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December 27, 2014 by William H. Scarle, Jr. 813-835-0129

With the New Year about to break upon us it may be a time for reminiscing.  Joan and I began our pastorate at Franklin Union Baptist Church in Worthington on February 24, 1985.  We had had several interviews with the Pulpit Committee and were called unanimously to the position.  I can remember driving up Claypool Road in the snow, wondering where we were going and landing in someone’s driveway when the road curved.

According to my scrapbook I began writing for the Leader Times within that year.  That means I have been writing for the Times almost thirty years.  It is hard to imagine.

It was in the fall of 1985 when Joan and I took time off to study in Israel together.  We had planned the trip almost a year in advance and had studied maps and biblical geography for almost a year before actually making the journey.  The program was conducted by The Institute of Holy Land Studies, now Jerusalem University College.  The campus was on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, although Joan and I were billeted at the YMCA not far away in west Jerusalem.  It was a memorable trip on many levels.  One recollection on the lighter side was that we were treated as newlyweds.  I was 54 at the time and Joan…  Well, Joan was never anxious to tell anyone her age.   I am sure I wrote several articles covering our study at the time, although none of them made it into the scrapbook.

This venture down memory lane gives me a chance to thank the Leader Times for making space for my writing over many years.  Some people write books.  I write articles.

I am also grateful to those of you who read my musings.  I have tried to be helpful in passing on information that illumines and clarifies.  A writer, like a teacher, is not very significant without someone at the other end to hear or read.  It is always good to hear from folks in Armstrong County who respond one way or another to the column.  The email address is there to be used.

I retired as Pastor of Franklin Union on September 1, 1994.  The Leader Times continued to make space for the column which I deeply appreciated.  Joan and I stayed in Worthington until February of 2004.  I remember driving to Tampa through the mountains of West Virginia with snow and sleet coming down continuously.  The windshield was so dirty that I pulled into a roadside rest and began throwing snowballs at the windshield while the wipers were going just to get the grime off the glass.  Joan thought I was cracking up.  I guess I should have explained before I acted.  At any rate, we made it safe and sound.

I know this is not my usual content.  This time of year is a time to remember and to be thankful to those to whom you owe gratitude.  It is also a time that is streaked with sorrow for some.  I miss Joan as she passed over to the presence of the Lord just after Christmas in 2012.  I wish for all my readers a blessed and prosperous new year.  I would be delighted to hear from you.

(Bill Scarle can be contacted at  END-whs