Yesterday I drove down to Angleton, Texas for yet another installation. Angleton is about an hour's drive from Sugar Land, but I don't remember stopping there before.
I was surprised to see by the monument sign that the church is over 100 years old! The building looks much newer than that and the sanctuary is a lovely space with pretty medium wood pews and a couple of large stained glass windows.
My guess is that over 100 people gathered for the afternoon service and they were a healthy mix of ages. It seems like a lively congregation. As I sat in the chancel area facing them, I wondered what their stories were and what the next few years will bring. Angleton is outside of Houston exurbia and appears to be a pretty, fairly prosperous small town. The new pastor is a second career woman about my age, I would guess, who came to our presbytery from Odessa, Texas.
Being a music person myself, I always notice the choir, who were enthusiastic and have a good director. They began the service with a spirited rendition of "Down to the River To Pray" and were even swaying to the tune--no frozen chosen here!
The most remarkable thing was the handbell ringer. Yes there was just one ringer and she deftly played a set of bells that had more than three octaves! Even more remarkable to me was the fact that the pianist who accompanied her sat behind her and no one directed the two of them, yet they stayed together perfectly. Amazing!
God bless Pastor Nora Fitch and the saints at First Presbyterian Church, Angleton. Traveling around the presbytery for installations is definitely the best part of being Mom of Presbytery.