By Dave Foncannon, Pastor, Alive with Grace Fellowship

The consensus was joy and gratefulness as we gathered on a rock out-cropping under a full moon. We began our worship time just before sundown. To the west, the Hayden fire continued its journey up the mountain. The cool air laid a silvery pool of smoke low in the Wet Mountain valley that shimmered in the full moon light coming from the clear starry sky above. Faces and smiles around the circle took on the same beautiful glow of the moonlight. We sang some of our favorite songs and talked about why we were there.

We were grateful for the journeys that brought us all to this weird little Alive With Grace Fellowship and the generosity that allowed 30 or so of us to gather that night while we anticipated rafting on white water Sunday morning. All were enjoying the quiet beauty of the creation around us that filled our spirits. Our bellies were filled by the great potluck meal we had just finished. And soon the air would fill with banjo and guitar and singing. And, yes, folks found that peaceful as well.

We talked about how little time we take these days to just … be. We were so grateful to just BE, and to be there with one another.

That fellowship continued the next morning. Some took a more relaxing half day float. Others, a bit more daring perhaps, took a full day trip down Bighorn Sheep Canyon. We were well taken care of by the Arkansas River Tours folks and highly recommend them to any of you who have an itch to try whitewater. They prepared us well. And that was a good thing!

Just before lunch, a raft full of first-timers became the new Alive With Grace Swim Team! And they did it with flair! Actually, the term is a “tube stand.” All were “committed” to the water as the raft stood perpendicular to the river after broadsiding a boulder (with a little help from a nudge by the raft of a competing company). Impromptu baptism? All followed the pre-trip safety talk to a T and were soon back in their raft, settling the adrenaline and looking forward to the afternoon.

Wrapped in the quiet of creation and in the roar of the rapids were conversations, smiles, hugs, grace, hospitality, generosity, banjo, laughter, being, great food, sunburn, perhaps a bit of near drowning, adrenaline rushes, and lots of love. Blessed be the ties… or was that “tides”?

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