker. Watch this. (Justin taught me that my phone does this time lapse and we laughed at how it looks.)
This morning, we went back to the rear of the stage to tell Rev. Walters how much we had appreciated his work.
All around the grounds there are reminders of the qualities of Chautauqua in quotes from those who have spoken here. (Today is the 79th anniversary of FDR’s speech, “I hate war”. It’s also VJ Day; victory over Japan in a war that Roosevelt started).
I may have shown you this one before. Reminds me of Ghandi’s “Be the change you want to see in the world”.
The house has lots of deferred maintenance and no grille, but each bedroom has its own bath next to it and a great outside deck where we are currently having cocktails.
Our day today included a great guy – Tim Snyder – covering about 1,000 years of Ukrainian history. Lots of European connections; starting with the Vikings conquering Kiev, while trying to create a trade route from the Balkans to the Black Sea.
Have you read the book “All the Light You Cannot See”? The author – Anthony Doerr – is a Chautauquan and was here today. He had taught in their writing school here and his earlier book, “Saving Grace” was chosen for their book award in 2005. He was a phenomenal presenter…what a shock for a writer to be so animated.
Then the head of Harvard Divinity School, who talked (boreingly…is that a word) about the secularization of Europe.
Yesterday’s 2PM speaker was an Archbishop from the Orthodox Church, which is having a huge growth and rebirth in Eastern Europe and Russia. Scary trends for the European Union in particular.
Now, we are almost up-to-date. More to tell, but maybe tomorrow as we spend our last day packing and doing the craft show before we leave for the Buffalo Airport at midday.